Together First and UN2020 host UN75 People’s Forum

By Together First on 21st May, 2020
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From the 14-15 May, Together First and UN2020 co-hosted the UN75 People’s Forum, bringing together more than 600 individuals, civil society experts, UN officials and other stakeholders from around the world to discuss ‘the future we want, the UN we need’.

The theme of the two-day event was advancing people-centred multilateralism, with a focus on bringing people and organisations together to address global risks as well as the opportunities for revitalising the UN during its 75th anniversary year. 

Highlights of the event included the launch of the Together First report, “Stepping stones for a better future” and the presentation of the “People’s Declaration” to the President of the General Assembly. This declaration, convened by UN2020 with the support of Together First, puts forward a civil society perspective on the nature of the transformation our global system needs to undergo.

Together First launch ‘To Do List’  for global leaders 

During the People’s Forum, Together First launched our new report Stepping Stones for a better future. 

The outcome of an 18 month long consultation process, the report sets out 10 concrete ideas for world leaders who are serious about building back better.

Based on this “to do list”, Together First hosted a panel discussion on innovative proposals to promote civic space within the UN system.  

Together First’s Communications Officer, Enyseh Teimory, was joined by Gro Harlem Brundtland of The Elders, Angela Kane, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, Civicus, and Maher Nasser, Director, Outreach Division of United Nations Department of Global Communications.

The panellists addressed the state of civil society's role at the United Nations, reiterating the vital importance of our multilateral institutions, whilst thoughtfully and constructively addressing the areas where change can and should take place. 

Mandeep Tiwana called for a high-level focal point for civil society at the United Nations, and Angela Kane highlighted the vital need for institutions such as the UN to work towards achieving better inclusivity.

When asked what civil society means to them, Dr Brundtland talked of global collectivity and the vital participation of all the world’s citizens in multilateral institutions. Furthermore,Maher  Nasser explained that COVID-19 presents an opportunity for the UN to increase its engagement with external voices from civil society and youth organisations. 
You can view the full panel discussion here:

UN2020 launch The People’s Declaration and Plan for Global Action. 

U2020, supported by Together First, officially presented the UN75 People’s Declaration and Plan for Global Action, entitled “Humanity at a Crossroads: Global Solutions for Global Challenges” to H.E. Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly. In addition to this we were pleased to hear the President called UN75 ‘a renaissance’ to invigorate people-centred multilateralism.

The main principles of The People’s Declaration are: 

  1. Promoting UN values, norms and principles embodied in the UN Charter, UDHR, SDGs and Building Cultures of Peace through Global Citizenship Education. 
  2. Addressing global risks through developing a global plan of action and promoting partnerships for peace, sustainable development, human rights, democracy, climate action and disarmament. 
  3. Advancing people-centered multilateralism by developing proposals to revitalize the United Nations on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary in 2020. 

UN2020 have made a short video which summarises their key messages, you can watch that here. 

Missed the Forum? You can catch up on both days here:

Together First will continue to campaign and promote our top 10 reforms for a better world in the coming months. To join us on our campaign to make our global system fairer for all, sign up here.