Zero Draft of UN Anniversary Declaration Lists 12 Commitments to Action
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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UN Member States are reviewing an initial draft of the declaration to be adopted at the UN’s 75th anniversary in September 2020.

The declaration sets out twelve statements of commitment responding to views expressed through the UN75 global conversation, including: We will leave no one behind; We will protect our planet; We will place women and girls at the center; We will upgrade the United Nations; and We will be prepared.

A virtual consultation to discuss the zero draft will convene on 22 May.

UN Member States are reviewing an initial draft of the declaration to be adopted at the UN’s 75th anniversary in September 2020. By the declaration, world leaders would make 12 commitments and assert that multilateralism is “not an option but a necessity.”

The co-facilitators for intergovernmental consultations on the text, Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, and Anna Karin Enestrom, Permanent Representative of Sweden, circulated the zero draft on 14 May 2020. They plan to convene a virtual consultation to discuss the draft on 22 May. That meeting will include a briefing from the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on preparations for UN75.

We will place women and girls at the center.

The introduction to the draft declaration describes the need for a strong UN and notes that the UN presently faces “the largest global challenge in its history,” referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. It recalls that the UN was established to save future generations, and it has had many achievements: “Every day, countries, citizens, private sector and civic actors use the platform provided by the United Nations to make life better” for humanity and the planet. However, the introduction continues, the UN also has “had its moments of disappointment,” which points to the need for greater action.

The UN75 Global Conversation initiated by the UN Secretary-General in late 2019 has elicited people’s concerns and aspirations, the text notes; the UN Member States “are here to respond.” The introduction also underlines that the pandemic shows that “we are only as strong as our weakest link,” and that multilateralism is not an option but a necessity and in every country’s national interest.

The declaration then sets out twelve statements of commitment, which the co-facilitators indicate respond to views expressed by people around the world through the UN75 global conversation:

  • We will leave no one behind;
  • We will protect our planet;
  • We will work to ensure peace and security;
  • We will abide by international rules and norms;
  • We will place women and girls at the center;
  • We will build trust;
  • We will promote the use of new technologies for the benefit of all;
  • We will upgrade the United Nations;
  • We will ensure financing;
  • We will boost partnerships;
  • We will listen to and work with youth; and
  • We will be prepared.

The draft concludes that “what we agree today will affect the sustainability of our planet” and the welfare of future generations. By the text, leaders would request the Secretary-General to provide recommendations on advancing the common agenda before the end of the UN General Assembly’s 75th session (2020-2021). [Letter from co-facilitators containing zero draft of declaration] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on elements paper for declaration] [Summary of initial findings from UN75 Global Conversation]


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