[WG-Strategy] Making the Most of the 2023 UN Summit of the Future

Anriette Esterhuysen anriette at apc.org
Thu Apr 21 06:36:57 EDT 2022

Dear MAG WG-strategy

I thought this would be of interest.


Anriette Esterhuysen -anriette at apc.org//anriette at gmail.com
Senior advisor global and regional internet governance
Association for Progressive Communications
www.apc.org  // afrisig.org

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Making the Most of the 2023 UN Summit of the Future
Date: 	Thu, 21 Apr 2022 08:06:57 +0000
From: 	Passblue <info at passblue.com>
Reply-To: 	Passblue <info at passblue.com>
To: 	Anriette Esterhuysen <anriette at apc.org>

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  Making the Most of the 2023 UN Summit of the Future

/By María Fernanda Espinosa  and  Danilo Turk on Apr 20, 2022 
UN General Assembly vote on suspension of Russia from the Human Rights 
Council on April 7, 2022/United Nations member states are considering a 
rare chance to review and improve global tools for managing such huge 
problems as the pandemic, climate change and conflicts at a Summit of 
the Future in September 2023, the essayists write, but work needs to 
begin now on the agenda. A majority of countries, above, successfully 
voting in the General Assembly to oust Russia from the Human Rights 
Council, April 7, 2022. JOHN PENNEY/PASSBLUE/

Combined with the growing fears of irreversible climate change and 
emerging new Covid-19 variants and subvariants, stands an ominous “third 
C”: conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has triggered a refugee 
crisis on a scale not witnessed in Europe since the end of World War II. 
At the same time, civil wars in Africa and the Middle East continue to 
wreak human suffering and environmental damage.

Yet a once-in-a-generation opportunity to review and dramatically 
improve global tools for managing such enormous challenges — a Summit of 
the Future — is under serious consideration for September 2023 by the 
United Nations’ 193 member states. As recommended last September by UN 
Secretary-General António Guterres in his groundbreaking report, Our 
Common Agenda 
the summit offers a unique opportunity to address the three Cs and 
related global challenges head-on.

The summit’s timely, ambitious agenda could, for starters, update the 
UN’s original, pioneering Agenda for Peace from 1992; recommend a global 
digital compact and a repurposed Trusteeship Council; and propose a 
special envoy and declaration on future generations, as well as a new 
head of a state-level UN-G20-World Bank-IMF platform for global economic 
governance. It could also redouble financing for development efforts by 
recommitting to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Thematic consultations on Our Common Agenda 
convened earlier this year by the president of the General Assembly, 
Abdulla Shahid, demonstrated varying degrees of support from UN member 
states for each of these potentially far-reaching recommendations. For 
such ideas to be ready for possible adoption at the September 2023 
summit, work needs to begin now on all the agreed strategic priorities. 
There is simply no time to lose, especially given the deepening cracks 
across the international security landscape.

The president of the General Assembly could organize consultations with 
civil society and other nongovernmental parties to discuss new and 
related proposals on inclusive, networked multilateralism and to share 
these suggestions with UN member states. The consultations would provide 
innovative recommendations to better adapt the UN to current challenges. 
The ideas proposed would be effectively complemented by the research and 
deliberations of the secretary-general’s new High-Level Advisory Board 
on Effective Multilateralism 

The consultations with civil society representatives will inform and 
support the preparatory work during the 18 months remaining until the 
2023 Summit, even if, as expected, the formal negotiations on its 
outcome document do not begin until early next year. This will be 
further reinforced by current efforts within the UN Secretariat to 
develop options for the new Agenda for Peace and the global digital compact.

Building on the active participation of experts from all regions in the 
thematic consultations, maximum transparency and full engagement of 
diverse voices will be critical to a successful summit. This entails 
ensuring that the intergovernmental negotiations welcome and deliberate 
on substantive inputs provided by nongovernmental organizations; opening 
formal negotiations to public observation; supporting national, regional 
and global forums in the run-up to the summit; and encouraging the 
involvement of civil society in the national delegations preparing for 
the summit.

Meaningful civil society engagement can reassure all stakeholders that 
decisions taken next year are well-informed, enjoy broad social 
ownership and generate a sense of co-responsibility in supporting their 
implementation. They can also help to dampen the current tense 
geopolitical climate and to overcome deep-seated differences between 

As a contribution to the September 2023 summit preparations, we were 
pleased to speak at the recent event, “Global Policy Dialogue on Global 
Governance Innovation: Beyond UN75 & Our Common Agenda,” which was 
organized by the Stimson Center, Academic Council on the UN System, 
Plataforma CIPÓ, Leiden University, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Global 
Challenges Foundation, Club de Madrid and Institute for Economics and 
Peace. And we shaped its forward-looking recommendations 
Alongside other nongovernmental partners and like-minded countries, we 
hope to contribute to a high-ambition coalition for the summit.

Among Guterres’s most significant concepts in Our Common Agenda are his 
calls for a new social contract, the second World Social Summit and a 
new global deal. Representing a vision for rethinking relations between 
states and their citizens, the social contract brings universal human 
rights to the fore in articulating the duty of state institutions to 
protect and empower a country’s citizens.

The second World Social Summit and the new global deal will help to 
realize this vision by providing a framework for accelerating the 
success of the Sustainable Development Goals and other actions for a 
broad, green and just transition from the pandemic. These conceptual 
breakthroughs reflect an emerging agenda based on moral and ethical 
values and merit serious attention at the 2023 summit of the future.

Coping better with the three Cs and other global challenges will require 
new conceptual tools, policy frameworks and institutional reforms to 
adapt our aging but essential United Nations organization to the current 
crises. The Summit of the Future offers an opportunity to renew global 
governance and face the collective moral and practical imperatives of 
our time.

By designing a dynamic, inclusive process that brings together the 
ideas, networks and capabilities of a wide range of people and 
institutions — governments, civil society, the private sector and 
international organizations — the pact for the future will meet today’s 
most urgent needs and aspirations and leave both a livable and a 
peaceful planet to future generations.

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