Turning Words Into Action

Global People’s Virtual Forum for the Future of the United Nations

Register here

8 December 2021

9:00 AM – 12 Noon New York time

For over two years, important global consultations in support of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations have taken place, leading to the adoption of the UN75 Political Declaration, and most recently, the release of the Secretary General’s Our Common Agenda report now under consideration by the General Assembly. Grassroots campaigns, youth leaders, parliamentarians, expert tracks and Member State interventions have taken place regarding the present and future needs which the United Nations will be expected to meet and the ways and means by which it can meet them. While the principles underpinning nearly all of these recommendations – solidarity, trust, coherence, human rights, justice, gender equality, inclusion, and sustainable development to name a few – are shared, the path forward remains elusive. Barriers to more effective international cooperation – political and social, institutional and conceptual – remain and must be addressed and overcome. This requires advocacy and action, a shared vision and diverse strategies to achieve that vision. Different actors in different contexts and different regions will play different parts, a true expression of common but differentiated responsibilities, in ushering in more effective global governance arrangements.

This 2021 People’s Forum will provide an opportunity for Civil Society to come together and strategize on how to further evaluate and advance the many progressive proposals from the Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report. Combining survey results with reflections from the Forum, this working meeting will aim to identify elements of an advocacy strategy that will prioritize those OCA proposals and initiatives to advance, as well as identify other key proposals and campaign initiatives that are not reflected in the OCA report.

The Global People’s Forum agenda below is organized in two parts: scene setting to ensure understanding on where we are at this moment, followed by break-out strategy sessions to help advance a coherent process.

9:00-9:10 Welcome 

  • Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Global Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion & former President of the UN General Assembly (73rd Session), C4UN Co-Chair

9:10-9:25 Keynote Address 

  • Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the General Assembly

9:25-10:15 Opening Panel – Where We Are

  • Nudhara Yusuf, GGIN Facilitator, Stimson Center (Moderator)
  • Michèle Griffin, Policy Advisor, Executive Office of the Secretary-General
  • H.E. Mr. Agustín Santos Maraver, Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations 
  • Beckie Malay, Convenor, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Philippines
  • Georgios Kostakos, Executive Director, Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS)
  • Javier Surasky, Governance for Development Coordinator, Cepei

10:15-10:25 Introduction of next steps for C4UN

  • Daniel Perell, C4UN Co-Chair

10:25 – 11:30 Thematic breakout sessions

Youth/Future Generations: Facilitated by Rory Mondshein, C4UN Communications Associate & Siddharth Satish, International Association for Political Science Students, USA & Canada

Civil Society EngagementFacilitated by Enyseh Teimory, UNA-UK/Together First & Andreas Bummel, Democracy Without Borders. The questions here are about how we can advance new strategies to ensure more effective civil society participation in global decision-making. This isn’t just talking about what we want, but it is to determine how we can get there. What is an effective advocacy plan for concrete proposals?

Climate/Environment Facilitated by Maja Groff, Climate Governance Commission & Shirleen Chin, Green Transparency. The questions here are how we can use the various climate and environmental emergencies to galvanize action towards a coherent global approach.

New Agenda for PeaceFacilitated by Nqobile Moyo, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict & Alyn Ware, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament. The Secretary-General has called for a new agenda for peace to advance six core areas that include reducing strategic risks, strengthening international foresight, investing in prevention & peacebuilding, and putting women & girls at the center of security policy.  How can this new agenda reduce geopolitical tensions and advance disarmament initiatives? 

Economic/Social InequalitiesFacilitated by Peter Kamalingin, Oxfam International & Sara Burke, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung NY. The Secretary-General has called for a renewed social contract anchored in human rights at the national level as the necessary foundation for us to work together. What measures need to be taken to accelerate progress on reducing gender, racial, economic and other inequalities to increase trust among and between countries at the regional and global levels? 

Roadmap to 2023 Summit of the Future & 2025 World Social SummitFacilitated by Richard Ponzio, Stimson Center & Daniel Perell, Baha’i International Community. Many see the proposed summits in 2023 and 2025 as the means to achieve the implementation of relevant OCA proposals through a more networked, inclusive and effective multilateralism. How can we build momentum towards it? What is needed and how do we connect the dots?

Guiding questions for the breakout group:

  • What are elements we think are good in the OCA on this theme?
  • What elements were missing?
  • What are some key priorities we would wish to highlight on this theme?
  • Are there initial next steps we think should be taken?
  • And please try and collate resources on this issue – could be helpful.

11:30-11:45 Break out session reports

  • Youth/Future Generations
  • Civil Society Engagement
  • Climate/Environment
  • New Agenda for Peace
  • Economic/Social Inequalities
  • Roadmap to 2023/2025

11:45-11:55 Conclusion

Maria Fernanda Espinosa & Daniel Perell, C4UN Co-Chairs

Background Materials: