Our Common Agenda: Report of the Secretary-General

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Antonio Guterres begins by stating that “We are at an inflection point in history,” with COVID-19 upending unending our world, threatening our health, destroying livelihoods, and deepening inequality. Six action areas are described to acceleration the Sustainable Development Goals: finding new ways to work together, a New Global Deal, ending the war on science, new measures of economic progress to complement GDP, encouraging meaningful youth engagement, and more effective and inclusive multilateralism.  Many other proposals are made, including a Global Vaccination Plan, a Special Envoy for Future Generations, a UN Youth Office in the Secretariat, a New Agenda for Peace, a Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality, a Summit of the Future to forge a new global consensus, a Futures laboratory to report on risks and megatrends, and a United Nations 2.0 with an expanded Security Council and streamlining General Assembly resolutions.

Six action areas for a common agenda:

  • Global Solidarity: finding new ways to work together, which must include a global vaccination plan against COVID-19, and bold steps to address “the triple crisis of climate disruption, biodiversity loss, and pollution destroying the planet”;
  •  Renewed Social Contract: a New Global Deal for rebuilding trust and embracing a comprehensive vision of human rights, delivering better public goods, national listening consultations in all countries, equal participation of women and girls;
  • Ending the War on Science: this “infodemic” is plaguing our world; all policy and budget decisions should be backed by science and expertise, with a global code of conduct to promote integrity in public information;
  • Measuring Economic Progress: now is the time to correct this “glaring blind spot” in how we measure prosperity and progress; new measures are need to complement GDP, which fails to capture the human and environmental destruction of some businesses.
  • Young People and Future Generations: now is the time to think for the long term and encourage meaningful youth engagement; a Declaration on Future Generations is proposed, as well as a regular Strategic Foresight and Global Risk Report.
  • Effective Multilateralism: a stronger, more networked, and inclusive multilateral system is needed, anchored within the UN; also proposes a new agenda for peace, stronger involvement of all relevant stakeholders, and a Global Digital Compact.

ALSO SEE the longer review of this ambitious report, with brief consideration of four earlier UN75 reports: a vision for next and future generations, two surveys of peoples’ priorities for the future, and a Sept 2020 General Assembly Declaration outlining 12 Commitments and requesting the Secretary-General’s report to “advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges”.

Find the full report here.

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