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Chair’s summary of deliberations on the Summit of the Future and beyond

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Nordic-African Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Copenhagen 3 May 2024

At the 2024 Nordic-African Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in Copenhagen 2-3 May, the participants emphasized among other topics their shared commitment to inclusive and effective multilateralism with the United Nations at its core. It was stressed that global solidarity was necessary to build peace, contribute to sustainable development and foster greater equality between states and regions. To this end the principles and aspirations enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including all its provisions, remains the only sustainable way to address the multiple crises of our time and move towards a better future for all. At the same time, fundamental reforms are needed to ensure that key institutions of global governance reflect the realities of the 21st century. Participants wholeheartedly committed to work to restore trust in multilateralism and revitalize international cooperation by making it more representative, preventative and responsive to current global needs, while keeping in mind that in today’s landscape of multiple crises and challenges, it is more important than ever that our responses not only meet the demands of the present but also safeguard the interests of current and future generations yet to come. Participants underlined the centrality of international law and its universal application.  

The upcoming Summit of the Future to be held in New York on 22-23 September 2024 is a critical opportunity to address urgent gaps in global governance and reinvigorate existing commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the global peace and security architecture. The adoption of a Pact for the Future that charts the path for a renewed multilateralism that delivers for all, leaving no one behind, and sustains the United Nations as the primary international intergovernmental organization to address critical global problems, is of vital importance for strengthening the existing system and future generations.

While supporting the relevance and timeliness of addressing all areas included in the suggested draft for the Pact for the Future currently being negotiated in New York, the participants of the Nordic-African foreign ministers meeting in Copenhagen focused their discussions on the following areas:

Transforming Institutions of Global Governance and the International Financial Architecture

The United Nations Security Council is at the core of multilateral peace and security governance. The Members of the United Nations have conferred on the Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and agreed that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.

To ensure that the Security Council can effectively fulfil its vital mandate, it must reflect current global political and economic realities, and be more representative, transparent and accountable and this can only be achieved with a reformed Security Council, currently being discussed at the Intergovernmental Negotiations. Additionally, while far from sufficient, this includes improving the working methods of the Security Council to enhance its agility and transparency, and ensure a more equitable distribution of roles and responsibilities among Council members and provide for more inclusive and consultative procedures. The Security Council should do more to enhance enforceability of its decisions towards addressing conflicts.

The Pact for the Future should give new momentum to the ongoing inter-governmental negotiation process with a view to rectifying historical injustices. The United Nations Security Council should be expanded with more members in both the permanent category and the elected category to address Africa’s non-representation and under-representation in the respective categories.

The international financial architecture needs reforming, in line with agreed principles and provisions in multilateral organizations, to better reflect the political and economic realities of today and deliver the needed financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and combat and adapt to the climate crisis. Reforms are needed to address the following:

  • Mobilizing development and climate financing at scale. Echoing the African Leaders Nairobi Declaration and call to action, participants called for collective global action to mobilise the necessary capital for both development and climate action so that no country should ever have to choose between development aspirations and climate action. Note that we cannot solve the multiple global challenges in silos. We need a new coherent global approach that can engage all key stakeholders – governments, the private sector, the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB’s), donors, civil society and philanthropy - to act to unlock the investments at scale needed to deliver the SDGs and climate action. Ensuring a successful Summit of the Future and agreeing on a New Quantified Goal on Climate Finance at COP29 will be important global milestones in establishing such an approach.
       
  • Alleviating the debt burden on developing countries. That almost half of humanity live in countries that spend more on paying interest on debts than on education or health is unacceptable and the largest obstacle for investments in sustainable development and climate action. Participants supported improvements in the G20 and Paris Club Common Framework for debt treatments in order to accelerate treatments. This also includes increased access to affordable financing and continued voluntary channeling Special Drawing Rights or equivalent to the relevant Trusts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  • Increasing the availability of concessional finance to developing countries. The MDB’s are essential partners in delivering finance, impact and knowledge and in driving the broader reform of the international financial architecture necessary to align global finance flows with the SDG’s and the goals of the Paris Agreement. The MDB’s have acknowledged the call for reform, increased available finance and engaged in global challenges, but MDB-reform has to continue as a collective endeavour. The MDB’s should, without jeopardizing their AAA-rating, continue to implement the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework, when relevant, and mobilize and leverage resources from all sources with the aim of increasing the availability of concessional financial resources to developing countries. At the same time, shareholders, that are able to do so, should explore all possible options to increase their financial support to the MDB’s, including supporting innovative financial instruments and ambitious replenishments of the MDB funds. A robust IDA21 replenishment this year is critical to increase concessional financing to the poorest countries.
  • International tax cooperation needs to be inclusive and effective, efforts should be made to simplify global tax rules and to advance the fight against illicit financial flows.

  • The International Financial Institutions (IFI’s) must reflect global political and economic realities. The addition of an African seat in the IMF Board is a relevant first step. At the World Bank, discussions of how to enhance the representation of African countries are welcomed. It is also crucial to safeguard the current majority shareholding for regional member countries in the regional development banks.   
        

The Pact for the Future should give new momentum and direction to inclusive processes to advance the necessary reforms of the international financial architecture with the overall aim of ensuring an architecture that is representative of global realities, fit for present and future purposes and delivers to the needs of developing countries and future generations.  

Peace and Security

The global peace and security landscape is changing and a series of new and interlocking threats have emerged. This adds to the complexity of already difficult conflict dynamics. UN peace operations continue to serve as key tools for international peace and security. To bridge the gap between the potential of collective security and its realization, it is important that we use the full spectrum of responses available for the UN and work together to enhance the capacity of African institutions. This includes:

  • For more than 75 years, UN peacekeeping operations have successfully supported the prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts. Reflections on the future of UN peace operations are called for, including how to use the full spectrum of tools available for the UN to respond to conflicts and crises, while keeping in mind the primacy of politics. Troop contributing countries have a particularly important role to play in such reflections.

  • Enhancing the United Nations’ cooperation with relevant regional organizations, including the African Union in line with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, in undertaking peacekeeping and enforcement action to maintain or restore international peace and security, authorized by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter. The recent adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2719 (2023) is a welcome step in the direction towards adequate, predictable and sustainable financing for African Union peace support operations authorised by the Security Council from United Nations assessed contributions. Enhanced collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union is needed to ensure effective implementation of resolution 2719.

  • Strengthening the Peacebuilding Architecture of the United Nations, in recognition of the centrality of peacebuilding for achieving sustainable peace and development, by enhancing the UN’s strategic approach to peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts. This includes strengthening the role of the Peacebuilding Commission and its advisory, convening and bridging roles. The Commission plays an important role in advising and acting as a bridge to relevant United Nations bodies and facilitating the inclusion of perspectives on conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace of multiple stakeholders, including international financial institutions, civil society, women and youth. The Commission should be encouraged to also enhance cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations, including with a view to strengthening regional conflict prevention frameworks. The recent adoption of General Assembly resolution 78/257 approving an annual infusion of USD 50 million through assessed contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund is an important gesture towards ensuring adequate, sustainable, flexible and predictable financing to peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts. Much more, however, is needed to adequately address the drivers, underlying root causes of violent conflict and instability, and to sustain peace. To that effect, closer cooperation between the international financial institutions and the United Nations to assist Member States should be encouraged.

  • Promoting the centrality of inclusive approaches to all peace and security processes. In this connection, ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in processes of peace and security as well as the involvement of the youth.

The Pact for the Future should give new momentum and establish relevant processes on the above and other issues as needed to increase the impact of UN efforts to prevent conflict and maintain international peace and security.

Copenhagen 3 May 2024

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