Un an après avoir présenté « Notre Programme commun », le Secrétaire général mise sur le Sommet de l’avenir et son futur pacte intergouvernemental
On trouvera, ci-après, le texte de l’allocution bilingue du Secrétaire général de l’ONU, M. António Guterres, prononcée lors de la séance de l’Assemblée générale consacrée à « Notre Programme commun », à New York, aujourd’hui:
Mr. President of the General Assembly, may I first of all express my enormous gratitude and appreciation for what has been your determined and effective leadership in the conduct of this process. I must confess I never expected things to move so wellm and this was entirely due to your leadership and to the cooperation of all Member States. So, please accept my thanks and I think that your direction of this process has been the most important condition for the success of the process.
It’s almost a year since I presented the report on Our Common Agenda. During that year, the need for the proposals in the report has only increased. In addition to the triple planetary crisis of climate breakdown, air pollution and biodiversity loss, and the immense suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts are raging around the world.
The ripple effects of the war in Ukraine have contributed to surging food and energy prices that are affecting dramatically the developing countries in particular.
The negotiations that led to the agreements reached in Istanbul last month progressively had an impact on global markets bringing the prices of food and fertilizer products down, close to levels they had been at before the war, levels that were already substantially high.
But it is important to understand that there is a difference in relation to the quotations published, relative to the way the different exchanges work and the prices at the bakery. There is a long way between the two, in time, and also there are supply chain disruptions, high costs of transportation, high costs of energy, which of course will make the effective reduction that we are witnessing in the global prices of food products and fertilizers. There will be a long time for them to be reflected in the consumers tables. We should have no illusions about that - the efforts and the pressure over societies - especially in the developing world, will remain very high.
And indeed, developing countries are being squeezed dry. Without resources to invest in recovery from the pandemic and deal with the impact of the war, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals have been thrown further off course.
The global economic forecast is perilous. Four countries have already defaulted on their debts; many others face the risk of default. Financing for development is drying up, or being diverted elsewhere. Meanwhile, overwhelming evidence of climate catastrophe is mounting by the day. Half of humanity is now in the danger zone from drought, heatwaves, floods, wildfires and other extreme climate conditions. And yet, global greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest levels in human history – and rising.
Geopolitical competition has intensified. The risk of nuclear confrontation is now more acute than it has been in decades. New variants of COVID-19 are again disrupting lives and livelihoods, and setting back global recovery. And the suffering in the Horn of Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Haiti and many other places continues without cease. Global shocks are unabated and growing; we don’t know where the next one will come from. Business as usual will almost certainly guarantee a future of constant crises and devastating risks.
The report provides a framework and an opportunity to unite the international community around solutions to the situation. Our Common Agenda was intended as a wake-up call. One year on, we must ask ourselves: have we woken up?
Permettez-moi aujourd’hui de vous présenter les progrès réalisés dans la mise en œuvre des propositions figurant dans Notre Programme Commun.
Ce rapport vise d’abord et avant tout à revitaliser les objectifs de développement durable, à nous remettre sur la bonne voie pour favoriser la croissance durable et la résilience, et ce dans le contexte très difficile d’aujourd’hui. Le rapport va au-delà des objectifs de développement durable, en abordant les défis ainsi que les lacunes des cadres multilatéraux qui ont pris de l’ampleur depuis 2015.
Les idées contenues dans le rapport sont divisées en quatre grandes catégories: tout d’abord, un nouveau pacte mondial –a new global deal- pour répartir autrement le pouvoir, les ressources et refonder les bases des contrats sociaux; une grande place pour l’avenir, avec des propositions pour renforcer la participation des jeunes et prendre en compte les générations futures dans les décisions politiques; des efforts pour fournir davantage de biens publics et mieux gérer les chocs et les crises mondiales; et enfin, la modernisation de l’ONU pour nous donner les moyens de mieux aider les États à concevoir et appliquer des solutions multilatérales.
Je tiens à vous remercier –tous les États Membres– de votre engagement et de l’appui que vous avez apporté aux discussions sur le rapport. Je remercie également les 166 pays qui se sont portés coauteurs de la résolution de l’Assemblée générale sur la suite à donner au rapport. Et je réaffirme ma gratitude au Président de l’Assemblée générale qui a organisé vingt débats sur tous les aspects du rapport. Et enfin, je veux remercier les nombreux États Membres qui ont fait part de leurs observations, de leurs analyses et de leurs idées.
Les États ne soutiennent pas chaque détail des propositions que nous leur avons soumises, mais les débats ont permis de trouver un terrain d’entente sur de nombreux points. Et en définitive, une idée fait consensus: nous devons avancer ensemble sans plus tarder dans la mise en œuvre de Notre Programme commun, basé sur un accord des États Membres.
I am pleased to see that work has started on many of the proposals. The United Nations system is moving forward on issues on which you have given us a green light, with a division of labour in place.
For example, we are coordinating action on the proposals relating to jobs and social protection through the Global Accelerator. This brings together the combined capacities of the UN system, with a key role for the International Labour Organization. We have made progress in developing an approach that goes beyond Gross Domestic Product, putting a value on sustainability, equality and resilience. We will share a proposal on this in due course.
We are conducting a review of the UN system’s ability to deliver on gender equality across all its mandates and programmes. And preparations are well advanced for the Transforming Education Summit in September – the largest-ever gathering of learners and teachers. The Transforming Education Summit will be an opportunity to mobilize ambition, action, solidarity and solutions; to reimagine education systems fit for the future; and to generate fresh momentum for SDG4 and the 2030 Agenda overall. And I believe that everybody agrees that the pre-Summit was a remarkable success with the extremely meaningful participation of all Member States. We are also moving forward where we can, on some of the other ideas in the report.
During the upcoming session of the General Assembly, in consultation with Member States, I will present my view on the reform the international financial architecture to tackle historic weaknesses and inequalities. This will include short-term actions to provide immediate relief to highly-indebted developing countries, and long-term measures to guarantee resilience and debt sustainability. This will be critical to pave the way towards the summit and deliver concrete results, to take forward the New Global Deal and for developing countries to invest in the 2030 Agenda.
Given the seriousness of the global socio-economic outlook, I also intend to explore with Member States a timeline for the proposed Biennial Summit between the members of the G20, ECOSOC, International Financial Institutions, and myself as Secretary-General with an inclusive approach. We are also developing measures to ensure legal identity for all, and end statelessness; and working on a roadmap for the development and effective implementation of international law. Efforts are ongoing to re-establish the Scientific Advisory Mechanism. We are advancing the internal transformation towards a UN 2.0.
Our five agendas for change across the UN family are fostering a new culture and new capabilities in data, digital, innovation, behavioural science, and strategic foresight. We are launching new initiatives to unleash the potential of data for people, planet and the SDGs. A UN Behavioural Science Week engaged thousands of people across the UN, Member States, and academia on how to translate scientific method into impact for the people we serve. We are also advancing inter-agency consultations on how to strengthen long-term outcomes in our programmes, including through a Futures Lab.
You, the Member States, are also hard at work. Last week the General Assembly adopted a historic resolution declaring the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, demonstrating your commitment to this important goal. In areas that require immediate action, the co-facilitators appointed by the President of the General Assembly are developing proposals. I look forward to hearing their perspectives.
Consultations are well underway on a proposed Youth Office, under the stewardship of the Permanent Representatives of Egypt and Guyana. Establishing this office will send a clear signal to young people that the United Nations wants them to have a strong voice in decisions that will affect their futures. The Permanent Representatives of the Netherlands and Fiji are developing an elements paper for a Declaration for Future Generations –a major step towards the proposed Summit of the Future. The Permanent Representatives of New Zealand and Oman are leading negotiations on the modalities resolution that would enable that the Summit of the Future to take place.
I would now like to speak in some detail about the Summit of the Future. This summit is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvigorate global action, recommit to fundamental principles, and further develop the frameworks of multilateralism so they are fit for the future. This summit should maximise the booster effect for the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The Summit of the Future will also be the moment to agree on concrete solutions to challenges that have emerged or grown since 2015.
The outcome of a successful Summit of the Future will, I hope, be an inter-governmentally negotiated Leaders’ Pact for the Future. Heads of State and government will be able to commit to this Pact at the High- Level week of the General Assembly. At the heart of this Pact should be a commitment to reinvigorate the multilateral system and make it fit for the challenges of today and tomorrow. It must reaffirm our fundamental belief in the Charter of the United Nations. And it should re-focus our efforts on meeting our existing commitments in the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement; addressing threats to international peace and security; and realizing our ambitions on human rights, international justice, and gender equality.
The Pact for the Future must demonstrate to the world that while we face daunting challenges, we can overcome them with co-operation, compromise and global solidarity. We must show that through an emphasis on our shared humanity and a strengthened multilateral system, we can put the world on a better path. Member States will decide on the issues to be included in the Pact for the Future.
Allow me today to set out several proposed tracks and possible outcomes. First, I hope to submit for your consideration a New Agenda for Peace. This is a direct response to your request in the UN 75 Declaration to promote peace; better address, and I quote: “all forms and domains of threats”; and enhance the UN toolbox to prevent the outbreak and escalation of hostilities on land, at sea, in space and in cyberspace. The broad support from Member States for this important track reflects the urgency with which we need to collectively address traditional and emerging threats to peace and security.
Second, a Global Digital Compact, based on shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future. I have asked my new Tech Envoy to support you in agreeing on the level of ambition for such a Compact. This could include connecting those not yet connected; equitable use of digital public goods; avoiding fragmentation of the internet; providing people with options for how their data is used; safeguarding human rights in digital spaces; introducing accountability for disinformation and misleading content; and aligning the regulation of artificial intelligence with our universally shared values.
Third, a Declaration on Future Generations. This would include a commitment to thinking and acting now on behalf of future generations; establishing mechanisms to take their interests and needs into account; and making full use of our capacity to foresee future risks and impacts. I hope we can build on the progress made by the Permanent Representatives of the Netherlands and Fiji, and that agreement will be reached at the Summit to appoint an Envoy for Future Generations.
Fourth, outer space. I hope the Summit will achieve a high-level political agreement on the peaceful, secure and sustainable use of this vital domain. This could include a commitment to negotiate an international instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space; common principles for the governance of outer space activities; and measures to accelerate agreement on the removal of space debris, and to coordinate space traffic. This track would make full use of existing intergovernmental processes mandated to deal with outer space, without duplicating them.
Fifth, the Emergency Platform. The world has paid a high price for our ad hoc responses to recent global shocks, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine. No single organization exists to gather stakeholders in the event of such a global crisis. The United Nations is the only organization that could fulfil this role. In recent weeks, we convened parties to conflict, the shipping industry, insurance firms, and chambers of commerce around the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Despite this success, we do not have yet the mechanisms we need. I hope Member States will agree on arrangements to manage future global crises in a fast and coordinated way.
While my report describes this as an Emergency Platform, the title is far less important than the purpose. We are open to consider flexible and with variable geometry in order to make sure that we are able to address the different kinds of crises the world will be facing. I will provide further thinking on this to you in the coming months.
Sixth, more effective multilateral arrangements. The High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism is working on recommendations on some of the issues I have mentioned, and many more. The board is independent. Its recommendations will be offered as inputs, and I hope you will consider taking them forward to the Summit of the Future. I will leave the board’s co-chairs, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Stefan Löfven, to brief you on their work later today.
In addition to these tracks, I hope you will consider including several other issues in the Pact for the Future, on grounds of their importance. These include a general commitment to integrity in public information; a commitment to ensuring meaningful youth engagement at the United Nations; and a commitment to metrics that go beyond Gross Domestic Product and take vulnerability into account.
While these ideas may not require full preparatory tracks, I hope the Summit outcome will reflect our collective progress. Human rights and gender equality will be cross-cutting themes of the Summit of the Future, with a consistent focus on a renewed social contract that includes marginalized groups and leaves no-one behind. The 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights next year will be an opportunity for fresh thinking to feed into the Summit of the Future.
The Summit could also consider the specific human rights proposals included in Our Common Agenda, from safeguarding human rights in digital spaces, to the five transformative measures for gender equality. The Pact for the Future will be inter-governmentally negotiated and agreed. But multistakeholder engagement will be essential on many of these issues. For example, a Global Digital Compact will be meaningless without the input of technology companies and scientists. The summit outcomes will be strengthened by the views of civil society, academia, the private sector, local and regional government, and others. Inclusion of a wide range of voices is not only the right thing to do, but also the only way we will arrive to meaningful solutions to be considered by Member States in the intergovernmental process.
In closing, allow me to say a few words about the links between the proposed Summit of the Future, and the second SDG Summit. The SDG Summit will take place here in New York at the midpoint of implementation of the 2030 Agenda next year. It will enable the global community to review progress on the SDGs, recommend policies, and launch initiatives to regain momentum and accelerate implementation. In a word, to rescue the SDGs.
We see these two meetings as twin summits, with the same overall objective: to create conditions for a sustainable, equitable and inclusive future. The summit of the future must lift the outcomes of the SDG summit towards 2030 and beyond. Together with the Paris Agreement, these summits are our last, best chance to deliver on people’s demand for a multilateral system that manages and solves global challenges in a timely, effective and fair way.
Every day we wait leads us closer to a global breakdown – both physical and political. But while the problems before us are unprecedented, they are not insurmountable. Our Common Agenda attempts to correct our course, guided by the United Nations Charter, to build the safer, more resilient and inclusive world set out in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.