By PONLE AKANDE
UNITED Nations member states are profoundly concerned about the huge problems now confronting the whole world and are committed to using the next 16 months ending in September 2023, the month of the UN Summit of the Future(upcoming), for definitive innovating of ideas constituting a dramatically new global governance system (a new UN charter or constitution, new UN institutions, and new policies).
The huge problems to be urgently tackled by the global community include, mainly, the probably irreversible climate change, emerging new COVID-19 variants and subvariants, and the ominous “Third C”, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, beside civil wars in Africa and the Middle East occasioning human suffering and environmental damage.
The Global Challenges Foundation, which was founded in the year 2012, organised a prize competition, Global Challenges Prize 2017: A New Shape. The Global Challenges Foundation’s objective is to contribute to minimising, preferably eliminating, and the major global threats to humanity.
There are many civil society organisations, like the Global Challenges Foundation, which have this same objective of the Global Challenges Foundation, though this researcher has particularly followed the Global Challenges Foundation, and is with some reservations impressed by the conduct of the Foundation so far. However, I entertain a great fear that the next 16 months may not be used in a way that would guarantee a breakthrough. And as such, I make the following proposal to the United Nations, through pass blue and the Global Challenges Foundation:
I propose a two-prong approach to tackling the global catastrophic challenges; one: the pragmatic, and two: the idealistic.
On the pragmatic prong: it is proposed that institutional and policy reforms or creations, a new, be innovated and implemented by the United Nations, starting from Year 2024, however with pilot schemes starting in year 2022 and year 2023. The intended pilot schemes would serve as practical experiments, prototypes or simulations, which would make the final innovations to be realistic, circumspective, therefore fit for purpose, and adopted at the September 2023 United Nations Summit of the Future.
And, the Global public information media and channels are not being exploited optionally by the United Nations and the concerned coalition of civil society organisations working on the designing of new governance paradigms, mechanisms or tools, necessary for successfully tackling the global catastrophic challenges. It remains to be seen that the United Nations has found the best or optimal formula, or procedure, scheme or programme to galvanise the whole of the global human resources into keen involvement in the preparations during the next 16 months before the September 2023 UN Summit of the Future. This optimal formula is intended, among other tasks, to be proposed to the United Nation through the Global Challenges Foundation and Pass Blue.
Granted that it is difficult even improbable at least in the short term to amend the charter of the UN and obviate or vitiate, thereby, individual sovereignty of the member nations, we can and must find tools and policies that already intra-vires teach of the United Nations, per its extant charter; which tools shall almost equate some hypothetical powers of the UN to directly or actually perform good governance of each and every member nation of the United Nations. This requires ingenious innovative ability, which requires the attributes of veracity and erudition in the innovator.
Good governance, now, is nothing more than the achievence of the sustainable development goals. It is only when we have competent and faithful government officials that we can achieve the necessary reforms of governance systems and policies at the global and national levels. To ensure this, is the task before the United Nations. Otherwise, the innovate means of lawfully determining and imposing or compelling the required reforms of governance systems and policies in each and every member nation of the United Nations; with sovereignty of each of the member nations sustained in law, at least. This is what I promise to do for the United Nation if I am well facilitated. What innovations!
My great fear is that the United Nations and the civil society organisations may only use the 16 months before September 2023, to make sub-optimal preparations, and ultimately use the September 2023 UN summit of the future to obtain sub-optimal results; which performance would in effect amount to waste of precious time and opportunity to tackle the aggravating global catastrophic challenges; and, it is to allay this fear that I make this proposal to the United Nations.
I am already aware of the Secretary General’s new High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilarilism, recommended or proposed new head of state-level UN-G20-World Bank-IMF Platform for global economic governance; recommendations of exponential increase of financing for development efforts; suggested special envoy for the future; suggested global digital compact e.t.c. Nevertheless, I propose that the United Nations commissions me to do a highly ramified research work on a multiple number of topics, issues or matters, pertinent to successfully tackling the global catastrophic risk. These works shall be documented comprehensive in books.
The suggestion by Marca Espinosa and Danilo Turk, on April 20, 2022, is apt, making the most of the 2023 U.N Summit of the Future: “…Building on the active participation of experts from all regions in the thematic consultation maximum transparency and full engagement of diverse voice will be critical to a successful summit. This entails ensuring that the inter- governmental negotiations welcome and deliberate substantive inputs provided by nongovernmental organisation opening formal negotiations to public observations, supporting national, regional and global forums in the run-up to the summit; and encouraging the involvement of civil society in the national delegations preparing for the summit.
On three of the UN Secretary General’s most significant concepts in our common agenda – a new social contract, the Second World Social Summit and a new global deal. I warn that apt innovations, in these respects, are critical and urgent; else the momentum of the dynamics of the catastrophic risks would reach proportions unmanageable for humanity. I most humbly make bold to say that I have solutions, in these respects, which can only be presented in the form of many well written books. This is why I am urgently requesting for facility from the United Nations.
My projection of the efforts of the United Nations is that the next five years, up till 2027, would not produce concrete results, because of inadequate prevision of the innovators. The reform of economic governance cannot be positive, if completely insulated from reform of political governance. This is central to the innovations I have promised the United Nations if commissioned and facilitated. Many books have to be written.
•Akande, a foreign affairs expert and researcher, wrote via: [email protected]