How to accelerate Effective Multilateralism

„A breakthrough for People and Planet“ – this is the claim of the High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Effective Multilateralism, launched by the Secretary-General in 2022. That sounds surprising. The United Nations was founded in 1945 as the world’s most multilateral institution. The UN’s multilateralism has proven itself in several global successes. In the agreement on species protection. In the agreement to ban CFCs. But when it comes to issues of war and peace, the UN has become a battleground for national unilateralism.

With the renewal of the UN’s multilateral claim through the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the UN opened up to so-called „partnerships“. Since then, the Basel Institute of Commons and Economics has been involved in numerous hearings and initiatives – including at the invitation of the UN embassies of Germany and Namibia in the preparation of the HLAB Report 2023.

Here you find our answer:

Your Excellency Ms. Leendertse, your Excellency Mr. Gertze,

thank you first for your confidence to admit that our SDG Partnership can contribute to the crucial issues of Effective Multilateralism and the Summit of the Future 2024!

We were asked to answer the following three questions:

  1. Which recommendations would Stakeholders wish to see elaborated and discussed further in the context of the Summit of the Future? 

Our answer:

According to our studies published in the United Nations, more than 3 trillion Dollars will be invested this year against UN Goal 16, meaning: investment in mistrust, sanctions, military and conflicts:

This is exactly the resource we need for the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
We therefore recommend to discuss and to invest in cheaper multilateral civil alternatives to diminish these lost opportunity costs.  E.g. our World Social Capital Monitor that identifies bridging social capital across conflicting parties in 50 languages has been considered by Nature (p 4) among the Top Ten Partnerships (5300 in total) for the implementation of the SDGs:

2.How might the recommendations in the HLAB report help deliver the commitments made by Member States in the Declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations? 

Our answer:

2) Only overcoming the divide in the Security Council, in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly and other UN bodies can create the multilateral inclusion needed to regain the common trust that lead to the UN Charter in 1945.

Member States therefore have to explore and to support multilateral confidence building measures instead of blaming each other for not meeting single Goals.

We develop and offer such measures to all States and were successful e.g. in Yemen, where we were able to enhance dialogue between the conflicting parties. We still reach e.g. Afghanistan, Benin, Centrafrique, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine.

3.Which recommendations in the HLAB report intersect with ongoing efforts and, if adopted at the Summit of the Future, can meaningfully accelerate Member States’ efforts to bring about sustainable change? 

 Our answer:

Advanced researchers such as the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) regarded the HLAB Report together with the GSDR Report. As a contributor to the UN IATF on FfD, we would add as well the FSDR (Financing for Sustainable Development Report) where we are in stakeholder consultation as well.

In our eyes all three reports (HLAB, GSDR, FSDR) should lead to a shift from investment in military, sanctions and mistrust to civil purposes as well in case the major UN donors are the major investors in military at the same time.

Though confidence building measures are the step to start with sustainable change.

Maybe a first step for Germany and Namibia?

Namibia: We have results not only for Windhoek, but as well for Okahan, Ondangwa, Oshikuku, Roacana and Tsunem yet. So we kindly invite Namibia to become a partner of the World Social Capital Monitor. Here is the English version with new inclusive indicators:

  • Acceptance of minorities and marginalized groups
  • Acceptance of environmental measures

Germany: First results from Germany had as a result 300+ articles on the results e.g. for Berlin, Freiburg and Leipzig

Here is the German version with new inclusive indicators:

  • Acceptance of minorities and marginalized groups
  • Acceptance of environmental measures

We kindly invite Germany to join the World Social Capital Monitor

With my most distinguished regards


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