UNGA: Agreements on Our Common Agenda amongst other issues.

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UNGA
United Nations Common Agenda

New York, 12 December 2021(TDI): A tweet was posted by the United Nations General Assembly President, Abdullah Shahid where he expressed delight over the meeting with the permanent representative of Australia, H.E. Ambassador Mitch Fifield.

This was an exciting meeting set forward to discuss the “Our Common Agenda”, gender, vaccines, and the PGAYouth Fellowship; the Secretary also thanked Australia for its contribution and support for the priorities set forth with the 76th session of the UN general assembly.

 

An insight into the vision of the Common Agenda proposed by the UNGA Secretary-General 

Commons Agenda Logo
United Nations Common Agenda logo

This agenda is about UN Secretary General’s views on the ongoing vision of multilateralism and the prospects of what diplomacy will shape to be in the next 25 years. Earlier in September during the 75th session of the General Assembly, this agenda was introduced to the world by the UN Secretary-General.

To recall, the address made by the Secretary-General in September which inducted this agenda was introduced outlining the stressors caused to the international community with the advent of COVID19. Several other important factors such as climate action were also highlighted along with the deterioration of biodiversity. He specifically highlighted the need for greater bilateral efforts to tackle these issues.

He further described the lack of check on ongoing increasing inequalities within the world, which continues to produce tender fault lines within the world across the socio-economic world. Specifically highlighting the role of technology in this matter as he stated, “Technology is moving ahead without guard rails to protect us from its unforeseen consequences”.

The long-term tradition which the international community usually followed for decades, that being the realists perspective of concentrating on immediate threats was highlighted.

He express the need for a change in perspectives that the international community needed to adopt, to concentrate more on the need to concentrate on long-term consequences than just the ones that are immediately visible. A prominent perspective, as climate change has only reached now due to the perspective of concentrating on immediate effects rather than long-term ones.

Secretary-General of the UN  presented his Common agenda highlighting four specific categories that formed the basis of his proposal, these being: building stronger global governance, strengthening the social contract, prioritizing the future along creating a United Nations that could accommodate this new era.

Secretary-General has also highlighted the failure of current multilateral efforts to preserve the security of the precious golds of the earth: outer space, the oceans, wilderness of the Antarctic, and the atmosphere.

While pointing out the failures of the world to fully vaccinate the world, he is of the view that the virus had the ability to revolve around unvaccinated individuals. The longer we have such unvaccinated people, there was a lingering threat for increasingly dangerous variants to develop.

Further, he has made the proposal to set forward a new agenda that could more effectively tackle these new issues presented to the human race. It was proposed to have more high-level dialogues to develop ways of tackling these issues more efficiently, he termed this as “The New Agenda of Peace”

This agenda for peace will include according to the secretary-general, ways to create more strategic techniques to address issues of nuclear arms, violence, conflict, gender equality, etc.

He later continued his address laying specific emphasis on the issue of climate change goals for 2030. He pointed out that a Global Digital Compact can be established to ensure the increasing developments of technology can be used to tackle the ongoing issues presented in the world today.

He also added there was a need to have this agenda carried forward with increased state participation as well as the civil society and the non-state actors within the international community. Furthermore, he urged states to identify common interests and create policies for climate change in this light.

Moreover, topics regarding the links in the armor of the financial situation of the world were brought forwards, especially in connection to the crippling GDP of Sub-Saharan African states. Meanwhile, this problem was only exaggerated when there are insufficient finances being contributed to the ongoing problem of climate change.

He highlighted the need for an increased number of bilateral treaties to take place especially the countries that were members of ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) as well as members of the G20 Summit and the United Nations.

He also emphasized the need to tackle the ongoing issues of exploitative financial institutions within the world which were deepening the debt crisis more than half the developing countries were facing in the world today.

He concluded the introduction of his vision to the Commons Agenda with a concluding remark stating COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) was a vital step to fight global warming, and further confirmed his commitment to ensuring all the platforms committed to resolving issues around the financial crisis and climate change promise successes.

Highlighting the importance of the youth that will inherit this world, he shared his plan to appoint a special envoy for this very purpose as well as a new proposal to upgrade the National Youth Office.

This upgrade promises greater engagement with the youth, it will ensure a provision of training and skill-building workshops which will be a prominent feature in the Transforming Education Summit scheduled to happen in the following year. It is intended to increase learning opportunities to 1.8 billion people within the youth category.

It was also said that the Futures Lab with the help of research collected by academic groups, governments, and civil society is to work to foresee ongoing crises and create policies to tackle these issues along with future issues.

Lastly, in his vision of the Common Agenda, the secretary-general proposed the establishment of a platform for emergency global crisis situations that would bring forwards leaders of different member states.

An Insight into the PGA Youth Fellowship

This initiative was launched by the president of the UN General Assembly Abdullah Shahid in November of 2021. The backbone of this program lays in promoting youth engagement opportunities.

Baring the support of member states, 6 lucky young diplomats, this program will benefit following the remainder of the General Assembly’s 76th session.

The fellowship primarily aims to benefit countries that are largely underrepresented at the UN, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) as well as Land Locked Countries (LLDCs) along with Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

This fellowship will set forth to give an opportunity to these diplomats to garner a greater understanding of the inner workings of the United Nations. A sublime opportunity to enhance international diplomacy and inclusiveness for such states.

The young diplomats will be given the opportunity to hone their skills and understanding under the mentorship of senior diplomats.

Moreover, the fellowship will also be on a rotational basis in collaboration with specialized Un bodies, the secretariat, and UN-funded programs.

They will garner a first-hand experience into the backdrop of the working of the global governance organization and how it tackles multiple issues such as climate change, humanitarian assistance, reform and etc.

The selection will take place on the basis of one member state being nominated who will represent and embody the spirit of the UN system as well as the civil society organization. The selected member will be responsible for assessing potential candidates, ensuring regional representation and gender representation are taken into consideration. 

Reflections

Several important steps have taken place through the initiatives set forth by the Secretary-General of the United Nations earlier this year. It is a delight to see such inclusive steps are being taken by the UNGA, and are also being supported by member states. Such efforts will most likely prove to promote many opportunities for a better future.

 

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