Summary

A virtual dialogue with UN Permanent Representatives on UN@75

Main Takeaways

UN Member States benefit when “We the Peoples”, including civil society organizations and independent experts, contribute their ideas and expertise, provide analysis and lessons learned, and encourage governments to do more in realizing shared goals.

COVID-19 is a wake-up call in terms of humanity’s ability to cope effectively with today’s critical global threats and challenges. The world is looking to the United Nations for leadership, both in the immediate emergency (health/humanitarian) phase but also in coordinating, over the coming years, a robust socio-economic recovery plan in response to the pandemic.

In the face of a crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, the world is able to take drastic measures, but are we collectively ready to do so in response to other crises, such as climate change (note: climate and the environment topped the list of issues that will most affect humanity’s future in UN’s “Preliminary Assessment of the UN75 Survey and Dialogues”)?

The UN75 Dialogues for Africa and The Americas called for global and regional support for national and locally-led Covid-19 socio-economic recovery and renewal energy plans.

The UN75 Global Policy Dialogue series called for redefining security to encompass new threats, such as climate change, and adhering to the International Court of Justice’s “sign up to its so-called “optional clause,” which requires acceptance of the court’s general compulsory jurisdiction.

The UN75 People’s Declaration and Together First “Stepping Stones” Report recommended innovative ways to strengthen civil society collaboration with the United Nations, including through a newly-appointed UN Under-Secretary-General to champion civil society’s role.

The UN75 Declaration should re-commit Member States to upholding core multilateral principles and pragmatically demonstrate the relevance of the UN in the 21st century.

The UN Charter is a brave declaration. Without necessarily amending the Charter, the 75th anniversary provides a unique opportunity to further innovate and strengthen the UN system.

UN75 should usher in a new compact with citizens to (re-) build trust in governing institutions.

An inclusive, consultative approach to preparing the UN75 Declaration will strengthen the vision and quality of the commitments presented, and in this spirit, it is promising to note this week’s UN75 People’s Forum, Youth Global Town Hall, and this dialogue between UN Permanent Representatives and independent experts and civil society representatives.

Independent experts and civil society representatives look forward to continued opportunities to engage the UN75 Declaration deliberations in the weeks ahead, as well as the equally important follow-through process to commence after this September’s adoption of the UN75 Declaration.

Speakers

  • H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog, Welcome
    Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations
  • H.E. Ambassador Sheikha Alya Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of The State of Qatar to the United Nations and UN75 Declaration Co-Facilitator
  • H.E. Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations and UN75 Declaration Co-Facilitator
  • Mr. Henrik Hammargren (Sweden), Executive-Director, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation

Overview of recommendations from:

The UN75 Regional Dialogue for Africa, by Professor Ibrahim Gambari (Nigeria), Founding Chairman of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development, and former Nigerian Foreign Minister, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and co-chair, the Albright-Gambari Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance

The UN75 Regional Dialogue for the Americas, by Dr. Adriana Abdenur (Brazil), Coordinator of the Igarapé Institute’s Peace and Security Division and Member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy

Response from H.E. Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations (invited)

Overview of recommendations:

The UN75 People’s Declaration and Together First Stepping Stones for a Better Future Report, by Ms. Lysa John (India), Secretary-General of CIVICUS and member of UN2020 and Together First

The UN75 Global Policy Dialogues series on  Preventive Action, Sustaining Peace & Global Governance (December 2018, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Doha), Global Security, Justice & Economic Institutions (June 2019, Stimson Center, Washington, D.C.), Climate Governance: Innovating the Paris Agreement and Beyond (October 2019, Global Green Growth Institute, Seoul), and Global Economic Institutions (November 2019, World Bank, Washington, D.C.), by Mr. Jens Orback (Sweden), Executive-Director, the Global Challenges Foundation.

Preliminary Assessment of the UN75 Survey and Dialogues,” by H.E. Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild (Chile), Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary

Response from H.E. Ambassador Cho Hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations

Open discussion with UN Permanent Representatives, moderated by H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog

Brief summary of discussion: Dr. Richard Ponzio, Senior Fellow and Director, Just Security 2020 Program, the Stimson Center