United Nations - Pact for the Future

The European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) and partners contribute ideas 




The United Nations is preparing for the Summit for the Future, “a high-level event, bringing world leaders together to forge a new international consensus on how we deliver a better present and safeguard the future” [1] which will take place in September this year. 

An action-oriented outcome document called the Pact for the Future is being developed as the concrete outcome. 

Following an invitation to NGO’s accredited at the UN to provide input, the partnership between the American Psychological Association (APA) [2], Federation of Swiss Psychologists (FSP) [3], and EFPA [4], which works to bring psychology to the UN in Geneva, submitted ideas. 

The main points in the submission, which can be read in full here where references can also be found, are:

  • Poverty:  Psychological science indicates the importance of understanding the cognitive and emotional effects of financial scarcity.  When we don’t have enough of something, such as money, worrying about this scarcity takes up most of our bandwidth, reducing our ability to focus on other tasks. These kinds of findings have implications for poverty alleviation interventions that take into account human factors. 
  • Climate change:  Climate change can also contribute to long-term economic stress, social instability, and loss of control, all of which undermine mental health and wellbeing.  Psychological science suggests approaches to effectively motivate more sustainable behaviors and engage the public and decision-makers in actionable solutions. 
  • International peace and security:  Psychology can make concrete contributions to understanding root causes and means to prevent and address conflict through the application of research findings.
  • Science, technology, innovation and digital cooperation:  We strongly support increasing access to science, including equal access to the benefits of psychological science and practice. 
  • Youth and future generations:  The field of psychology can make contributions to a better future for youth through the application of research findings related to effects of poverty on child development; the importance of equitable access to education; and that school systems can contribute to the prevention of negative mental health outcomes. 

This work strongly underpins our advocacy at the European level related to the Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health, and how European psychology can contribute to tackling the climate crisis [5]


Information on the Summit and Pact for the future can be found at https://www.un.org/en/summit-of-the-future/

APA, EFPA, and FSP together encompass nearly half a million psychologists globally. We promote the advancement, communication, and application of psychological science and knowledge to benefit society and improve lives. Psychology is the science of the mind and of behavior. Psychology provides scientifically founded means to evaluate, improve and promote quality of life, including health and wellbeing, across the range of human activity and functioning.

EFPA is the umbrella organisation in Europe for national psychologists’ associations and currently comprises associations from 37 European countries, including all 27 member countries of the European Union. EFPA has a long tradition of developing psychology (by enhancing scientific and professional standards), contributing to society (by using psychological knowledge and competences in support in particular of the UN sustainable development goals) and serving psychologists (by advancing, promoting and protecting the profession of psychologists at the national and European levels).  EFPA sets a European standard of education, professional training and competence in psychology, EuroPsy.


[1] https://www.un.org/en/summit-of-the-future/

[2] https://www.apa.org

[3] https://www.psychologie.ch/fr

[4] https://www.efpa.eu

[5] https://www.efpa.eu/advocacy


Check here the list of civil society comments on the Pact for the Future