Join the UN75 Conversation: Here’s How!
It’s our world. And our future. So it’s time for everyone, everywhere to talk about what we want our future to be.
To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations has launched an ambitious initiative to give voice to the public and crowdsource priorities and solutions to the challenges we face.
In a world of dramatic changes and complex problems, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the climate crisis, we need collective action more than ever before. Through UN75, the United Nations is asking people to put their heads together to define how we can recover better from the pandemic, and realize a better world by 2045, the UN’s 100th birthday.
At this pivotal moment in history, UN75 asks three big questions:
Anyone can join the conversation. The UN wants to listen to as many people as possible, with a special focus on marginalised communities and those whose voices aren’t often heard in such consultations, including our critics.
In parallel, the UN is conducting formal surveys and media analysis to provide statistically representative data and insights into conversation trends.
Consolidated views and ideas will be presented to world leaders in September 2020, at the official commemoration of the 75th anniversary.
For the United Nations, UN75 will be a year of listening and learning. UN organizations, country teams and key stakeholders will have pivotal roles in taking three actions:
This toolkit shows how to get the conversation started.
Mark your calendars: A timeline for UN75
24th Oct 2019
2nd Jan 2020
26th June 2020
UN Charter Day
21st Sept 2020
24th Oct 2020
UN Day Close
31st Dec 2020
Bring together diverse groups, especially those not often heard, to shape a new global dialogue.
Starting late 2019, all UN country offices can gear up for UN75. There is no time to waste: As many people as possible should participate in shaping our hopes and ideas for the future.
Anyone can get involved in UN75. Some general categories of participants include:
Some tips for making dialogues successful
Open channels for people to talk and be heard!
As the biggest-ever global conversation, UN75 will amplify the voices of people in communities, schools, cities, boardrooms and parliaments, across countries and generations. As people imagine future scenarios based on their own experiences and perspectives, they will source solutions for collective action.
How to join us?
There are several ways to join the conversation, from a social media campaign to a simple one-minute survey to a more formal focus group discussion.
Some potential options include:
Post the UN75 video on your social media platform, and ask your friends, partners and networks to start making plans. Click here for a full set of communication assets and ideas.
Organize an informal conversation: It may be convenient to link to existing meetings and conferences or something more social like a team event.
Social media chats: Start a simple Q&A using Twitter, Google Hangouts, Facebook, etc. These are easily discoverable by a vast audience, and can encourage them to contribute to the consultation. Chats and Q&As are also useful at live events.
Framing Questions to spark the conversation
The UN Secretary-General has said: "Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and the many other global challenges we face."
What kind of changes are needed to our economies and societies to build back better and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? What changes are needed to our institutions and decision-making processes? Is now the time for big ideas?
What would your ideal world look like in 25 years - the UN’s 100th anniversary? What is different from the world you see today? Describe a day in that world you envision 25 years from now.
- What kind of future do we want to have created with and for our children and grandchildren?
- How do science and technology impact everyday life? Are all people treated fairly and equally? How do countries work with one another ?
- Do you think your children, grandchildren, will have fewer or more opportunities than you had? Will they be better or worse off - when it comes to education or job prospects for example?
- Do you think you/the next generation will be more or less mobile, socially, economically, physically?
- Do you expect to live in a more or less healthy natural environment? How might the environment be different?
Please pick one or more or add your own and discuss as a group.
- Climate change and environmental issues (e.g. pollution, deforestation)
- Poverty and inequality
- Health risks (e.g. pandemics, drug-resistant bacteria) New technologies (e.g. social media, artificial intelligence)
- Population changes (e.g. population growth, ageing populations, migration, urbanisation)
- Security threats (e.g. armed conflict, cyberwarfare, crime and violence)
- Breakdown of trust between governments, and between people and governments?
What action should we take now to make a better world for future generations?
- What can you do as an individual to create the world we want? What are you doing for a better world?
- Who has to take action to manage these trends? What should be the role of governments? Businesses? Civil society? Individuals? Others?
- What forms of action and collaboration might be needed at the local, national and international levels? What type of role might the United Nations and other international institutions have in facilitating this? how can they improve ?
Tips for moderators
In informal conversations as well as more structured focus groups, a moderator plays a crucial role. Some broad guiding principles are:
Resources to get started
Check these short fact sheets to refresh on some of the most pressing issues from the UN75 team:
Technologies can help make our world fairer, more peaceful and more just. Digital advances can support and accelerate achievement of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – from ending extreme poverty to reducing maternal and infant mortality, promoting sustainable farming and decent work and achieving universal literacy. But technologies can also threaten human rights, erode security and fuel inequality.
The nature of conflict and violence has transformed substantially since the UN was founded 75 years ago. Conflicts now tend to be less deadly and often waged between domestic groups rather than states. Homicides are becoming more frequent in some parts of the world, while gender-based attacks are increasing globally. The long-term impact on development of interpersonal violence, including violence against children, is also more widely recognized. Technological advances have raised concerns about new forms of weapons and attacks. Meanwhile, international cooperation is under strain, diminishing the potential for addressing these issues.
The world has made significant strides in reducing poverty: over the last three decades, more than one billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty. Yet the income share of the poorer half of humanity has barely shifted over this period, despite global economic output more than tripling since 1990. Inequalities undermine economic progress, which in turn exacerbates the social divides that inequalities create. Yet, successes in some areas have shown that this is a challenge we can overcome.
Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared. But we are far from powerless in the face of this global threat. As Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out in September, “the climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win”.
As the infinite cost of climate change reaches irreversible highs, now is the time for bold collective action.
The world’s population is expected to increase by two billion people by 2050, before reaching a peak of nearly 11 billion by the end of the century. During this period, the global population is projected to become more and more urban, while children below age 5 will be outnumbered by persons aged 65 or above. Meanwhile, people are on the move. While the percentage of international migrants has remained around 3 percent of the global population over the past two decades, their number has increased by more than half since 2000. At the same time, the number of people forced to flee their homes has risen sharply due to protracted conflicts and could increase further due to climate change and environmental degradation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the threats posed by disease outbreaks as well as underlying vulnerabilities in our societies and economies. Good health is a fundamental human right and a pillar of economic opportunity. Yet, for too many people around the world it is elusive. While significant strides have been made, such as in increasing life expectancy, progress has been unjustly uneven. Today, we are at a sticking point – those within reach have realized the benefits of evolving technologies and care in health, yet the global community is struggling to reach the most vulnerable among us. Meanwhile, risks such as pandemics could undermine hard-won gains of the past.
Equality between men and women was enshrined in the UN Charter in 1945. Yet, 75 years later, women and girls live in a world of widespread gender inequality. Turning this around is a priority of the UN in 2020 which also marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; the 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security; and the 5th anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda is clear: gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is a goal in itself, as well as a catalyst for the achievement of all the other goals. Ultimately, development will only be sustainable if its benefits accrue equally to both women and men. The world has a decade left to turn this promise into action.
Provide feedback, and share and advocate solutions.
Connecting people and amplifying their voices leads to one primary goal: inspire action for a better future. The ideas generated during UN75 are expected to:
- Inform public debate
- Be taken up by national and international decision-makers
- Inspire broader civic engagement
- Deepen global cooperation
Each conversation is an opportunity to encourage individuals to take actions in their own lives, in line with what they have heard and learned.
Both formal and informal dialogues can yield insights and evidence that national and international organizations can apply. Findings may inspire new programmes, investments, partnerships and campaigns, among other options.
A global platform to illustrate key outcomes of discussions is being developed by the UN75 team.
The views and ideas that are generated will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at a high-profile event during the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020.
The feedback form is available at: http://feedback.un75.online/
Documenting the evidence
Documenting dialogues makes them credible and shareable at different levels, and provides evidence for action. Some typical forms of documentation include:
- Data on who participated and how they were selected
- Relevant demographics
- Video and audio recordings with testimonials from people who have participated
- Photos and/or stories generated from the consultation
- Social media data
- Reports from rapporteurs
- An analytical summary with key findings
For formal focus groups, the moderator form allows information to be centrally recorded and analysed. People taking part in conversations of all kinds can provide feedback via their moderator or at the UN75 website.
Validating the results
Both feedback forms and the UN75 website will offer opportunities to validate results and raise suggestions or concerns regarding the process.
Validating findings can also involve other simple steps, such as sharing meeting reports or survey results, and requesting additional inputs. Some validation can take place during focus groups and meetings by using visual methods for instant feedback on what participants are saying.
Communicating far and wide
Compelling communications will be critical throughout UN75, within individual consultations as well as on all forms of media. People’s faces and stories will make the issues come fully alive, influencing public debates that can galvanize action. In documenting and validating dialogues, keep track of people, stories and social media threads most likely to make an impact. Work with communications teams to make best use of their power to influence.
For reference and to build out national communication strategies, see the global communication strategy and UN75 communication assets.