Consultation on ‘Summit of the Future’ Scope and Elements

 Guest blog: by the Coalition for the UN We Need 

Prolonged discussions on Scope and Elements for the Summit of the Future

Discussions on the Scope and Elements of the Summit of the Future, under the leadership of Co-Facilitators, H.E Ms. Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany, and H.E Mr. Neville Melvin Gertze, Permanent Representative of Namibia, continued last week with informal consultations July 19 and the morning of July 20, immediately followed by “informal Informal's” (i.e. negotiations closed to observers).

 The proposed structure for the Scope and Elements of the Summit of the Future and the Pact for the Future includes an overarching chapeau and four individual chapters. The four proposed chapters are to include elements on “Sustainable Development and Financing;” “Peace and Security;” “Global Digital Cooperation;” and “Transforming Global Governance.” 

At this stage, Member States have provided numerous comments on a Zero Draft that reflects significant divisions of views on the fundamental purposes of the Summit. At the July 19 meeting Amb. Gertze indicated that Member States are encouraged not to propose further new language on the Zero Draft, unless it represents a compromise between positions intended to help finalize a decision.

The Co-Facilitators had hoped to come to agreement on a procedural decision by the end of July. However, a “Like-minded Group” (LMG) of states led by Pakistan (and including Algeria, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka and Syria) have indicated that, rather than a procedural decision, a General Assembly resolution would be a more appropriate result, and also that negotiations could continue until mid-September. The Ministerial Meeting for the Summit for the Future is scheduled to take place September 21.

The infographic illustrating the proposed structure of the SOTF outcome document also included “cross-cutting” elements (human rights and international law; placing women and girls at the center; and sustainable financing).  However a number of states have resisted the idea of cross-cutting issues. They have suggest that human rights, as one of the three pillars of the UN’s work, should constitute a chapter on its own, with the LMG not only opposing any cross-cutting themes, but also suggesting that a distinct chapter on human rights include the right to development, the right to food and the right to adequate standards of living.

Other significant areas of disagreement among States include:

  • Understandings in the area of peace and security, including over how to situate concepts such as human security, conflict prevention, the peaceful settlement of disputes, peacebuilding, peacekeeping and the role of disarmament;
  • Sustainable development and the financing of development;
  • Reform of the International Financial Institutions;
  • Global governance of the environment;
  • Outer space governance;
  • Digital cooperation (although there is a broad understanding that one outcome from the SOTF will be a Global Digital Compact)

On 13 June 2023, the Co-Facilitators of the Summit of the Future, H.E Ms. Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, and H.E Mr. Neville Melvin Gertze, Permanent Representative of Namibia, organized the second Informal Consultations with Member States to discuss the preparatory process for the Summit of the Future. They had shared a concept note highlighting the proposed scope of the SOTF and structure for the Pact of the Future.

The Information Clearinghouse Bulletin summarizing this meeting is available here.

On 6 July 2023 Co-facilitators Leendertse and Gertze convened another informal consultation on SOTF Scope and Elements. Unfortunately this meeting was not broadcast on UN Web TV and was closed to observers.

The Coalition for the UN We Need has repeatedly called for open and transparent SOTF preparatory discussions with opportunities for meaningful contributions by all stakeholders.

A statement at the July 6 meeting by the European Union was posted to the EU Delegation’s website.

Conversations with delegates who attended the July 6 meeting illuminated some of the broad contours of the discussions. Reportedly:

  • The G77 and China group of states will conclude internal consultations and provide more comprehensive comments on the Co-Facilitators proposal for the SOTF Scope and Elements, by July 15.
  • There are continuing differences of views among Member States on whether the outcome of the current discussions will be based on an intergovernmentally agreed procedural decision or a new General Assembly resolution.
  • Additional meetings to discuss the Scope and Elements of the Summit of the Future have been scheduled for July 19 and July 27. With discussions ongoing up until the customary August holiday period at the UN, there is concern whether agreement will be reached on a decision / resolution in time for the SOTF Ministerial Meeting in September.

Calling for Submissions: Youth Peace Challenge

The PyeongChang Odae-San Peace Forum has organized the 2023 Youth Peace Challenge –A global citizenship education program for young people targeting youth aged 16-25 years to learn about the role and responsibilities of the future generations to solve the global challenges and issues related to Peace, Climate and SDG.. The deadline for Submission of the Essay is 31 July 2023. (program runs from June to September). The Poster describing the YPC is here

To Register and Participate, Sign up Here


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