Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN’s worldwide consultation reveals a strong call for action on inequalities and climate change, as well as more solidarity.
In January 2020, the United Nations launched a global consultation to mark its 75th anniversary. Through surveys and dialogues, it asked people about their hopes and fears for the future – representing the UN’s most ambitious effort to date to understand expectations of international cooperation and of the UN in particular. It is also the largest survey to date on priorities for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 21 September 2020, over a million people from all countries and all walks of life had taken part. Their answers provide unique insights into what the public wants at this challenging time for the world. The report 'The future we want, the UN we need' is released to coincide with the UN General Assembly’s official commemoration of the 75th anniversary.
Key findings include:
Priorities for action:
Across regions, ages and social groups, respondents were broadly united in their priorities for the future.
Amid the current COVID-19 crisis, the immediate priority for most respondents is improved access to basic services – healthcare, safe water, sanitation and education, followed by greater international solidarity and increased support to those hardest hit. This includes tackling inequalities and rebuilding a more inclusive economy.
Looking to the future, the overwhelming concerns are the climate crisis and the destruction of our natural environment. Other priorities include: ensuring greater respect for human rights, settling conflicts, tackling poverty and reducing corruption.
Perceptions of the UN:
Over 87% of respondents believe global cooperation is vital to deal with today’s challenges, and that the pandemic has made international cooperation more urgent.
Seventy-five years after its founding, six in 10 respondents believe the UN has made the world a better place. Looking to the future, 74% see the UN as “essential” in tackling the challenges.
However, respondents want the UN to change and innovate: to be more inclusive of the diversity of actors in the 21st century, and to become more transparent, accountable and effective.
More than 1% of the Montenegrin population actively participated in the global dialogue on the future of international cooperation, directly pointing to development priorities, growing challenges and possible solutions.
Daniela Gasparikova, Acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro
Gasparikova noted that the attitudes of Montenegrin citizens correspond well to the global outcomes of the UN75 dialogue.
According to the people of Montenegro, the priorities of the international community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic must include support the most affected communities, strengthing of solidarity and ensuring universal access to health services for all.
When it comes to global development priorities, Montenegrin citizens emphasize greater respect for human rights, better environmental protection and greater employment opportunities.
Climate change, armed conflict and health risks are global trends that, in the opinion of the people of Montenegro, will mark the future.
"UN75 research has shown that the citizens of Montenegro have a very clear and realistic view of global events and trends. It is especially encouraging that they clearly recognize the importance of multilateralism, since most of the participants marked international cooperation as essential in facing the key challenges in the future," Gasparikova concluded.
„ Across this anniversary year, we have engaged in a global conversation. And the results are striking.People are thinking big – they are also expressing an intense yearning for international cooperation and global solidarity. Now is the time to respond to these aspirations and realize these aims. In this 75th anniversary year, we face our own 1945 moment. We must meet that moment. We must show unity like never before to overcome today’s emergency, get the world moving and working and prospering again, and uphold the vision of the Charter.”
United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres