Why ‘A Globally Responsible Wales?

The Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015) places a duty on the Welsh Government and public bodies in Wales to work towards the seven wellbeing goals through the five ways of working.

As with the Sustainable Development Goals, the Well-being Goals and ways of working are inextricably linked just like the issues they seek to address so why focus on one goal?

The Globally Responsible Wales goal is distinct in that it is the only goal that explicitly recognises Wales’ impact on and relationship with the rest of the world.

Research has also shown that it doesn’t currently have appropriate indicators and is least well understood and implemented goal (WWF/Welsh Government All Together report). The International Strategy for Wales places Global Responsibility high on the list of priorities but there is some inconsistency between the goal and some of the actions.

The 2020 Wellbeing of Future Generations report recognises these shortcomings and makes a series of recommendations about how the Welsh Government and public sector can respond, but there are still gaps in how Wales as a whole and individual public, private and third sector bodies can take this forward.

Therefore, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and Oxfam Cymru, recognised a need for specific work on the Globally Responsible Wales goal in order to start to answer the questions:

  • If Wales truly became a globally responsible nation, what would that look like?
  • What steps should Welsh Government, public bodies and others in Wales take to systematically become globally responsible?
  • What are the areas of uncertainty that require more research or experimentation?

We held six events during 2020 bringing together (online) groups of experts in different areas of global responsibility to share ideas and develop recommendations. This is a broad topic so we have tried to focus on the areas where there were gaps.

We held six expert discussions on the theme of A Globally Responsible Wales. Each event was held in partnership with an organisation with particular expertise in the topic under discussion as follows:

  • What does anti-racist global responsibility look like? With Sub Saharan Advisory Panel
  • Nature and Climate Emergencies with Size of Wales
  • Human rights, equality and global responsibility with Professor Simon Hoffman, Chair of the Human Rights Stakeholder Forum
  • Globally responsible soft power with Cardiff University
  • Peace, justice and global responsibility with Academi Heddwch Cymru
  • Wales in the global economy: supply chains, trade and trade-offs with Fair Trade Wales

The two-hour by-invitation sessions were participatory, facilitated by the WCIA and the partner organisation. We used a combination of whole group discussion, presentation and breakout rooms to capture information in as much detail as time allowed. Ahead of each event, we shared a short paper setting out the premise of the series, and a series of broad questions for participants to consider.

A summary of the ideas and questions that were discussed in the session can be found in this report and the suggestions and ideas on the connected pages come from these discussions.

We do not want to replace or duplicate work already done and therefore signpost to many other resources in these pages. For example, we recommend referring to the 2020 Wellbeing of Future Generations report and Globally Responsible Wales Journey checkers.