Summary Highlights:
UN75 People’s Forum for the UN We Need
May 14-15, 2020

With registered participants from 75 countries around the world, and over 600 attendees each of the two days, and many more joining through YouTube and Facebook Live, “We the peoples” sent a strong message to the UN and Member States that a stronger multilateral system is needed as a matter of urgency, and that the UN75 High Level Event on 21 September needs to be the catalyst for the transformative changes urgently needed to successfully address 21st century global challenges.

One of many highlights at the Forum was the release of the UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan for Global Action, entitled “Humanity at a Crossroads: Global Solutions for Global Challenges.”  H.E. Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly formally received the Declaration and Plan for Global Action and provided a statement that discussed the UN’s responses to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the evolving role of civil society at the United Nations.  

He said “I am heartened to see how strong the support is for multilateralism and how committed you are in the spirit of the UN Charter. Civil society has played indispensable roles in the creation of public awareness and political change in the past. You lay the groundwork for a better future for all.”  

The Declaration was also the subject of a video presentation at the virtual Forum. A second video reinforced the mission of the UN as seen from a young person’s perspective. 

The Together First Network also released a new report, “Stepping Stones to a Better Future,” that outlines ten practical reforms for a more open, inclusive, fair and effective UN system.  In addition to the report, the Together First ideas hub provides additional detail and background on these ten proposals. 

Four expert panels at the People’s Forum included a former Prime Minister, UN officials, ambassadors from the Republic of Korea and the European Union, and a range of civil society leaders, including from the UN2020 and Together First campaigns, discussing various aspects of multistakeholder partnerships and strategies for innovations in global governance.

Musical performances were provided by:

  1. Yagull – Kana Kamitsubo-Markovic, piano and Sasha Markovic, guitar.
  2. Rocky Dawuni – a Grammy nominated Afro Roots Reggae performer and activist
  3. SaulPaul – 2020 Grammy nominee and founder of the Be The Change Network

And final reflections at the Forum reviewed the UN Secretariat’s program for leveraging global dialogues on “The Future We Want and the UN We Need.” This segment featured a conversation with UN2020 Campaigner Jocelyn Jayasooria (Malaysia) and Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th Anniversary. Mr Hochschild appealed to all participants to visit the UN75 site and take the one-minute survey.

Another way to be involved in the UN75 process is to contribute your own stories, messages and good wishes for the future success of the UN. Access the online collection of testimonials at the Thank You UN book site.

Complete video recordings of each day of the UN75 People’s Forum for the UN We Need are available on YouTube.