Together First UN75 Dialogues: Toolkit

By Together First on 18th February, 2020
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The following blog post provides answers to what a UN75 dialogue is, the role Together First plays and how YOU can participate:

1. What is a UN75 Dialogue? 

Launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on UN Day in October 2019, the UN75 dialogues promise to be a key part of the largest and farthest-reaching global conversation ever on building the future we want. Throughout its 75th anniversary year, the United Nations is encouraging people to put their heads together to define how greater international cooperation can help realise a better world by 2045, the UN’s 100th birthday.  

Anyone can join the conversation. Online and offline, through formal and informal dialogues. Together, they will share their hopes and fears, assess current and future risks and opportunities, and source solutions for global cooperation. The outcomes of these dialogues will be recorded and fed into the office of the UN Secretary-General. They will also be circulated to member states. 

Together First believes it is vital to bring new voices into discussions around the future of international cooperation and therefore supports this important initiative

2. What role will Together First play? 

Together First is a global network of individuals and organisations committed to improving global governance. The dialogues - and the UN75 process more generally - are a great opportunity to demand changes to the way the United Nations works.

We are working in partnership with the UN to deliver a series of dialogues focusing on “what global governance reforms are needed to better address existential risks like climate breakdown and nuclear weapons?” By UN Charter Day - 26 June 2020 - Together First will have held UN75 dialogues in all UN regions. 

There is no limit to the number of dialogues held and no barrier to anyone organising their own UN75 dialogue. We want as many of Together First’s supporting organisations and individuals as possible to hold dialogues, and this document provides all the necessary details to get started!

The outcomes of Together First’s dialogues will be integrated with the UN’s own dialogues and polling which will take place in countries around the world. These combined outcomes will subsequently be shared with member states and showcased on Together First’s channels.

At Together First we love big, ambitious initiatives. A global conversation, with a tangible feed-in mechanism to a leaders’ summit is a great way to get promising ideas noticed. Bringing together individuals across the world to talk about their common future also builds solidarity and a sense of community - this in itself is a vital goal. 

3. The UN75 Dialogue

Tackling issues such as the climate crisis, inequality, new patterns of violence and the major changes we are seeing in population and technology in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals - our shared vision for the future - will require cooperation across borders, sectors and generations.

However, while we may need collective action more than ever, support for global cooperation is flagging. In many countries, public trust in traditional institutions is in decline and relations between countries are under strain. Dialogue – and action – on global issues could not be more urgent. Through these conversations, the UN aims to build a global vision for its approaching centenary in 2045, increase understanding of the threats to that future, and support enhanced international cooperation to realise that vision. What will distinguish the Together First dialogues from other UN75 dialogues is that Together First’s dialogues will focus on the global governance transformations that we need to create the future we want.

The format:

This is flexible. All you need is a group of people to come together for a conversation which covers the following common set of questions. In most circumstances it will help if there is a facilitator, leading the dialogue and ensuring all the questions are covered, as well as a note taker to record action points and outcomes. There is also an optional social media component of the dialogue (see below).

The questions:

There are three questions that must be covered. There are also some prompts within each broad question that the facilitator may want to use to help structure the conversation. 

1. What kind of world do we want to create? 
  • What would your ideal world look like in 25 years - the UN’s 100th anniversary? What would be different from the world you see today? 
  • What kind of future do we want to have created with and for our children and grandchildren?
  • What global challenges have we addressed? Are all people treated fairly and equally? How do countries work with one another? How is public consent given for national and global decisions?

2. What kind of a world will we live in, 25 years from now, if the current global trends continue?
  • Do you think the next generation will have fewer or more opportunities than you had? Will they be better or worse off, e.g. when it comes to education or job prospects?
  • Do you think you/the next generation will live in a more or less secure world?
  • Do you expect to live in a more or less healthy natural environment?         

3. What needs to happen to correct our course and create the world we want?
  • Who has to take action? What should be the role of national governments? Businesses? Civil society? Individuals? The UN? Others?
  • What forms of cooperation might be needed at the local, national and international levels?
  • Are new institutions/structures/processes needed? Is our current system of rule of law at a local/national/global level sufficient?
  • What role might existing structures like the United Nations and other international institutions have in facilitating this? What changes are needed to those institutions themselves? 
  • What role should the UN Secretary-General play?

4. Who can organise and participate in a dialogue? 

Anyone can organise a dialogue. They can be as formal or informal as you like. Together First is working with facilitators to invite civil society representatives from across the region. This could include NGO representatives, academics, elected representatives, community leaders, government officials etc. The important thing is that groups around the world participate in similarly formatted dialogues so that the results 
will be compatible with the UN75 process.

5. Multimedia 

Make the most out of your UN75 Dialogues by using multimedia. Wherever you are in the world, raising awareness about your conversation through various multimedia platforms opens additional avenues to make your voices and concerns heard. Below are a few examples of how to spread the message about your UN75 Dialogue:

Interaction with participants
  • Record short videos of as many participants as possible asking one simple question: "What is the single most important reform needed to improve global governance and why?" and immediately tweet the video out including #UN75 and @TogetherFirst  
  • During dialogues ask participants to submit their top reform to Together First’s ideas portal: 
  • We will make sure that all the videos/ ideas submitted are included in our consultation process. We will champion the outputs of our consultation process to member states and the UN.

Social Media

In order to reach as many voices as possible, make sure to follow and tag the UN/Together First and use the hashtag #UN75 on social media - this way  the UN and Together First can see and share your consultations:

  • Pre-dialogue, build up excitement by tweeting about why you are holding a UN75 discussion.
  • During the dialogue tweet your name/organisation’s name, location, and how many people are involved in your UN75 dialogue - attach a photo if possible.
  • You can live-tweet throughout detailing the discussions that are taking place as and when they happen.
  • If you are also using Instagram and Facebook, you can post links to these at the end of your tweet.
  • Below are suggested examples of tweets:

On (insert date) we are meeting to discuss the world we want, the future we need. Stay tuned for regular updates. #UN75 @TogetherFirst

We are meeting (insert date) to discuss the future we want because (insert reason). #UN75 @JoinUN75 @TogetherFirst

We are in (insert location) today discussing the world we need. Our X participants have suggested reforming (insert). #UN75 @JoinUN75 @TogetherFirst

(Insert name) says they want to live in a world that in 25 years (insert reform). #UN75 @JoinUN75 @TogetherFirst 

We are in (location) discussing what needs to happen to create the world we want to live in. You can watch us live on Instagram (insert link) #UN75 @JoinUN75 @TogetherFirst

  • Pre-dialogue you can build up excitement by composing a Facebook post about why you are holding a UN75 dialogue.
  • During the dialogue, post a photo of individuals taking part before the discussions take place, during the consultation and after finishing.
  • Alongside the photos, include a brief summary of who was taking part, where the dialogues were being held, the main discussion points and the outcomes.

  • Pre-dialogue you can build up excitement by asking a series of questions (using the built-in function on Instagram stories). For example: what one thing can save the world? Be sure to save the Q&A as a highlight on your Instagram feed.
  • During the dialogues you can live story certain aspects. These stories can then be highlighted on your Instagram homepage’s main feed after your event has finished.
  • In addition, you can post photos on your Instagram page - of individuals before the dialogues were taking place, during the consultation, and after finishing. Include a caption detailing where the dialogues were being held, the main discussion points and the outcomes.

  • Contact your local radio station and newspaper to see if they are interested in covering your UN75 dialogue in any capacity.
  • Below is a suggested email template: 

Dear (Insert Radio station name/ contact name),

My name is (insert) and on the (insert date) I will be holding a UN75 dialogue. 

The UN turns 75 in September. In the lead up to its anniversary, the Secretary General is calling upon everyone, everywhere to engage in a global conversation. The conservation is centred around determining: ‘The Future We Want; The UN We Need.’ The UN has created a feedback mechanism which means that the outcomes of these conversations will be fed directly into the UN’s decision making process in writing a new 2020 Declaration. 

We have decided to capitalise on this opportunity and have say on our future. It would be great if we could discuss your station covering the event or any involvement you may be able to offer. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kind Regards,

6. How does the feedback mechanism work? 

Host feedback:

Following the dialogue, the host will complete the UN75 survey, which will capture points made during the dialogue and the ideas/solutions generated. Submissions will help the UN leadership shape its plans and programmes and ensure they better reflect the views and needs of the global public. They will also be presented by the UN to world leaders and senior UN officials ahead of meetings and events throughout the UN’s 75th anniversary year. The most high-profile of these events will be a high-level meeting of Heads of State and Government in New York on 21 September 2020, dedicated to the 75th anniversary. 

Participant feedback:

During the dialogue participants should submit their top suggestion for how to improve global governance through Together First’s Idea’s Portal. The most promising suggestions will be taken up by the campaign and championed through our advocacy work. A major strand of this work will be using external outside pressure to build support for these ideas among UN member states with a view to influencing the UN75 political declaration, scheduled for adoption in September 2020. This work falls outside the UN’s remit so using this feedback mechanism in addition to the host feedback will increase the chances of impact.

7. How can you get involved in the initiative? 

Please email if you are interested in hosting a UN75 dialogue and we will be able to advise further on facilitating and reporting on your dialogue.