June 2020

UN 2.0 considers the kinds of enlightened global leadership and vision, norms, tools, institutions, and ethic of civic engagement required to better deal with pressing global challenges, from avoiding runaway climate change to preventing atrocities and reducing the disruptive potential of novel technologies.

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Drawing parallels to the 1944 Dumbarton Oaks conference that, in the midst of World War II and on the heels of the Great Depression, laid the groundwork for the successful 1945 San Francisco conference that founded the United Nations, the report argues for this September’s UN75 Summit and Declaration to lay the foundations for further innovating and strengthening global governance in the coming two-to-three critical years.

In presenting a bold yet practical roadmap for global renewal, UN 2.0 stresses the need for international organizations, starting with the United Nations, to harness creatively the ideas, networks, and capabilities of governments, civil society, and the private sector for effective global problem-solving.

Today, our collective task is to rekindle the orig­inal spirit of the founding of the United Nations and to build the smart coalitions needed to overcome the growing bottlenecks (whether institutional, political, financial, or psycholog­ical) to solving humanity’s inextricably global problems.

“UN 2.0 offers a path to renewal and a more inclusive and invigorated system of global governance, complementing and building on the UN75 Declaration to be endorsed by UN Member States.”

Foreword to UN 2.0 (2020), Ban Ki-moon and Gro Harlem Brundtland

In support of like-minded countries and civil society networks, such as those affil­iated with the intergovernmental Alliance for Multilateralism and the civil society-led networks UN2020 and Together First, this report offers a roadmap for strengthening global cooperation in the form of practical guidelines:

  • Orient near-term global governance innovation and strengthening agendas to the COVID-19 public health emergency and the broader socioeconomic recovery response.
  • Prioritize the adoption of and, if possible, augment the UN75 Declaration commitments made during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly (September 2020-September 2021).
  • Support actively a new Expert Advisory Group on Inclusive Global Governance.
  • Design and advocate a World Summit on Inclusive Global Governance, to be held no later than September 2023.

Joining the ideas, partnerships, and legitimacy of both traditional national and increasingly powerful transnational actors in common cause to address common goals will usher in a new, more inclusive era of global governance. Inspired by our forebears in San Francisco, we can continue to pull through adversity and chart a more hopeful course for all humanity.

“The international institutions built since 1945 to help nations manage and resolve their problems peacefully—and together—are being weakened to a degree not seen since their founding. Yet dealing with global issues calls for policies and actions beyond the writ or capabilities of any one state.”

Foreword to An Innovation Agenda for UN75 (2019), Madeleine Albright and Ibrahim Gambari

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