The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. Will we emerge stronger and better equipped to work together? Or will distrust and isolation grow further? 2020 must be a year of dialogue, when we come together to discuss our priorities as a human family, and how we can build a better future for all.
Covid-19 is a stark reminder of the need for cooperation across borders, sectors and generations. Our response will determine how fast the world recovers, whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and how well we handle pressing challenges: from the climate crisis to pandemics, inequalities, new forms of violence, and rapid changes in technology and in our population.
But just when we need collective action more than ever, support for global cooperation has been flagging. In many countries, public trust in traditional institutions is in decline and relations between countries have been under strain. Will this pandemic bring the world closer together? Or will it lead to greater mistrust? Global dialogue – and action – is now more urgent than ever.
In January 2020, we launched our global dialogue initiative, and discussions have taken place in all settings, from classrooms to boardrooms, across the world. In order to reach as many people as possible, we have built partnerships with youth, civil society, business and media organisations, and created a one-minute survey that is quick and easy to complete.
We have always placed strong emphasis on online engagement, through virtual dialogues and social media, and are now increasing these efforts in light of Covid-19. We are also working with our partners to take planned events into the digital space, and find innovative ways to engage audiences in line with WHO guidelines and local health regulations.
It is vital that your voice is heard at this crucial time for the world. Your views, concerns and ideas will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at the official commemoration of the 75th Anniversary by the UN General Assembly in September 2020. After September, groups around the world will discuss how best to take forward the priorities and proposals generated.
Each conversation is an opportunity to encourage individuals to take actions in their own lives in line with what they have heard and learned. They can yield insights and evidence that national and international organisations can apply. Findings may inspire new programmes, investments, partnerships and campaigns, among other options. A global platform to illustrate key outcomes of discussions is being developed by the UN75 team.
- Take our one-minute survey and share it widely: www.un75.online
- Check out the UN75 toolkit with guidelines on how to join, and inspire conversations and amplify voices through channels and communities for people to talk and be heard.We will be adding more information on online dialogues in the coming days
- Follow @JoinUN75 and #UN75 on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and add your voice to the testimonials from people who have already taken part
In September 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations. States made 12 commitments, including to leave no-one behind, protect our planet, promote peace, engage young people and be better prepared for future crises.
They also asked the Secretary-General to provide “recommendations to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges” by September 2021. These recommendations will be informed by the findings of the UN75 Initiative, as well as inputs from States, high-profile thought leaders from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds, young thinkers, and civil society, collected through a series of consultations in 2021.
The Secretary-General’s report on “Our Common Agenda” provides an opportunity for profound reflection on the future of international governance to address shared problems, deliver on critical global public goods, and prepare for the threats and opportunities of the future. With international cooperation both more tested and more vital than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General will make recommendations for transformative global action through reinvigorated multilateralism and renewed solidarity within societies, between peoples, and with young people and future generations.
Further details coming soon in this space.