The Crisis in Multilateralism and the Road to 2020

“Multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most.” – Secretary-General António Guterres, 25 September 2018

Multilateralism – the idea of addressing global problems through greater international cooperation – is in crisis. In recent years, nationalist and authoritarian political forces have diminished the political space required for a better-functioning multilateral system.

The year 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. It will also be the occasion for several multi-year reviews of major treaties and processes, and a time to take stock of the UN’s role in the world, under the theme “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism.”

The UN2020 initiative works to support a successful 75th anniversary Summit by (a) convening meetings with United Nations delegations, civil society and secretariat officials; (b) serving as an informal clearinghouse for international organizations, civil society networks and supportive governments around the world that collaborate to hold events, information briefings and dialogues on how the international community can best engage with the 2020 opportunity.

Recent Outreach Activities

May 2019, New York – Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference:
Side event “Addressing Multilateralism in Crisis: Linking non-proliferation, disarmament and the wider peace agenda on the road to 2020.”

April 2019, Belgrade – CIVICUS International Civil Society Week:
Buzz Group “Transforming the United Nations in the 21st Century.”

March 2019, Buenos Aires – Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation:
Side event “The Power of South-South Cooperation to Strengthen Multilateralism.”

February 2019, New York – Commission on Social Development:
Side Event “Multilateralism as an essential tool to reduce inequality within and among countries (SDG 10)”

February 2019, PyeongChang Global Peace Forum:
→“Global Call to Action: UN2020 – Building an agenda for a renewed United Nations.”
→ “The PyeongChang Declaration for Peace 2019 – Sustainable Future for All: Ending War, Guaranteeing Peace.”

October 2018, Punta Cana – World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA) 42nd Plenary Assembly:
Resolution 42/9/B11 – “The 75th Anniversary as an Opportunity to Strengthen the United Nations System.”

Resolutions, Declarations & Other Statements of Support

May 2019 – UNGA Resolution on modalities for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.

May 2019Open letter to the Co-Facilitators leading the intergovernmental negotiations on the 75th anniversary modalities resolution. The letter, endorsed by over 150 civil society organizations worldwide, calls for meaningful engagement of civil society in the 75th anniversary Summit and its preparatory process.

November 2018Open letter to the President of the General Assembly urging her to initiate a General Assembly process and resolution for a dedicated 75th anniversary Summit for the United Nations.

August 2018, New York – The 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference Outcome Document called upon member states to “Advance people-centered multilateralism by developing proposals to revitalize the United Nations on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary in 2020.”

Upcoming Events

June 2019, Washington – Global Policy Dialogue on Global Security, Justice and Economic Governance Institutions hosted by Stimson, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Global Challenges Foundation and One Earth Future Foundation.

June 2019, Vancouver – Women Deliver Conference: Presentation of UN2020 at the Soroptimist International booth.

July 2019, New York – Side events during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

August 2019, Salt Lake City – Plenary Session on the Commemoration of the 75th anniversary at the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference.

September 2019, New York – Commemoration of International Day of Peace & Global Week of Action for Peace, Planet and People (21-27 Sept).

November 2019, Paris – UN2020 participation, in partnership with Together First, at the Paris Peace Forum

Get Involved! Planning and participation are also facilitated through regular global update videoconferences. For further information or to become involved, contact [email protected].