Responding to a call from the President of the UN General Assembly GloCo.ch submitted a statement on "Our Common Agenda", a report recently prepared by the UN Secretary General. In this statement, we call for strengthening multi-stakeholder participation in global policy and specifically for direct democracy on the global level.
When the UN Secretary General published his report on "Our Common Agenda" (link) last year, we were already delighted that the need for participation of civil society in global governance was so clearly visible. The United Nations is a classical international organization in the sense that its members are countries, which are represented by diplomats on behalf of their governments. Civil society is included in certain organizations of the UN system, but none of the organs of the UN itself. Recently, several activities open the work of the UN towards civil society, e.g. Arria-formula meetings of the Security Council, NGO relation offices. Now the President of the General Assembly invited to informal consultations in 5 topic areas in February and March 2022 (information here and here). Topic 5 is on "Enhancing international cooperation." and includes e.g. "engagement of civil society and other stakeholders across intergovernmental organs" - one of our focus areas. And, as the call was open more widely than to the usual UN-associated NGOs, we took our opportunity and submitted a statement. With our statement, Gloco.ch wants to emphasize the urgency for all people to have a voice and vote on global issues. Read our statement below.
Our Statement in full:
Global problems require global solutions.
We welcome the Secretary General’s proposal for “Our Common Agenda” and the PGA’s consultations, which are far more open than usual. We consider this participatory approach a key for “Enhancing international cooperation”. This is correctly recognized in paragraph 130 of the report. We call on the GA and the Member States to enhance multistakeholder participation with focus and ambition.
The UN have a unique role in today’s world for good global governance. No other organization has a similar reach (cf. paragraph 118). We emphasize the corresponding responsibility of the UN for “We the Peoples”, i.e. all of humanity, not only for the collective of Member States. Engagement with civil society organizations is one key to this (cf. paragraph 121). Yet, we propose to go further and give everyone, really everyone, a voice and a vote on global topics that affect all. We are striving to create a direct democracy on a global level enabling citizens around the world to engage in global decision-making. While this is ambitious, the evolving technology will connect us all and help us finding solutions for our common problems. We are looking forward to working with you on our common agenda.
Our call for action to you:
Contact us if you want to participate in our discussion on global democracy, the technology needed for it, or fostering our collaborations with other partners around the world.