UN launches a public-service film as Rio+20 opens, sharing the hopes of Chinese people for a sustainable future

20 Jun 2012

As world leaders gather in Brazil to hold discussions on sustainable development at Rio+20, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the UN Department of the Public Information launched today a public-service film entitled “2032: The Future We Want”. The five minute film contains powerful expressions of hope and inspiration from 32 people across China, whose messages are to be broadcast to state leaders and a global audience during the UN summit.

Created by Chinese film Director Du Jiayi (Kora [2011] and Forever Enthralled [2008]), the film features internationally acclaimed Chinese actress and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Zhou Xun, and aims to give Chinese people a voice for sharing their hopes for the future.

“We cannot make the world a better place until everyone in it feels like we are working to achieve their dreams, and we cannot really do that until we know what their dreams are,” said Zhou Xun. “I hope this video will inspire people to think about the future they want and what we need to do as individuals and as a global family to make that future a reality.”

In all, 232 participants took part in the film production, with each person being asked to answer the question “what do you want the world to be like in twenty years”. From the young to the elderly, students to professionals, and from ethnic minorities from rural villagers to migrant workers in big cities, together their answers provide a poignant reminder of the role that individuals can play in shaping the world we want to live in.

“In 20 years, I hope my children can lead a better life than me,” said Rao Jianliang, a migrant worker living in Beijing. Meanwhile Zhaxicaicuo, a Tibetan girl from the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province said her greatest hope was “that the snow capped mountains in my hometown will remain clean and white, and that the rivers will remain clear and fresh”.

Casting for the video was undertaken through a global public participation campaign called the “Future We Want”, spearheaded by the UN Department of Information and coordinated in China by UNDP. Since its launch on Sina Weibo in March, some 2.5 million social media users have joined discussions on what they think the future might look like in twenty years.

“Our world is shaped by the hopes of individuals, while our future is shaped by our ability to transform these hopes into positive collective action,” said Ms. Renata Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative. “The film reminds us of the difference that individuals can make in this historical moment and that it is not only governments, but everyone’s responsibility to shape a sustainable future”.

Images of 100 finalists are to be included in a commemorative photo album and will be featured in an art exhibition later this year. These images where taken by Xiao Quan, a leading portrait photographer in China, and together with the film, will be stored in a time capsule and kept in the United Nations Headquarters. It is hoped that it can be re-opened in 20 years time when the world comes together again for what is likely to be Rio+40.

Various versions of the film, for which funding was provided by Zhou Xun, will be shown on national televisions, in office buildings, airlines, trains, taxis and buses, as well as other key national and international media outlets. The video will also be made available for download for all broadcasters, who are strongly encouraged to help share this message.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20 is a global forum on how to make sustainable development a reality for seven billion people today, and to define the future we want for nine billion by 2050. More than 120 heads of state and government have confirmed their participation at the Rio+20 meeting.

To view the public-service film, please visit: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDE2ODE3Nzg0.html