See more coverage of this event on the main IISD ENB website

We have launched a new website to better share our reports of global environmental negotiations.

As well as current coverage of new negotiations, you can find our original reports from this event by clicking here.

75th Anniversary of the UN

The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism

21 September 2020 | Virtual

Highlights for Monday, 21 September 2020

Delegates gather, socially distanced, in the UN General Assembly Hall to attend the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the UN.

“The world has a surplus of multilateral challenges, but a deficit of multilateral solutions," UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned Member States during the opening of the High-level Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75). He added that “while no one wants a world government, we must work together to improve global governance.”

  • Volkan Bozkir

The official UN75 commemoration, which took place virtually, focused on the theme of “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism.”

  • Stefan Löfven

A “Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the United Nations” was adopted at the meeting. In the Declaration, Member States recognize that global challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. They agree that multilateralism is not an option but a necessity to build back better for a more equal, more resilient, and more sustainable world, with the UN at the center of the efforts. They also recognize that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) is necessary for survival.

The meeting was addressed by Heads of State and Government and Ministers, who spoke in support of multilateralism and global solidarity. Several speakers expressed support for the UN reform currently being undertaken by the UN Secretary-General, while others called for the reform of the UN Security Council.

  • Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
  • Hajar Yagkoubi
  • Lee Hsien Loong

The UN Secretary-General launched the UN75 initiative in January 2020, as “the world's largest conversation about current global challenges, and the gap between the future we want and where we are headed if current trends continue.” The UN “crowdsourced” views on its future priorities and solutions from the global public, through a survey of over a million people in all 193 UN Member States; more than 1,000 dialogues in 82 countries across the world; and artificial intelligence analysis of social and traditional media in 70 countries, along with academic and policy research mappings in all regions.

  • Michael Higgins

Images from the Meeting

Videos from the Event

UN General Assembly Resources

IISD/ENB Meeting Coverage

IISD Resources