Statement at the first consultation of the Summit of the Future at the 78th Session of the UNGA
Summit of the Future
78th Session of the UNGA
9 November 2023
UN Headquarters, New York
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)
We would like to thank the co-facilitators of Germany and Namibia for continuing to support this process and for putting forward the roadmap for further negotiations on the Summit of the Future. We are delighted to see two Member States of International IDEA playing this important role.
The outcome of these negotiations will define the potential of the forthcoming Pact for the Future to ensure a more sustainable and inclusive future for all. It is in this spirit that International IDEA would like to highlight three main points in this initial consultation.
First, the Summit of the Future must be an inclusive and participatory process that provides ample opportunity for all stakeholders, including civil society, to provide input into the thematic chapters agreed upon by the Member States in past consultations. Both the Summit of the Future and the Pact for the Future should highlight how gaps in existing global agendas can be addressed and how these agendas can complement one another. This requires an inclusive and democratic space where all voices are brought into the discussion, honouring the foundational principle of leaving no one behind. Civil society’s views and recommendations should therefore be purposefully and consistently integrated into the negotiation process.
Second, the Summit of the Future should ensure accountability, in alignment and coordination with different existing UN processes and ongoing agendas, especially the outcomes of the SDG Summit in September 2023. The SDG Summit has provided key recommendations for ensuring a more sustainable, inclusive and peaceful future for all. However, since September 2023, we have hardly heard any further discussions on the Political Declaration adopted by the General Assembly or the commitments on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The Summit of the Future will provide a unique opportunity to revitalize and accelerate these agendas, and particularly Our Common Agenda. This is the time to make our commitments concrete, to ensure that our work to date has not been in vain, and to enhance our collective accountability to generations to come.
Finally, as an intergovernmental organization with an explicit mandate to strengthen democracy worldwide, we wish to highlight the need to place democratic principles and commitment to democratic values, such as justice, rule of law, inclusivity, and effective institutions, at the center of the Summit negotiations and in the thematic chapters of the Pact for the Future. If we’re going to discuss the future here, then let us be clear: on current trends, there will be not much of a future to talk about if we fail to achieve the SDGs; and, in turn, we will fail if we don’t put SDG16, on just, effective, accountable and inclusive institutions, at the heart of all our debates here.
International IDEA reiterates its support for an inclusive and accountable process for the Summit of the Future. We will continue to work closely with the United Nations and its Member States to foster a Pact for the Future that is sustainable and democratic for all.