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UN2020 – Building an agenda for a renewed United Nations

Global Call to Action.


The year 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. This provides a much-needed opportunity for system-wide stocktaking, strengthening and renewal.


The pillars of the UN and of the Charter – Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development – must be strengthened. The UN2020 Initiative calls for government leaders and civil society to come together for an anniversary of progress and revitalization for the organization.


We are deeply concerned about a United Nations system that is under-resourced, under attack and unable to respond adequately to the many challenges facing humanity. These include:


  • Increasing injustice and political violence
  • Persistent poverty and growing inequality
  • Threats to the sustainability of global ecosystems


There is an urgent need to develop the kind of UN system that is required to meet the challenges of this century, and to avoid repeating the catastrophic failures of the last century. A successful 75th anniversary summit on United Nations renewal, innovation and reform (combined with other multilateral processes and initiatives) can be a catalyst for these necessary improvements.


Notwithstanding current dangers and challenges, we believe the elements that can contribute to making significant progress are largely in place, and have enormous potential. Consider that a great many intergovernmental processes and negotiations will undertake “plus 5” anniversaries, assessments and institutional reviews at or near the time of an anticipated 2020 leaders’ summit. The addition of an adequately prepared, forward-looking leaders’ summit can leverage synergies and complementarities among and between these major UN processes, and reinforce vitally needed political will for change.


The UN’s 50th anniversary in 1995 followed the end of the Cold War and, despite tremendous efforts to make the 50th a moment for reforming and strengthening the UN and Charter, very little was accomplished. However, in 2005 the 60th anniversary of the United Nations was the occasion for adoption of a significant package of reforms and innovations. In 2015, the 70th anniversary of the UN coincided with the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


The United Nations General Assembly has achieved a great deal through inclusive processes and well-prepared summits. Civil society organizations have been indispensable proponents and partners. 2020 should be a time when all UN stakeholders contribute to an honest stocktaking and renewal, in order to strengthen the international legal and institutional order established under the Charter.


We therefore call for effective and inclusive preparatory processes for a UN2020 summit that will be a catalyst for the renewal and strengthening of the United Nations. We call for national, regional and global processes across all sectors, involving all stakeholders and relevant international organizations, leading to a renewed, innovative and reformed United Nations system that will be capable of addressing the global challenges of the 21st Century.


Join the UN2020 Global Call to Action: Building an agenda for a renewed United Nations

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