Decision-makers of the world must adopt a new approach to address the increasingly pressing global challenges that all people and countries are facing today, according to the Board of Green Cross International, which met in Geneva on 23-24 September.
These challenges, linking security, economy and the environment, and the resulting human suffering and social unrest for a growing world population, are systemic and interconnected.
This is why sporadic, poorly coordinated and compartmentalized solutions can only fail. We have already failed to take collective action to address international financial instability, climate change, unemployment, resource scarcities and food insecurity because:
Our ideas have been overtaken by reality. We insist on trying to solve connected, systemic problems through partial, incremental and short-term measures;
Our institutions and policies have been designed for a different age and have not been adapted to a world in rapid transformation and to the scale of the dynamic, connected challenges of the 21st Century;
The models of economic growth of industrialized economies, and increasingly of the major emerging economies, which are directed to never-ending increases in demand-driven, material consumption, are destroying the planet’s natural systems on which we depend;
We do not accept that substantial transformations in attitudes and beliefs, values and behavior are a precondition for resolving critical global issues;
We have not yet recognized in practice the reality and urgency of the threats that are fast approaching. We therefore cannot find the will, public understanding and support needed to take the necessary action.
Business as usual is not an option and the world requires a comprehensive and consolidated strategy for transformative change uniting all stakeholders and mobilizing all available resources to overcome these challenges.
Therefore Green Cross International will continue:
Engaging government, business and civil society to create and implement a strategy to bring about the sustainable societies of the future;
Pressing decision-makers at all levels for the changes in institutions, laws, agreements, relationships and the governance necessary to address these critical global challenges;
Facilitating the dialogue between generations to capture the wisdom of those who have led transformative change in the past, and those who commit to do so in the future.