Will the UN-75 Declaration Signify More Than a Birthday Party?

Negotiations on a declaration to mark the UN’s 75th birthday could show ways to improve multilateral governance to make the anniversary truly meaningful to humanity.

by Richard Ponzio. Read more on PassBlue.

  • Strengthen the International Criminal Court (ICC) and promote interim steps toward the Rome Statue’s universal ratification, as recommended by the Washington dialogue. The ICC’s many perceived flaws merit urgent attention, including its inability to prosecute, its vulnerability to political pressure from powerful countries, some questionable or weak jurisprudence, being outside the UN system and even a lack of cultural awareness of the court. With measures to tackle these shortcomings, an outreach campaign by diverse countries and civil society groups — buttressed by the future UN-75 declaration — could help promote progress toward widening acceptance of the Court’s jurisdiction.
  • Adopt a whole-of-ecosystem approach by linking climate governance to other environmental agreements, protocols and conventions, as proposed at the Seoul dialogue with former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. An ecosystem-wide approach will harmonize myriad international environmental agreements and state and nonstate parties. Enhanced coordination should begin with the four major environmental conventions (on climate change, biodiversity, combating desertification and law of the sea), but then extend to the more than 300 other existing environmental agreements (such as dealing with ozone depletion, pollution, land and water). This is the aim of current negotiations toward a new Global Pact for the Environment, which should also receive a boost from UN-75 deliberations.
  • Create a G20+ configuration as part of a new framework for global economic cooperation, as discussed at last November’s dialogue held at the World Bank. Every two years at UN headquarters, the G20 forum should engage the other 173 member countries of the world body to ensure greater institutionalized coordination with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and others and prioritize better on crucial issues for the world economy. This new G20+ configuration could also strive to prevent the spread of cross-border financial shocks, promote the reduction of economic inequality and foster the inclusive growth that is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Independent Coverage the United Nations. A project of The New School’s Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs, supported by the Carnegie Corporation.

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