14 April 2020
More Than a Birthday Party: Civil Society Proposes Elements for UN75 Political Declaration
Photo Credit: Matthew TenBruggenate/IISD
story highlights

The UN2020 Campaign and the Together First Network released a joint communique to UN Member States, which are negotiating the political declaration to be adopted at the UN's 75th anniversary commemoration.

The communique emphasizes the need for three elements in the political declaration, including a formalized international process to strengthen multilateralism.

The civil society campaigns also intend to launch a UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan of Action during a global multimedia videoconference on 14 May.

Two civil society campaigns have released a joint communique on elements for the political declaration to be adopted at the UN’s 75th anniversary. This event should be “more than a birthday party,” the authors suggest, and the political declaration should go beyond “bland re-commitments to Charter principles plus recognition of previous accomplishments and already agreed goals.”

Negotiations are underway on the political declaration among UN Member States. The text is expected to be adopted by world leaders at the high-level event to commemorate the anniversary in September 2020.

The declaration should catalyze a formal, post-2020 review of the global governance architecture.

The UN2020 Campaign and the Together First Network released the communique to UN Member States on 10 April 2020. The text emphasizes the need for three elements in the UN75 political declaration. First, it highlights calls for a formalized international process to strengthen multilateralism. The UN75 political declaration, therefore, should catalyze a post-2020 longer-term review of the global governance architecture, perhaps through the creation of a new independent commission or high-level panel.

Second, it argues that the time has come for a system-wide review of the modalities for civil society participation. Over the past several years, civil society has “demonstrated its capacity to self-organize, and to partner with governments and the UN to deliver successful outcomes.” The authors note that communications innovations are allowing for greater participation, and a fairer and more democratic approach to incorporating peoples’ voices is possible.

Third, on better funding the UN, the communique notes that contributions from Member States are assessed and allocated using an “arcane and opaque” set of rules, and this system has not generated adequate funding for the UN’s work. The text calls for the UN75 political declaration to mandate a wide-ranging review and reform of the means for providing essential funding of the UN system.

The communique notes that the vital role of the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated how essential the UN system is for coordinating global policies and actions, providing reliable information, and setting standards for appropriate responses. The global financial and economic downturn associated with COVID-19 also reinforces the need for “new tools and approaches to cross-border cooperation in our hyperconnected world.”

The civil society campaigns intend to launch a UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan of Action during the UN75 People’s Forum for the UN We Need. This event was originally scheduled for 23 April 2020 at UN Headquarters but converted to a multimedia global videoconference on 14 May 2020, due to COVID-19. [UN2020 Campaign] [Together First Network


related events


related posts