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UN2020: Intergovernmental process gets a re-boot

Since January 2017, the UN2020 Initiative has facilitated discussions with many Member States, Secretariat officials and other UN stakeholders on the need for a successful, adequately prepared 75th anniversary commemoration in 2020, one that includes a meaningful process of stocktaking, review and strengthening for the organization.

In 2018 deliberations within the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Revitalization failed to generate consensus around language that (per the draft resolution text) “called for timely preparations for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations.” Following that disappointment, civil society organizations supporting UN2020 called for a separate, stand-alone resolution during the current 73rd session of the GA.

At a meeting with NGOs on December 5th , the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (left), Ecuador’s foreign minister, said that her “first priority” is the revitalization of the UN, and that she has begun consultations about the need to begin preparations for the 75th UN anniversary summit. Then, on January 15th in a General Assembly briefing to member states on her priorities for 2019, the PGA, Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed that she will soon appoint co-facilitators (i.e. two or more ambassadors) to engage with member states on details related to the theme, date and modalities of the commemoration event.

UN2020 campaigning is increasingly focused on generating support in national capitals and regional contexts around the world. Recent meetings have taken place in Doha, Qatar and at the November Paris Peace Forum. Upcoming events in February are scheduled at the PyeongChang (Korea) Global Peace Forum, the international conference on South-South cooperation in Buenos Aires, and at the annual gathering of the UN’s Commission on Social Development.

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