International Order & Conflict

Reimagining Governance in a Multipolar World

Providing guidelines for improving the global governance architecture.
By Cristina Petcu Research ·  Richard Ponzio Co-Author

For the 2019 edition of the Doha Forum, participants examine the overarching theme of “Reimagining Governance in a Multipolar World.” Governance refers to questions of power, legitimacy, how public goods are provided in a society, and the mix of public and private action needed for effective problem-solving. Applied to our current multipolar era where power is increasingly diffused and no one nation state, international institution, or other actor dominates, governance of global affairs has become more complex and multi-faceted and, on some issues, more financially costly. To address today’s transnational challenges—whether, for example, climate change, violent conflict, cyber-attacks, or devastating cross-border economic shocks—multilateral governance for a multipolar world must harness effectively the ideas, networks, and capabilities of national governmental actors, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.

A World In Peril, A World Of Opportunity

Since 2000, the Doha Forum has served as a premier platform for global dialogue on critical issues facing the world, bringing together thought leaders from governments, civil society, the media, academia, think tanks, and the private sector to promote the exchange of ideas, mutual understanding, policymaking, and action-oriented networks.

On 14 June 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 73/299 to initiate preparations for a political declaration on the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need” for the United Nations 75th Anniversary Leaders Summit to be held, on 21 September 2020, in New York. As these preparations take shape, the Doha Forum provides a formidable gathering place, where influential thought-leaders, policy-makers, practitioners, and activists can contribute innovative ideas and actiondriven networks to make global governance fit for purpose in a rapidly changing world order.

The United Nations’ efforts paving the way to the 75th anniversary were led initially by H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, and now by H.E. Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly. SecretaryGeneral António Guterres is lending his support through a new “[email protected]” team led by his Special Adviser and Under-Secretary General, H.E. Fabrizio Hochschild.

This report, produced by the Doha Forum in partnership with the Stimson Center, presents the overarching theme, an array of issue areas, and questions further explored at this year’s Doha Forum. It also offers senior international and national policy-makers from governments and international organizations, civil society and business leaders, journalists, scholars, and young innovators a range of guiding principles for improving the global governance architecture.

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