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How a change of governance can contribute to the SDGs

By Mia Hem

It is imperative that a comprehensive transformation in the way global governance is structured and executed takes place to effectively address imminent and existing challenges such as the rapidly escalating climate crisis and increasingly sophisticated security threats that pose a significant danger to the world at large. Co-chaired by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, and Stefan Löfven, former Prime Minister of Sweden, the Advisory Board was appointed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in 2022 to advise Member States on issues of global concern where better governance could make a difference. The UN’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism has launched a report titled "A Breakthrough for People and Planet: Effective and Inclusive Global Governance for Today and the Future". The report aims to reconstruct the global architecture and strengthen international cooperation to support accelerated implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The report recommends strengthening the global architecture for peace, security, and finance, delivering just transitions for climate and digitalization, and ensuring more equity and fairness in global decision-making. It highlights gender equality as central to a reinvigorated multilateral system and suggests the need for it to become more networked, inclusive and effective. It is only through a collective effort that nations can tackle the critical challenges of our times, focusing on devising innovative and effective solutions to safeguard humanity's future. The stakes are high, and there is no room for inaccuracy or inaction. Transformative and visionary leadership is needed to guide us toward a better, safer, and more sustainable world.

The six transformational recommendations in the report are:

  1. Rebuilding trust in multilateralism through inclusion and accountability

  2. Regaining balance with nature and providing clean energy for all

  3. Ensuring sustainable finance that truly delivers

  4. Supporting a just digital transition that protects against digital harms

  5. Empowering effective and equitable collective security arrangements

  6. Managing current and emerging transnational risks

The report also encourages a renewed effort to reform the UN Security Council, strengthen the UN peacebuilding architecture, and broaden relations between the UN and regional organizations. These transformational recommendations frame the report which will inform ongoing deliberations leading up to the 2024 Summit of the Future. There, the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism will generate concrete suggestions for more effective multilateral arrangements across a range of key global issues, ensuring that the interests and needs of women and girls, young people, and future generations are taken fully into account.

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