Our world is more connected than ever before. The global community is facing crucial turning points on issues that cannot be solved by a single nation, including climate change, the refugee crisis and inequities within the international economy. While hundreds of intergovernmental organizations work toward the common good, the United Nations, now in its 71st year, is poised to take the lead in pushing for stronger global governance and a just world. In December the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will offer perhaps the best chance for international leaders to tackle climate change, spurred on, in part, by encouragement from Pope Francis. At the same time, the United Nations is rethinking its approach to peacebuilding and human rights as well as its organizational structures. Though this state of flux brings challenges, it also offers opportunity for true change.
During his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25, Pope Francis reaffirmed the church’s ongoing support for the United Nations and the unique role the organization can play today. He also urged reforms aimed at greater inclusion of all member states and emphasized that solutions to climate change and regional conflicts must center on the people, especially the marginalized, who are affected.
The United Nations, heeding the findings of the report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance, “Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance,” must also work for true internal structural reforms, including making better use of the International Court of Justice and its advisory role, and urging greater willingness to dialogue among member nations.
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