1 February 2024
Co-facilitators Present Zero Draft of Pact for the Future, Roadmap for Talks
Photo Credit: Matthew TenBruggencate/IISD
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The zero draft is based on Member States’ oral inputs made during the December informal consultations, as well as more than 80 written submissions received as of 31 December 2023.

Nearly 500 contributions received from Major Groups and other Stakeholders, civil society organizations, and representatives from academia and the private sector also informed the draft.

The first reading is scheduled to begin on 6 February.

The co-facilitators of the intergovernmental preparatory process of the Summit of the Future developed the zero draft of the Pact for the Future and outlined a roadmap to guide the negotiations in the first quarter of 2024. Member States and observer delegations shared their general views and expressed readiness to engage on the draft.

Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany, and Neville Melvin Gertze, Permanent Representative of Namibia, circulated the zero draft in a letter dated 26 January 2024. In it, they inform Member States that the draft is based on oral inputs made during the December informal consultations, as well as more than 80 written submissions received as of 31 December 2023.

While the co-facilitators “sought to balance the broad range of priorities expressed by Member States,” they recognize they “could not include every issue raised during the consultations or in the written submissions.” Yet, they believe “this text should serve as a strong starting point” for intergovernmental deliberations aimed at adopting by consensus an ambitious, concise, and action-oriented Pact for the Future before the Summit of the Future.

In a letter of the same date addressed to major groups, stakeholders, and civil society, the co-facilitators express their gratitude for nearly 500 contributions received from Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS), civil society organizations (CSOs), and representatives from academia and the private sector. These inputs, they indicate, will be made available on the Summit of the Future website.

The co-facilitators formally presented the draft to Member States and observer delegations during informal consultations on 29 January.

Thanking Member States and stakeholders for their active engagement, Leendertse introduced the draft. She said consultations on the scope helped build consensus around key issues but the more granular, “micro-oriented” issues in written submissions were not necessarily reflected with the same level of detail. Leendertse further hoped for direction from Member States to identify the landing zone of some “highly disputed” issues in the draft.

Overall, Leendertse said the “full breadth of issues” is complex and will demand flexibility of delegations. Stressing that the text “is not set in stone,” she hoped the draft would be able to factor in the outcomes from other processes between now and the Summit of the Future.

Introducing each section, Leendertse indicated that, among other aspects:

  • The chapeau, intended to speak to a wider audience, presents a high-level vision for the future of multilateralism.
  • Chapter 1, on sustainable development and financing for development (FfD), draws on the SDG Summit’s political declaration and reflects Member States’ priorities regarding means of implementation.
  • Chapter 2, on international peace and security, reflects a commitment to “enhance the toolbox of the UN Charter” and a desire to identify the root causes of conflicts and violence, as well as the New Agenda for Peace and Member States’ priorities and “recent developments.”
  • Chapter 3, on science, technology, and innovation (STI) and digital cooperation, reflects STI’s potential to contribute to sustainable development, with other relevant issues addressed in consultations on a global digital compact.
  • Chapter 4, on youth and future generations, covers education and meaningful and inclusive participation of youth in decision making and treats children as a group distinct from youth and future generations, with other relevant issues addressed in consultations on a declaration on future generations.
  • Chapter 5, on transforming global governance, focuses on reform of the principal organs of the UN, including the Security Council, reform of the international financial architecture, and identifying and addressing complex global shocks.

Having heard delegations’ first reactions on the draft, Gertze noted the call for more pragmatism, balance, and equality in the portrayal of the three pillars of the UN and recognized more could be done on poverty eradication, combating hunger, and reducing inequalities.

As per the roadmap the co-facilitators shared in the 26 January letter, written inputs as part of the first reading can be submitted by 12 February. The first reading – general comments, followed by chapter-by-chapter – is scheduled from 6-9 February. The second hearing – paragraph-by-paragraph – will take place in three installments: 21-23 February; 26-28 February; and 4-6 March. The co-facilitators intend to start the third reading in April, with three to six meeting days dedicated to each chapter. All the readings will be closed.

The co-facilitators aim to update the roadmap in March, offering further information on the third reading. The roadmap will be updated on a rolling basis, to ensure delegations have adequate time to prepare and the process delivers a successful outcome.

To keep the preparatory process open and transparent, the co-facilitators invite representatives of MGoS and civil society to register for a virtual consultation, to be held on 21 February. During this consultation, stakeholders will have the opportunity to share their feedback on the zero draft of the Pact for the Future. They are also encouraged to submit written inputs to the zero draft by 12 February through the Summit of the Future website. According to the co-facilitators, the UN Civil Society Conference in Nairobi in May will provide an additional opportunity to engage on the Summit of the Future. [Letter from the President of the General Assembly of 26 January 2024] [UNGA Meetings Schedule] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]

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