The Commission for Future Generations can prevent the brain drain from Israel Ackerman

The Commission for Future Generations can prevent the brain drain from Israel Ackerman
The Commission for Future Generations can prevent the brain drain from Israel Ackerman

The State of Israel has suffered throughout its years of existence from many disparities in various fields. Most of the gaps have been analyzed in the past and stem from the lack of long-term strategies in the various areas of life. This lack is due to the frequent changes of government, the instability of the government and the lack of ability to build and implement long-term plans. These gaps are reflected over the years in the fields of education, health, infrastructure, welfare and more.

However, it seems that the issue that may have the greatest impact on Israel’s ability to deal with future developments is the concern for future generations. Within this concept are embodied the various abilities of the state to enact laws, build national infrastructures and education and health systems that will satisfy its future needs and assist in its ability to adapt to the emerging future reality.

This matter also embodies the state’s concern for the younger generations who will form its backbone in the decades to come. In the absence of strategic planning to improve and build living infrastructure for future generations, Israel may find itself unable to bridge the gaps that will arise.
In a significant part of the developed countries of the western world that have already understood and internalized the problem, various mechanisms have been established that deal with this issue already today.

For example, the UN established the Council of Future Generations whose goals are to maintain intergenerational equality in a way that the interests and rights of future generations are already taken into account today when making decisions that affect the quality of the environment and sustainable development, as well as the right to maintain a healthy environment.
Germany established in 2001 a body responsible for planning and legislation for future generations in the fields of sustainability, education and research, technology and social and gender equality.

The Welsh government in the United Kingdom established the Commission for Future Generations which handles the fields of renewable energy and environmental quality, education and research, social and gender equality and economic development for future generations. In 2007, Hungary established the Council for Sustainable Development, whose role is to formulate a long-term strategy for the development of the country and the preservation of the environment, as well as to cultivate academia and education in order to build the next generations to lead the country.
Finland also established a council for sustainable development, whose duties are similar, in addition to the duty to preserve the environment for future generations.

Scotland stepped up to do when it established the Fund for the Development of Future Generations and actively promotes the issue of future generation commissions in various sectors, to ensure that the needs of future generations are met in a sustainable manner, with an emphasis on the health system including mental health, prevention of social isolation, and use of health technology in the field.

The Scottish education system includes initiatives to develop the skills and experience needed for the success of the younger generations in the labor market. In the field of sustainability, the Commission works to reduce carbon emissions. In the area of ​​the economy, the government promotes the interests of the next generation by supporting the growth of emerging industries and through the establishment of a technology and innovation center in Glasgow.

In the area of ​​housing, the Scottish government is working to improve access to affordable housing for young people. In the field of higher education, it promotes the interest of the next generation by focusing on innovation and research, as well as by establishing a network of innovation centers that brings together academics, businesses and other organizations to develop new technologies and products.

Scotland is also investing in research infrastructure, including a new center for precision medicine. In addition to this, she established the Children and Youth Commissioner, a body whose role is to promote and protect their rights. Scotland is also committed to reducing child poverty and has introduced a range of measures to support families with children.

In addition, the Scots invest in renewable energy, so that future generations have access to clean and sustainable energy sources. In 2021, the Scottish Government announced plans to establish a Commission for Future Generations to represent the interests of future generations in policy and decision-making. The Netherlands also established a similar body that has been operating successfully for years.

And what about us?

In addition to the state initiatives, various non-state organizations have been established that focus on shaping the future of future generations. Among these we can mention the World Future Council, which is an international organization whose goal is to promote policies that will benefit future generations. It operates through research, advocacy and education, and has initiatives focused on issues such as renewable energy, sustainable cities and biodiversity.

Another important organization is the Club of Rome, which is an international think tank focused on global issues such as sustainability, economic growth and social justice.
It is also worth mentioning the Intergenerational Fund, which is an organization based in Great Britain and whose purpose is to promote fairness and intergenerational sustainability. The foundation works through research, advocacy and education, and has initiatives focused on issues such as affordable housing, climate change and public debt.

Also, it is worth noting the Earth Charter, which is a statement of principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful world. The convention, which was created through a global consultation process, works through education, information and partnerships, and was approved by the United Nations in 2000. And what is happening in Israel? It turns out that there was someone here in the past who thought about the issue and dealt with it. In 2001, the Commission for Future Generations was established in Israel at the initiative of As Yosef (Tommy) Lapid. The commission functioned for about five years, but in 2006, when the commissioner’s position ended, its activities were suspended by the Knesset, and in 2010, the commission was abolished by a law initiated by MK Yariv Levin.

The definition of the role of the Commissioner for Future Generations was to monitor the legislation in Israel that would not harm future generations. The Commissioner for Future Generations was responsible for the creation and implementation of laws and regulations that will have a positive effect on future generations, and he provided advice to the Knesset in 12 different areas, including the environment, natural resources, science, development, education, health, economy, demography, planning and construction, quality of life , technology and law.

The commissioner was also authorized to participate in any hearing or committee in the Knesset, with the exception of confidential hearings, and was entitled to receive any information necessary to perform his duties, except in cases where providing the information would endanger state security or public safety. In addition to the permanent Commissioner’s employees, they were allowed to use Knesset employees to assist them in the performance of their duties. The commissioner was even required to submit an annual report to the Knesset on his activities.

However, as mentioned, unfortunately the Knesset already decided in 2010 to abolish the commission, mainly against the background of pressure from the various ministers who refused to submit themselves for the purpose of making long-term decisions, and preferred to implement short-term decisions that would yield them political profits, even if at the expense of the good of the state and its citizens.

The only way to prevent the continued brain drain from Israel, while building long-term action strategies for the sake of the country and its future generations, is to re-establish the Commission for Future Generations. It must be given binding legal and legislative powers that will enable it to enforce on all government ministries the obligation to plan and implement long-term action plans for the benefit of the country and future generations, with an emphasis on the areas of environmental quality, education and research, technology and health, national infrastructure and the economy.

In order for this to happen, a courageous, visionary leadership is required, one that sees the long term and understands the importance of preserving the younger generation in Israel. The issue will be discussed in a panel dedicated to this issue at the upcoming Herzliya conference, with the participation of elected officials and student representatives in Israel.

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