Co-facilitators Release Elements Paper for UN75 Declaration
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The elements paper focuses on acknowledging achievements and looking ahead, delivering on commitments and responding to global challenges, and building consensus and mobilizing for change.

The co-facilitators identify 11 topics that could serve as the basis for action points in the declaration.

The paper emphasizes that the declaration should clarify the 2030 Agenda as a basis for the UN’s work.

The co-facilitators overseeing the intergovernmental negotiations on the Declaration for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the UN shared an elements paper elaborating points raised by Member States during a virtual consultation in February 2020. Co-facilitators Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, and Anna Karin Enestrom, Permanent Representative of Sweden, plan to share a zero draft of the declaration by early May 2020.

The elements paper proposes a possible structure of the Declaration, composed of three sections: Acknowledging achievements and looking ahead; Delivering on commitments and responding to global challenges; and Building consensus and mobilizing for change.

On acknowledging achievements and looking ahead, the paper suggests stating that the 75th anniversary is “not a time for celebration” but a moment for Heads of States and Governments to “take joint action in response to the multifaceted and interconnected challenges” facing the world. The declaration could stress the importance of international cooperation and solidarity for recovery and building resilience to ensure “the future we want and the UN we need,” as well as to address the COVID-19 pandemic and enhance global resilience for future pandemics. The paper further outlines: acknowledging the UN’s achievements, reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter, and reaffirming collective commitment to multilateralism; recognizing the UN’s central role in ensuring that no one is left behind; and placing people at the center, including by drafting the text in a way that avoids conventional and technical UN language to ensure the declaration can be easily read by “the peoples.”

The action points should reflect the need to make the UN more inclusive, and address COVID-19 action in the short, medium, and long term.

On delivering on commitments and responding to global challenges, the paper calls for the declaration to make clear that the 2030 Agenda serves as a basis for the UN’s work and “has to be implemented.” The paper recommends focusing on concrete action points related to the three pillars of the UN – development, peace and security, and human rights – and the four challenges presented by the UN Secretary-General in early 2020: ongoing conflicts, climate change, global mistrust, and emerging technologies. The specific action points should highlight interlinkages, reflect the priorities of the peoples and the need to make the UN more inclusive, and reinvigorate commitments to multilateralism. The paper also recommends that the declaration address COVID-19 action in the short, medium, and long term.

Further on action points, the elements paper identifies 11 topics frequently raised in Member States’ consultations, which could serve as the basis for action points. These topics are: recovery from COVID-19, preparedness, and building resilient systems and societies; peace and security, ongoing conflicts, non-proliferation and disarmament, and preventive diplomacy; development, Decade of Action for the SDGs, and financing for development (FfD); human rights and fundamental freedoms; humanitarian action and access; gender equality and women’s empowerment; an inclusive UN, including partnerships with stakeholders and youth; climate change, oceans, and sustainable consumption; new technologies and digitalization; inequalities, disinformation, and global mistrust; and reform issues and sustainable financing of the UN.

To build consensus and mobilize for change, the elements paper recommends that the declaration specify how to follow up on each action point. This section should recognize the need to integrate work and avoid duplication and overlap. The declaration would conclude by asking the UN Secretary-General to “take the work forward” using the UN’s convening power, and expressing Member States’ commitment to share the declaration with their citizens, particularly youth.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, informal consultations on the elements paper are being conducted via written comments. The co-facilitators requested inputs on the elements paper by 24 April 2020, and plan to share a zero draft by the beginning of May 2020. They will convene a virtual informal consultation to discuss the zero draft later in May 2020.

Alongside the intergovernmental work to prepare a declaration for the 75th anniversary, the UN’s “UN75 Office” in the Secretariat is leading a year-long global consultation to involve people around the world in shaping priorities for international institutions. The results will be presented at the anniversary commemoration planned for 21 September. [Elements paper] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on start of declaration consultations] [SDG Knowledge Hub coverage on UN’s 75th anniversary

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