Toward Innovation and Renewal of Global and Regional Governance

An open conversation about the future of multilateralism and its impact at the global, regional, and national levels in Africa.

Co-sponsored by: The Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development; Stimson Center; Global Challenges Foundation; Together First; and UN2020

Date: 30 March–10 May 2020

Overview of the Regional Dialogue

The UN75 Regional Dialogue for Africa: Toward Innovation and Renewal of Global and Regional Governance (30 March–10 May 2020) served as a platform to encourage an Africa-wide conversation on improving the performance of today’s global institutions (including the United Nations, G20, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization) and African regional institutions (including the African Union, ECOWAS, and other sub-regional organizations) in addressing the critical issues of peace and security, climate governance, sustainable development, humanitarian action, and human rights. It was co-convened by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development, the Stimson Center, the Global Challenges Foundation, the UN2020 Initiative, and the Together First Campaign.

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In response to the postponement of the UN75 Africa Dialogue scheduled for 14-15 April in Abuja due to the coronavirus pandemic, the adopted online format allowed participants the flexibility to contribute to all three thematic segments of the e-consultation at their convenience. The objectives of the dialogue were to:

  1. Assess the role of the United Nations in Africa and its interaction with the African Union and sub-regional organizations in Africa, as well as offer policy recommendations to strengthen the UN, African Union, and other actors within or engaging with the UN system. The timing is designed to feed ideas into the final months of preparations for the UN 75 Leaders Summit (21 September 2020) and to bring multi-stakeholder and regional perspectives to the Summit’s political declaration (to be finalized by June 2020).
  2. Provide fresh ideas and perspectives, as well as help to build greater global support for on-going efforts from within, to strengthen the United Nations system, including the Secretary General’s three reform tracks of Peace and Security, Development and Management.
  3. Inform the future in-person UN 75 Regional Dialogue for Africa: Toward Innovation and Renewal of Global and Regional Governance once it is deemed safe to do so.
  4. Engage a broad network of organizations and individuals, committed to the growth of a coalition of states and non-state actors, interested in achieving critical global-regional governance partnership innovations for sustainable development and peace.


The online dialogue was structured in three separate two-weeks segments. For each segment, designated co-facilitators introduced a particular theme and spurred a robust online discussion by posing two initial lead-off questions to the forum’s diverse participants from Africa and beyond the region (see Annex I). In addition to responding to and building upon select participants’ contribution, each segments’ co-facilitators introduced a second round of questions at the mid-way point of each two-week interval in order to focus and provoke further debate and discussions. The main thematic areas explored were:

30 March – 12 April: Enhancing Security and Peacebuilding
Co-Facilitators: Ambassador Abdullahi Omaki. The Savannah Centre, Colonel Ademola Lawal (Rtd), The Savannah Centre, and Dr. Richard Ponzio, The Stimson Center
13 – 26 April: Climate Governance and Sustainable Development
Co-Facilitators: Ambassador Sani Bala, The Savannah Centre, and Dr. Magnus Jiborn, Global Challenges Foundation
27 April – 10 May: Promoting Human Rights, Justice, and Humanitarian Action
Co-Facilitators: Tinuola Makinde, The Savannah Centre, and Sara Gill, Together First
Online Regional Dialogue General Co-Moderators: Benard Ekobay, The Savannah Centre, and Banou Arjomand, The Stimson Center