Stakeholders Give Input on UN75 Declaration
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The co-facilitators for the UN’s 75th anniversary updated stakeholders on the political declaration and other steps towards the high-level commemoration in September 2020, and heard civil society priorities for the declaration.

The UN2020 network has called for inputs on a parallel civil society declaration, and a zero draft is available for commentary until 15 March.

The declaration is expected to be adopted during the UN75 People’s Forum convening in New York, US, from 23-24 April 2020, on the theme of 'advancing people-centered multilateralism'.

The co-facilitators for the UN’s 75th anniversary provided a briefing to stakeholders on the political declaration and other steps towards the high-level commemoration in September 2020. Stakeholders highlighted civil society priorities for the declaration as well as plans for the UN75 People’s Forum in April 2020.

The briefing for stakeholders on 28 February 2020 was hosted by the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York in collaboration with the UN2020 initiative and Together First. 

The co-facilitators, Alya Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, and Anna-Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden, held the first informal consultation meeting with UN Member States at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 21 February 2020, as reported in this SDG Knowledge Hub story. On Member States’ priorities for the declaration, the co-facilitators reported that: 

  • Governments support a declaration that is both short and unifying, as well as substantive;
  • The discussion indicated much convergence on key issues to address in the text, with climate change and biodiversity high on the agenda;
  • Delegations issued calls for reforms not only of the UN Security Council but also the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and
  • The importance of partnerships and the role of the private sector were emphasized during the consultation.

The co-facilitators also said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hopes the declaration will call for continued dialogue after the anniversary event – to be led by Member States, the Secretary-General, or an independent commission. The co-facilitators urged NGOs to reach out to Member States and groupings to ensure the adoption of a strong political declaration.

As next steps in drafting the declaration, the co-facilitators said they will present an elements paper for discussion at a consultation in early April. A zero draft will be released in May.

Providing input to the co-facilitators, stakeholders said important issues include climate change, species loss, shrinking space for civil society, and peace and disarmament. They noted that corruption is an important part of Agenda 2030 that integrates the three pillars of the UN. They suggested that the UN75 declaration and the outcome text of high-level meetings on Beijing+25 (taking place in March and September 2020) should support and reinforce each other. Participants urged the co-facilitators to find ways to include the perspectives of people who are not able to travel to the UN, and said civil society participation must be meaningful, not “ceremonial.”

Alongside the political declaration, a civil society declaration is also being developed. The UN2020 network has called for inputs, and the zero draft is available for commentary until 15 March. The declaration is expected to be adopted during the UN75 People’s Forum convening in New York, US, from 23-24 April 2020. 

The People’s Forum, being coordinated by UN2020 and Together First, will focus on the theme of advancing people-centered multilateralism. In addition to the People’s Declaration, it is also expected to result in a People’s Plan for Global Action. 

In the meantime, a UNGA youth plenary will take place on 31 March 2020 as part of UN75 consultations. It is scheduled back-to-back with ECOSOC’s 2020 Youth Forum which will meet from 1-2 April 2020. [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]

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