Making the United Nations fit for the future – the Summit of the Future

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Summit of the Future” - Logo, © UN

19.02.2024 - Article

How can young people be better integrated into global decision-making processes? How can the UN respond even better to global shocks and crises? And how should the digital space be shaped in the future? The United Nations Summit of the Future hopes to find answers to these and many other questions.

“Multilateral solutions for a better tomorrow” – that’s the motto of the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place in New York on 22 and 23 September 2024 as part of the 79th session of the UN General Assembly. The aim of the Summit is to adopt a Pact for the Future that will take up pressing international issues, accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda and prompt reforms of various parts of the UN system.

The road to the Summit of the Future

In 2020, the UN member states asked the Secretary-General for his recommendations on how to address current and future global challenges, in the form of a “common agenda”. In response, in September 2021, the Secretary-General presented the report Our Common Agenda , which contained, among other things, a proposal for a Summit of the Future.

What issues will the Summit of the Future be looking at?

  1. Future Generations: How can the international community safeguard the interests not only of present but also of future generations?
  2. Emergency Platform: How can the United Nations respond in a more structured and coordinated way to significant global shocks and crises?
  3. Youth Engagement: How can young people be better integrated into global decision-making processes?
  4. Beyond GDP: How can metrics underpinning political decision-making be better adapted to the complex needs of humans and of the planet?
  5. Global Digital Compact: How can we shape the digital space in a positive way for humankind, preserving human rights and enabling the attainment of the SDGs?
  6. Reform of the International Financial Architecture: How can the international financial system be shaped more fairly?
  7. Outer Space Dialogue: How can space be utilised for the benefit of all states and risks reduced?
  8. Integrity of Public Information: How can the integrity of publicly accessible information be ensured in the digital sphere?
  9. New Agenda for Peace (NA4P): How can the collective security system be adapted to preserve or restore peace now and in the future?
  10. Education: How can universal education be ensured and have a transforming impact?
  11. UN 2.0: How can the United Nations reform internally in order to have a better impact in the world?

Link to the policy briefs: www.un.org

On 18 April 2023, the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism appointed to implement Our Common Agenda, co-chaired by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia) and Stefan Löfven (Sweden), presented its own report containing 64 concrete recommendations for reforming multilateralism.

Link to multilateralism report: https://highleveladvisoryboard.org

Germany is engaged in preparing for the Summit of the Future

Together with Namibia, Germany has an important role in the run-up: as co-facilitators, we are preparing the Summit together. That means that we and our Namibian colleagues are holding countless talks in the background, with the aim of establishing a consensus on the content of the Pact for the Future that satisfies all states. One important aspect is to involve civil-society actors and other stakeholders. On 1 September 2023, in an interim outcome, the UN General Assembly adopted a decision on the basic structure of the Summit and of the Pact.

The Foreign Ministers of the UN member states met in September 2023 to prepare for the Summit. Click here to read Foreign Minister Baerbock’s speech on that occasion:

Further information on the United Nations Summit of the Future can be found here.


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