Progress report on UN75
To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations launched a people’s debate, UN75. Since many governments were clearly lukewarm towards UN reform, the Secretary-General reached out to the wider society for new ideas and to encourage a wider movement to improve international cooperation and global governance. This aimed to be the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation ever on building the future we want. While many of the events planned for this year have had to be cancelled or moved online because of the pandemic, the process has continued. IEF is a partner in Together First and has collaborated in the UN2020 process through which civil society is supporting UN75.
The International Environment Forum encouraged its members to contribute to this conversation, as we already reported in April, and the resulting dialogue report has been submitted to the UN secretariat as requested on June 1. We also took part in informal consultations on the possible content of the declaration that heads of state are expected to make at the Summit planned for 21 September.
UN75 People’s Forum for the UN We Need
On 14-15 May 2020, UN75 organized an online People’s Forum for the UN We Need, with registered participants from 75 countries around the world, over 600 attendees each of the two days, and many more joining through YouTube and Facebook Live. “We the peoples” sent a strong message to the UN and Member States that a stronger multilateral system is needed as a matter of urgency, and that the UN75 High Level Event on 21 September needs to be the catalyst for the transformative changes urgently needed to successfully address 21st century global challenges.
One of many highlights at the Forum was the release of the UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan for Global Action, entitled “Humanity at a Crossroads: Global Solutions for Global Challenges.” H.E. Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly formally received the Declaration and Plan for Global Action and provided a statement that discussed the UN’s responses to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the evolving role of civil society at the United Nations.
He said "I am heartened to see how strong the support is for multilateralism and how committed you are in the spirit of the UN Charter. Civil society has played indispensable roles in the creation of public awareness and political change in the past. You lay the groundwork for a better future for all."
The Together First Network also released a new report, “ Stepping Stones to a Better Future,” that outlines ten practical reforms for a more open, inclusive, fair and effective UN system. In addition to the report, the Together First ideas hub provides additional detail and background on these ten proposals. The ideas hub also includes submissions from IEF on Governance, Science and the Climate Crisis and Global Governance.
Four expert panels at the People's Forum included a former Prime Minister, UN officials, ambassadors from the Republic of Korea and the European Union, and a range of civil society leaders, including from the UN2020 and Together First campaigns, discussing various aspects of multistakeholder partnerships and strategies for innovations in global governance.
And final reflections at the Forum reviewed the UN Secretariat’s program for leveraging global dialogues on “The Future We Want and the UN We Need.” This segment featured a conversation with UN2020 Campaigner Jocelyn Jayasooria (Malaysia) and Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th Anniversary. Mr Hochschild appealed to all participants to visit the UN75 site and take the one-minute survey.
Complete video recordings of each day of the UN75 People’s Forum for the UN We Need are available on YouTube.
Last updated 14 June 2020