Ten recommendations for rebuilding trust in multilateralism
Our planet faces a triple crisis of climate change, pandemic risk and a conflict that could lead to nuclear annihilation. The global commons and the planet are at risk. At precisely the time that the world needs a collective response to these challenges, our multilateral governance system is failing. It is unable to foresee emerging and re-emerging threats, unable to manage and respond to these threats and thus, unable to maintain its legitimacy in the eyes of the global population. In an effort to reform the system, the United Nations has initiated wide consultations among Member States, experts and civil society within the framework of the Secretary-General’s Common Agenda. The InterAction Council endorses in particular the report of the UN High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism.
As the IAC noted in its draft Universal Declaration on Human Responsibilities “global problems demand global solutions on the basis of ideas, values and norms respected by all cultures and societies.” We can do better. And the place to begin is the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024.
The InterAction Council meeting in Malta in May 2023 calls on the Member States of the United Nations meeting to commit to reenergizing a collective response to the multiple crises facing the world by the following ten recommendations:
- Redefining the concept of collective security to include contemporaneous risks to human security such as climate change, planetary health, unregulated technological areas, and organized and transnational crime.
- Committing to a rules-based world order founded on the principles of Rule of Law, respect for the Charter of the United Nations and key treaty obligations.
- Holding states accountable when they violate the Charter, as Russia has done in the 2014 and 2022 invasions of Ukraine. Accountability must include legal responsibility of individuals responsible for mass atrocities and effective reparations to countries and victims devastated by conflict. Frozen assets of aggressors should be confiscated and repurposed to this end.
- Committing to end impunity for mass atrocities by ratifying and implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, cooperating fully with the court, and enacting national legislation to hold individuals responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
- Reforming the Security Council and if the permanent members are resistant, ensure that threats will be placed immediately before the General Assembly for action.
- Preventing nuclearization and accelerating the denuclearization of the world, starting with a renewed emphasis on arms control, with a view to build a nuclear weapons-free world.
- Establishing an International Anti-Corruption Court to hold to account those responsible for grand corruption and repatriate their assets to the people they have stolen from.
- Working more closely with regional organizations, such as the European Union, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Pacific Community to reduce conflict and build peace.
- Adopting a Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, enshrining the principle of individual responsibility of each and every one in advancing the common good. To this end, as a complement to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human responsibilities seek to bring freedom and responsibility into balance in politics, the private sector, the digital sphere, and the global community.
- Mainstreaming civic and human rights education in every country, founded on the principles of human responsibility, to enable active, ethical citizen engagement and accountable leadership.