Time to Restart Multilateralism
In 2020, the UN celebrated its 75th anniversary. To take stock of the UN’s accomplishments and challenges for the future, UN Secretary-General Guterres, who is searching re-election this year, organised a yearlong series of consultations. 1.5 million people participated in surveys and dialogues that were summarised in the UN75 report.
One thing that stands out is that while an overwhelming majority of people (97%) see the work of the UN as indispensable, four out of ten also reported that they felt that the UN was remote from their lives. This is a clear sign that the citizens of the world believe in the UN’s mission, but need it to be more transparent, accountable and participatory.
In recent years multilateralism has come under attack, diminished funding and an unparalleled backslide into autocratisation around the world is threatening the system of global cooperation and partnership that was built in the aftermath of the second World War, we have to act now and set a clear signal that this cynical retreat into self-interest does not serve citizens around the globe. The only way forward is to work together.
At the 2020 UN General Assembly, the Member States tasked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to compile a report with proposals for UN reform. He will present his report at the General Assembly this year in September, under the header “Our Common Agenda”.
On this day of International Multilateralism, in the midst of a global pandemic, it is all the more clear that good global governance is more important than ever. The highest global governing body, the UN, must therefore adopt the aims that would make the UN more democratic, more inclusive, and more closely representative to the regular people.