On Tuesday, July 14 in the Trusteeship Council Chamber of the United Nations, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright keynoted the New York launch of the report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, followed by a response by Mr. Steve Lamony, Senior Advisor for UN, AU and Africa Situations, Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Chaired by the Permanent Representative of The Netherlands to the United Nations, Ambassador Karel van Oosterom, the session began with opening remarks by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov, Distinguished Fellow at The Hague Institute, and Ellen Laipson, President of the Stimson Center.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson spoke about the importance of the report’s focus on both conflict prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding. In particular, he highlighted the attention given in Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance to functioning institutions and good governance, arguing that they are key for addressing the critical 21st century challenges, such as fragile states, climate change, and governing the world’s interconnected economy.
Eliasson lent support to the Commission’s call for a World Conference on Global Institutions in 2020, expressing his hope to the over 200-strong audience, which included many diplomats, civil society representatives, and UN system staff, that the conference would ideally happen before 2020 – ensuring that the UN could move into the next decade with a concrete vision and roadmap for reform.
A roadmap for reform was the theme of the official U.S. launch of the report with Commission Co-Chair Madeleine K. Albright and Commissioner Jane Holl Lute, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Assistant-Secretary-General for the UN Department of Field Support and for the Peacebuilding Support Office, on July 9 at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC (co-hosted by the One Earth Future Foundation).
At the event, moderated by Steve Clemons, the Washington Editor-at-Large of The Atlantic, Secretary Albright argued that a lack of political will and poor advocacy are hindering reforms of the international system, resulting in the UN and other multilateral institutions not keeping pace with current security and justice problems.
To solve this impasse, she noted that the recommendations contained within Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance are intended to “encourage what Professor Gambari and I have been calling a ‘road map’ for a broad based policy dialogue on an institutional reform agenda aimed at 2020,” adding that it was time “to take this road map out of the glove compartment” and invite potential partners from around the world “to help build and sustain a coalition for progressive global change in pursuit of a vision of justice and security for all.”
The New York and Washington, D.C., meetings were the latest in a series of promotional events for the Report, which included an experts discussion co-hosted by the UN Foundation and One Earth Future Foundation. Following the initial unveiling of the report on June 16 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Professor Gambari, co-chair of the Commission and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, gave a keynote speech at the Business for Peace Annual Meeting at UN Headquarters on June 23. His remarks focused on the Commission’s views about the important contribution of businesses to creating more stable and peaceful environments in conflict-affected states.
Just prior, on June 17, Professor Gambari attended a public panel in Berlin, Germany, which examined the UN’s role in providing international peace and security, hosted by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the German UN Association. Here he discussed the report’s focus on the intersection of security and justice and key UN reforms before appearing again the next morning at an experts roundtable on “German and European UN Policy for Peace and Security.” Along with Commissioner Dr. Michael Schaefer and Dr. Richard Ponzio (Project Director for the Commission), Professor Gambari presented key findings from the report, including transforming the UN Peacebuilding Commission into a more powerful Peacebuilding Council. Finally, at an ASEAN Roundtable on June 19 at The Hague Institute, Dr. Ponzio and Dr. Joris Larik, Senior Researcher, presented the Report to representatives of all 10 ASEAN states, highlighting its recommendation to give regional organizations like ASEAN a more prominent role at the UN.
Next on the Commission’s agenda are future promotional events in Abuja, Nigeria, Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum at the time of the UN Summit (New York), New Delhi, India, and Tokyo, Japan. These events will continue to build momentum around the report in the run-up to the opening of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly this September in New York, where the Commission is currently considering several high-profile events.