- We want to reach as many people as possible, so we have put in place different ways to engage with UN75
- A short online survey
- Physical and online dialogues held in collaboration with partners
- A toolkit for those wishing to organise their own dialogues
- An online feedback form to capture the results of the dialogue (with the option to provide feedback via partners for those without internet access)
- In addition, we are working with partners to conduct polling, focus groups, traditional and digital media analysis to capture the widest possible range of views, and to provide representative and statistically robust data to complement the dialogues.
Survey results and dialogue feedback, including the ideas and solutions generated, will be disseminated on an ongoing basis – online and through our partners. They will also be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at meetings and events. The most high-profile of these will be a high-level meeting of Heads of State and Government in New York on 21 September 2020 dedicated to the 75th anniversary.
Throughout the initiative, UN75 will publicise actions that can be taken by individuals and groups to support the future we want. We also hope that those who participate in UN75 will continue to engage with the United Nations beyond 2020, and that the partnerships built will become sustainable, helping to take forward collective action.
Anyone can organise a dialogue. We are currently building partnerships to ensure we reach as many people as possible. We will also organise a number of dialogues – physical and online. Details will be available on our website once ready.
We have focused on megatrends – issues that will have significant, transformative global impacts, including existential and catastrophic risks such as climate change, and issues that the international community will need to address. This list is not however intended to be exclusive or prescriptive. Rather, it is to help inform participants and dialogue organisers. We want to hear back on how people see the most decisive global trends that we need to better address. Our materials provide opportunities for people to discuss and suggest other issues, and our surveys will reflect a wider range of topics.
Earlier this year, Member States agreed to hold a high-level event on 21 September to mark the UN’s 75th anniversary, and to adopt a forward-looking political declaration which will be negotiated through an intergovernmental process on: “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.
The UN75 initiative is highly complementary, putting that theme to stakeholders across the world. The support of Member States is crucial to our success – through national activities and outreach and support to the global effort.
If UN75 is to be forward-looking, then young people must be at the forefront of our efforts. We hope that national ministries of education, youth ministries and other providers will consider dedicating an hour (or more!) of classroom time to a UN75 discussion. We will also work with school networks and with youth organizations to ensure that young people are included in dedicated youth dialogues, as well as in broader discussions in communities and sectors. And we will work with universities and think-tanks to hold more in-depth discussions megatrends and potential solutions, and to analyse and present the outcomes of our initiative. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a UN75 partner.
We are acutely aware of the financial difficulties of the Organization. Our campaign is funded entirely by voluntary contributions, from Member States and foundations, and through pro bono support from our partners. The funding target for the initiative is USD 11 million, which includes the dialogues themselves, assistance to UN country teams and other partners, the production and design of materials, various forms of questionnaires and surveys, and analysis and dissemination of findings.
Next year will see many important milestones: the start of the decade of action and delivery for the Sustainable Development Goals; major conferences on climate change, biodiversity, nuclear non-proliferation and health; the 25th anniversary of the landmark Beijing World Conference on Women, the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the 10th anniversary of UN Women and many more.
The UN75 initiative will support all of them, by encouraging debate and action on the global trends shaping our ability to take forward the world’s commitments in these areas; by bringing these issues to a large and diverse global audience; by supporting dialogues in the lead-up to and within the margins of these events; by highlighting the importance of enhanced global action to all these areas; and by stimulating a critical discussion on how we can reinvigorate support for global cooperation and make it more effective and inclusive.
This initiative is very different to previous UN anniversary campaigns which have focused on the UN’s historical record and contemporary context. This is a global listening exercise.
The UN75 initiative itself is about the future, and how we can shape it, together. It is about dialogue – about the UN listening and learning, responding and engaging with as many different people and constituencies as possible.
The UN is much more than a talk shop. It feeds, shelters and protects millions of people every day. It protects people in some of the most challenging situations in the world. It vaccinates almost half the world’s children. It supports the creation of international laws and norms, helps to prevent conflict and build peace, provides practical support and advice to governments on a host of issues – from tackling organized crime to empowering people with disabilities. And its “talk shop” functions are essential – it remains the primary international forum for states to come together, to resolve their differences peacefully and to adopt shared solutions to the challenges we face. Talking is infinitely preferable to war. Time is running out for global solutions. We need to discuss how we can move from where we are – and are headed – to where we need to be. The costs of not talking, not communicating are too high.
We are also at a moment when trust – between and within many countries – is fraying. We need to listen better to those who feel left out and left behind. We need to foster greater understanding and empathy, greater knowledge about the risks we face, and greater collaboration on solutions in all regions and sectors. UN75 is an opportunity to do that.