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Building an Inclusive, Networked UN

UN Secretary-General António Guterres' call for networked and inclusive multilateralism is prompting a healthy and consequential rethink of global governance. Reforms in this area can help the UN system keep pace with a wide range of pressing international challenges.

QUITO/MADRID – Great-power competition, the troubling rise of xenophobic nationalism, existential environmental threats, and the ongoing COVID-19 onslaught present major global governance challenges. Against this backdrop, world leaders have tasked United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres with recommending steps to advance the far-reaching commitments contained in last year’s so-called UN75 Declaration, in which the General Assembly pledged to ensure “the future we want.”

The secretary-general’s much-anticipated report, Our Common Agenda, is due this September, and it would benefit from a follow-through vehicle to weigh the report’s recommendations and deliberate on and adopt his best ideas. We therefore support the proposal for a World Summit on Inclusive Global Governance involving a wide range of participants.

Since Guterres addressed the General Assembly’s 75th anniversary meeting last September, he has repeatedly emphasized the need for “networked multilateralism,” in which “the United Nations family, international financial institutions, regional organizations, trading blocs, and others work together more closely and more effectively.” And on April 24 this year, International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, he called for “inclusive multilateralism that draws on civil society, business, local and regional authorities, and others, and shares power more broadly and fairly.”

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