civil society consultations lead to three proposals on UN commitments75 | News | SDG Knowledge Center
A group of civil society organizations identified three key messages from experts on how to meet the commitments made in the UN75 declaration, adopted by UN member states in September 2020. The experts’ messages are intended for be a contribution to a forthcoming report by the UN secretary. -General.
In September 2020, world leaders adopted the UN75 declaration – a political agreement marking the 75th anniversary of the UN – and called on the UN Secretary-General to make recommendations to “advance our common agenda and respond to challenges current and future “. This report is expected to be released before the end of the 75th UN session in September 2021.
A new financing compact for an effective United Nations system has become a practical imperative.
In preparation for this report, a consortium of organizations organized a series of six round tables to provide “independent, practical but ambitious ideas, analysis and proposals” for consideration in the Secretary-General’s report. Each session reviewed two of the 12 commitments made in the UN75 statement. Discussions assessed progress and explored steps to achieve the necessary reforms.
The main messages from each roundtable are summarized in previous articles on the SDG Knowledge Hub:
According to the synthesis report launched on June 9, 2021, discussions resulted in three key messages: the need for greater inclusion of civil society and the global public in global governance; the importance of global cooperation for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; and the demand for an “ambitious and multi-pronged – but realistic and carefully managed – strategy for reform” of the United Nations.
Regarding the need for greater civil society and greater public inclusion, the messages stress that this should include institutionalized channels of participation. The report refers to a “democratic deficit” across the United Nations system, which hinders both its legitimacy and its effectiveness. Recommendations made during the consultations included:
- Appoint a United Nations civil society envoy to increase capacity to proactively engage with civil society;
- Establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to give elected representatives a United Nations agenda-setting role; and
- Increase communications between UN Member States and young people, in order to broaden the contributions of young people to transnational governance.
Regarding a green recovery after COVID-19, experts suggested that innovation should be aimed at supporting the response and recovery after the pandemic, in line with global climate goals. The proposals included:
- A Global Green Hydrogen Alliance to stimulate research and development, encourage the transfer of intellectual property and test the deployment of environmentally friendly hydrogen technologies;
- Legally binding instruments for the protection of forests; and
- Debt relief efforts to the poorest countries to advance the SDGs and provide support during the COVID-19 crisis.
The summary also states that a new “finance compact” to fund a sustainable, values-based and effective United Nations system “has become a practical imperative”.
Finally, on UN reform, the consultations called for multiple reform vehicles, to maintain momentum after the release of the Secretary-General’s report in September 2021. Discussions indicated support for a dedicated intergovernmental process to “To strengthen and reform the legal mechanism and the United Nations system. This process could be initiated by the annual resolution on the revitalization of the United Nations General Assembly, or a UNGA resolution adopted during the high-level week of the 76th session, in September 2021.
The synthesis report was published by: The Coalition for the UN We Need; Together first; CIVIC; Global Challenges Foundation; Climate Governance Commission; Group of Women Leaders: Voices for Change and Inclusion; CIPÓ platform; Energy, Environment and Water Council; Baha’i International Community; Rutgers Center for Global Women’s Leadership; Look for common ground; Soroptimist International; Club of Madrid; and the Stimson Center, in association with The Elders. [Publication: Fulfilling the UN75 Declaration’s Promise: An Expert Series’ Synthesis of Major Insights and Recommendations]