United Nations System Common Principles on Future Generations

In May 2023, the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination endorsed the Common Principles on Future Generations, developed through the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) which approved the Principles at its forty-fifth session in March 2023.

These Common Principles were produced by the HLCP Core Group on Duties to the Future, co-led by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR), and are in support of the thematic pillar on Duties to the Future as contained in HLCP’s strategic narrative.   

This set of eight principles builds on the United Nation’s long history of acknowledging the importance of future generations, dating back to the UN Charter including, in particular, the adoption in 1997 by UNESCO Member States of the Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations towards Future Generations. A key goal of these principles is to ensure greater clarity on terminology and agree a set of common values across the UN system for use across various contexts.

Additional information on HLCP’s work on intergenerational equity can be found on the Duties to the Future topic page.

  • Duties to the Future
  • Chief Executives Board (CEB)
  • High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)
  • Common Approaches
  • Joint Statements
  • Publications


  • United Nations System Common Principles on Future Generations.pdf

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