United nations

2024 Multilateral Calendar: What to Expect

March 5, 2024

Just months into 2024, the global community finds itself at a critical juncture, with a myriad of multilateral events set to shape the course of international cooperation for the year ahead. Amidst pressing sustainability and security challenges, the upcoming summits and conferences hold immense significance, offering a platform for collective action towards a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future.

        1. Sustainability at the Forefront
          Central to the 2024 multilateral agenda is the overarching theme of sustainability. From the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi to three UN sustainability conferences on desertification, biodiversity and climate change, sustainability will permeate discussions and deliberations. The urgent need to address environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change, promote clean energy solutions and safeguard biodiversity underscores the gravity of the sustainability imperative.
        2. The Summit for the Future as a Pinnacle Event
          Undoubtedly, one of the year’s most anticipated events is the Summit for the Future. Conceived as a catalyst for global progress that will take place at the beginning of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September, this summit will convene world leaders, policymakers and stakeholders to chart a course for the UN to address upcoming challenges, including the governance of digital technology, a new agenda for peace and effective youth empowerment. The Summit offers a unique opportunity to bridge divides and forge consensus on key issues ranging from climate action to economic development.
        3. Global South Leadership
          In the context of Brazil’s G20 presidency and Trinidad and Tobago’s presidency of the Global South is poised to take center stage on the international diplomatic front. With a renewed focus on addressing the unique challenges faced by developing nations, these presidencies offer a platform to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and advocate for more equitable global policies.
        4. Binding Processes and Global Policy Frameworks
          2024 will witness the culmination or at least the substantial advancement of several binding processes and the establishment of global policy frameworks aimed at tackling pressing global challenges. From initiatives to combat plastic pollution to efforts to govern digital technology and reform international taxation, these agreements hold the promise of catalyzing transformative change on a global scale.
        5. Rocky Way Ahead
          However, amidst the optimism surrounding these multilateral endeavors, significant challenges loom large. A growing divide between the Global North and Global South, exacerbated by recent geopolitical tensions, threatens to impede progress on critical issues. Moreover, the urgency of addressing pressing challenges such as climate change and digital gap is met with the sobering reality of budgetary constraints facing the UN and other international organizations. In addition to these challenges, the geopolitical landscape is further complicated by an increasing lack of consensus, which has widened divisions and hindered cooperation on matters of global importance.

As we navigate the complexities of the 2024 multilateral agenda, it is imperative that we remain steadfast in our commitment to collective action and global solidarity. By harnessing the momentum of these multilateral engagements and confronting challenges head-on, we can pave the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come.

As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in Davos: “Rebuilding Trust will not happen overnight—but I am convinced that it’s both essential, and possible. I urge everybody, I urge you to influence to prevent further damage and to get our world back on track to safety, to prosperity, and peace.”

For more information and to discuss how to engage in these processes, please reach out to Unteam@apcoworldwide.com

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