With fifteen months until the United Nations Leaders Summit in New York that is timed to coincide with the seventy-fifth anniversary commemoration of the world body (“UN 75”), now is the time for a forward-looking and meaningful conversation about ways to further innovate, renew, and reform our system of global governance. In the face of rising exclusionary, populist forces, growing mass violence in fragile states, fears of devastating cross-border economic shocks, cyber-attacks, and the rapidly growing threat of runaway climate change, the world needs a new kind of leadership and vision, combined with new tools, networks, and institutions.
In June 2015, the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance—co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister and UN Under-SecretaryGeneral for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari (see Appendix I)—offered in its pathbreaking report, Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance, a vision for just security, to ensure that neither justice nor security imperatives are neglected by critical international policy debates in the run-up to UN 75. It further presented a bold, yet practical action plan for innovating global governance, and ways to mobilize diverse actors to advance reform, to better respond to twenty-first-century threats, challenges, and opportunities.
In this follow-on report, the Stimson Center’s Just Security 2020 program seeks to equip policy-makers, activists, the media, and experts with updated analysis and a prioritized set of proposals from the Commission’s broader recommendations. The global governance renewal and reform ideas advanced in the sections that follow represent an ambitious, yet realistic innovation agenda that can set the United Nations and other global institutions on a more secure and capable footing to address the urgent issues on that agenda. In doing so, our system of global governance will be able to better support all nations and peoples in facing new challenges, threats, and opportunities in this emerging multipolar era.