Eminent Persons Open Letter on the
United Nations Summit of the Future
To Heads of State and Government, United Nations Member States:
Strengthening the United Nations: A Once in a Generation Opportunity
As former Presidents, Prime Ministers, senior UN officials and ministers of government we believe that the institutional framework of global governance with the United Nations at its core needs to be revitalised, and therefore call for strong political leadership to achieve a successful 2024 Summit of the Future.
In September 2020, many of us signed a similar call for a renewed multilateral system. Later that year, the UN75 Political Declaration mandated the Secretary-General to provide recommendations “to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges.” The ensuing Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report and subsequent General Assembly decisions recognize that the Summit of the Future (SOTF) in 2024 is a unique opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the outcomes agreed at the SDG Summit. The proposed 2025 World Social Summit will serve as further encouragement to strengthen multilateralism.
With only one year to go, governments must accelerate preparations for next year’s Summit, which aims to agree on a package of ambitious and necessary reforms – the proposed “Pact for the Future” and related instruments, including a Declaration on Future Generations, a Global Digital Compact, the New Agenda for Peace and a revitalized and stronger UN gender architecture to better respond to the serious setbacks for the rights of women and girls the world over.
People everywhere recognize the challenges and shortcomings of today’s international decision-making for collective action. Political leadership is required in the months ahead to centre the needs of humanity and our shared planet over internecine rivalries among Member States, recognizing that the Summit of the Future represents a vitally important, generational opportunity to deliver a balanced, yet far-reaching package of global governance transformations.
We therefore recommend that:
- The needs humanity faces today and in the future and the corresponding global governance structures required to meet those needs serve as the central point of deliberations, looking beyond short-term political objectives.
- The Scope of the Summit of the Future should allow for a strengthening (not backsliding or weakening) of existing international legal commitments and consultative processes.
- To ensure that the full potential of the Summit is widely socialized and better understood, civil society, the media and other stakeholders need to become more integrally involved in its preparations.
- The need for greater progress and institutional capacities to fulfil Agenda 2030 goals represent the foundation of SOTF preparations.
With only one year to prepare for a meaningful Summit, governments must remain strongly engaged, and scale up their commitments and collaboration, taking a long-term perspective to bring about a world that is more equitable, inclusive, secure and sustainable.
- María Elena Agüero, Secretary General of the Club de Madrid
- Amat Alsoswa, former Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States
- Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica (2018-2022)
- Celso Amorim, former Foreign Minister of Brazil
- Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- Anita Bhatia, former Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director at UN Women
- Valdis Birkavs, Prime Minister of Latvia (1993-1994)
- Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria
- Mayu Brizuela, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador
- Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of Switzerland (2007 and 2011)
- Judy Cheng-Hopkins, former UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support and former UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees
- Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica (2010-2014)
- Ertharin Cousin, former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme
- Kathleen Cravero, former Assistant Secretary General for Conflict Prevention and Recovery, UNDP
- Maria Feranda Espinosa, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and former Foreign Affairs Minister of Ecuador
- Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- Cristina Gallach, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean of Spain
- Ibrahim Gambari, former Foreign Minister of Nigeria and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
- Mbaranga Gasarabwe, former Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security for the United Nations
- Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania (2009-2019)
- Alfred Gusenbauer, Chancellor of Austria (2007-2008)
- Seung-Soo Han, Prime Minister of the Rep. of Korea (2008-2009)
- Ameerah Haq, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support
- Jane Holl Lute, former UN Assistant-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support and Peacebuilding Support Office
- Mehdi Jomaa, Prime Minister of Tunisia (2014-2015)
- Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia (2010-2015)
- Rima Khalaf, former Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan and former UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
- Horst Köhler, President of Germany (2004-2010)
- Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005)
- Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile (2000-2006)
- Susana Malcorra, former Minister of Foreign Affairs & Worship of Argentina and former Chief of Staff for the Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Purmina Mane, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- Moussa Mara, former Prime Minister of Mali
- Carolyn McAskie, former UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support
- Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania (1997-2002)
- James Michel, President of Seychelles (2004-2016)
- Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, former Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women and former Deputy President of South Africa
- José Antonio Ocampo, former UN Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs and former Finance Minister of Colombia
- Flavia Pansieri, former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Andres Pastrana, President of Colombia (1998-2002)
- Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
- José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of Spain (2004-2011)
- Petre Petre, Prime Minister of Romania (1989-1991)
- Isabel Saint Malo, former Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama
- Fatiha Serour, former UN Deputy Special Representative and Assistant Secretary-General in Somalia
- Jigmi Yoser Thinley, Prime Minister of Buthan (2008-2013)
- Bettina Tucci, former Assistant Secretary-General and Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, at the Management Department of the United Nations
- Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia (2007-2012)
- Cassam Uteem, President of Mauritius (1992-2002)
- Margot Wallstrom, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden and former UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
- Erna Witoelar, former Minister of Human Settlements and Regional Development, Indonesia
- Viktor Yuschchenko, President of Ukraine (2005-2010)
- Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia (2011-2014)