To “transform the world”, only one solution: full support to democratic multilateralism

By Federico Mayor*

Five years after the Agreement of Paris on climate Change and the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on the Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals), the measures adopted have not been implemented, with a very severe irreversible lack in our intergenerational responsibilities. The refusal –as always- of the Republican Party of North America to the United Nations System leadership has been crucial. The situation has been further aggravated by the pandemic of the COVID-19.

In these moments of very somber horizons, only a firm position of all the countries –global threats require global joint reactions- could redress the present trends.

At this respect, it has been, a recent Joint Call to the Secretary General of the United Nations (, in full support of the rapid implementation of measures with global impact.

Of this Joint Call an essential summary is:

“In November 2020 we will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the creation of the United Nations System. The humanity as a whole is facing many threats –some of which have an irreversible nature for the first time in history– and radical changes at a planetary scale in the old governance and in human behaviour have become both necessary and urgent.

Already in 1992, the Rio Earth Summit clearly showed the necessity of sharply reducing the CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce ecological damage and climate changes. These recommendations were not taken into account, although points of no return had already been reached –with a complete lack of intergenerational responsibility– and the negative prospects were rising. In the fall of 2015, two important events took place: the signature of the Paris Agreements against Global Warming and the Resolution on the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations General Assembly, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “Transforming the world”.

Now, regretfully, five years later, the neoliberal governance placed in the hands of plutocratic groups (G6, G7, G8… G20) and the personal antagonism of President Donald Trump, have resulted in exactly the opposite and the world habitability is approaching points of no return in a world context of increased social asymmetries, wars, supremacism, racial and fanatic outbreaks… and there is a new pandemic (Coronavirus-COVID 19) that will have a huge impact at a global level on health and social economy…

There is only one solution: a greatly efficient and strong multilateral democratic system…

There have been many international and national initiatives (personal and institutional) in favour of multilateralism in the past decades. Today, there are many more (see annex I). Their proposals can right now, on the occasion of the UN 75th Anniversary, be taken into account.

 They have all decided to address the present CALL to the UN Secretary General and, thorough him, if he agrees, to the leaders of the organizations of the United Nations System:

“In order to address the huge threats we are facing at a global level, some of which may be irreversible for the first time in history, a multilateral democratic System, with all nations united is needed to straighten the present situation. A special emergency session of the UNGA must be urgently convened so that measures are taken to redirect the global trends and to establish a new world order.

The most important issues to be dealt with are:

1.-Multilateral governance: elimination of the plutocratic groups; worldwide programs to tackle global threats: nuclear weapons; global warming and ecological transition; UN priorities available for all citizens (food; water; quality health services; ecological care; education; peace).

2.-Economy: transition from an economy based on speculation, production offshoring and war to a knowledge based economy with the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (UN – GA Resolution “ Transforming the world”, November 2015).

3.- A new concept of security: an important percentage of funds invested today in armament and military expenditures must be urgently transferred to health security and ecological purposes. Transition from a culture of war to a culture of peace and non-violence.

4.- A new concept of work and a new lifestyle: with the new  communication technology, distance education, work, participation… our ways of living and working must change accordingly. For the first time in history, human beings can express themselves freely. Therefore, citizens of the world must from now on have a say in global governance, as so wisely –even prematurely– stated in 1945 in the first paragraph of the UN Charter: “We, the peoples”.

5.- Initiate the process to review the final draft of the Universal Declaration on Democracy ( ) –which includes the reform of the UN System itself– and  have the document adopted by the UNGA”.

The organizations and individuals signatories are extremely relevant. Among others: several Peace Nobel Laureates; very distinguished members of the academic, scientific, artistic, intellectual and political communities… The Foundation for a Culture of Peace.; Spanish Federation of UNESCO Clubs (FECU); Global Movement for The Culture of Peace (GMCoP); Instituto DEMOSPAZ, Autonomous University of Madrid; World Academy of Arts and Sciences – UNGO; Othernews; European Centre for Peace and Development (Belgrade); International Peace Bureau; The World Sustainable Forum – University for Sustainability; AIPAZ & Cibervoluntarios; The Initiative for Peace; UNICEF Spain…

Only in this way humanity will be able to overcome the very complex and dark perspectives with the transition from the reason of the force to the force of the reason, from a culture of war to a culture o peace.


*Federico Mayor Zaragoza, President of the Spanish Association for Science Progress (AEAC). Roberto Savio, President of “Othernews”, Rosa María Artal, Emilio Muñoz, Promoting Partner of AEAC, María Novo, Professor of Environmental Education and Sustainable Development, Vicente Larraga, Founding Partner of AEAC, Enrique Santiago, Jurist, expert in Human Rights and International Law. Article sent to Other News by the author’s office.