The UN75 Global Governance Forum, “Designing a Roadmap to The Future We Want, The UN We Need” took place online Sep 16-18, 2020. This meeting was the result of years of work by 540 Civil Society Organizations from around the world in response to the recommendation made in 2015 by the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance for there to be a meeting on improving global governance in 2020, the 75th anniversary of the UN. The UN Secretary General also got involved by sponsoring both a UN75 survey for individuals and the global conversation initiative for groups to feed into the process during 2020. Two member states (Sweden and Qatar) were asked to create a Political Declaration to be signed by all member states which built on the People’s Declaration coming out of Civil Society.
Here are some interesting facts shared during these 3 days of meeting:
The immediate priorities from the people of the world are:
- The need for better access to health care and clean water
- A desire for greater international solidarity and more outreach to the poorest of the world
- The need to urgently address the climate and environmental crises facing the planet
- A desire for better protection of human rights for all humanity
- A request to reduce corruption found around the world
- There is a growing disconnect between people and their governments
- There was excellent participation by young people and women. These two groups demonstrate strong support of the UN and global cooperation. They want the UN to be more inclusive and better reflect all people
- There was widespread concern about the lack of multilateralism, perhaps best articulated by Ban Ki-Moon, previous Secretary General of the UN when he said “Multilateralism is in serious disarray”
- There was general agreement that veto power, held by the 5 permanent members (P-5) of the Security Council, is a problem with tragic consequences for the security and justice of our world. Whereas all the other member states and most of civil society agree that we desperately need reform of the Security Council, there is little hope that anything can be done about this given the veto.
- There were many comments made by people from other countries that the US administration has left a leadership gap at the global level which hinders our ability to solve global problems
Some of my favorite quotes:
- We need a global vision and local action
- We are only as strong as the weakest link in our chain
- Our current global crisis requires a global response.
- No one is safe until we all are safe
- We need a commitment to the oneness of humanity
- The people of the world need to demand more participation in global decision making
The Stimson Center, a key driver of this meeting, is now calling for a World Summit on Inclusive Global Governance to take place by September 2023.
The voices of world federation advocates were mostly absent from these three days of meetings There was no talk of the need for a better way to make international law. There was very little talk of the need to create enforcement mechanisms to make sure that international law is followed. CGS is currently reviewing its efforts toward UN reform to decide what future action it will take.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.