UNITED NATIONS, Sep 21 (APP): The UN General Assembly President, Dennis Francis, told foreign ministers from around the world gathered in New York on Thursday that forecasts predicting the death of effective diplomacy were premature.
“Your strong engagement during our deliberations today reaffirms that multilateralism is neither dead nor obsolete,” said Dennis Francis in his opening remarks to a preparatory meeting for next year’s Summit of the Future.
Scheduled for September 2024, it is billed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvigorate multilateralism, address gaps in global governance, and reaffirm existing commitments, including to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Charter.
Recent global shocks – including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the climate emergency – have tested international institutions, underlining the critical need for unity around shared principles and common goals.
“The Summit of the Future is a unique opportunity to help rebuild trust and bring outdated multilateral institutions and frameworks into line with today’s world, based on equity and solidarity,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“But it is more than an opportunity,” he added. “It is an essential means of reducing risks and creating a safer and more peaceful world.”
The Summit has its origins in Our Common Agenda, the Secretary-General’s 2021 report outlining his vision for the future of international cooperation “through an inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism.”.
The report aims to “turbocharge” the push towards the 17 SDGs – the global promise to deliver a more just, equitable and greener future for all people and the planet by 2030.
Although progress has been derailed by the pandemic and other crises, a “rescue plan” agreed this week aims to get them back on track.
At the Summit, countries are expected to adopt a Pact for the Future that covers five areas: sustainable development and related financing; international peace and security; science, technology and innovation, as well as digital cooperation; youth and future generations; and transforming global governance.
Guterres commended their pledge to advance human rights, the empowerment of women and girls, and acceleration towards achieving the SDGs.
To support the negotiations, he has published 11 policy briefs that build on proposals contained in Our Common Agenda.
“The Pact for the Future will be your contract with each other and with your people,” he said. “It represents your pledge to use all the tools at your disposal at the global level to solve problems – before those problems overwhelm us.”