Promoting and Defending Multilateralism

The Promoting and Defending Multilateralism program was born out of the awareness that collective action is crucial to address 21st century challenges, from conflict to economic instability to global health and climate threats.  It aims to provide deeper understanding, independent perspectives, and expert analysis to assist stakeholders and decision-makers seeking to strengthen the United Nations and other key multilateral institutions. 

Originally focused on supporting the restructuring of the UN peace and security pillar and the UN Development System in 2016-2017, the program’s scope and objectives have expanded to:

  1. Defend and promote multilateralism, particularly in light of the secretary-general’s common agenda report and in the context of the impact of and recovery from the pandemic;
  2. Further strengthen UN-IFI partnerships, an area that has grown in focus in the past two years; and
  3. Support gender parity and other forms of diversity among UN senior management.

In practical terms, in support of the first objective we provide independent analysis related to the ideas in Our Common Agenda and their implementation, and support cross-regional coalitions of member states and other partners in support of delivery of these actions, such as the joint statement by Pathfinders member states, joint events held with the Leaders Network for Reinventing Multilateralism together, and inputs of the Justice Action Coalition.

For the second objective, we provide briefings for UN Resident Coordinators on engagement with the IFIs and vice versa, support country level discussions on UN-WB-IMF collaboration in fragile and conflict-affected states, and produce informal platforms to bring together member states in the different governing bodies. While the focus of this program is on small, agile discussions for decision-makers rather than the wider public, we periodically draw these together into broader policy analysis, and provide these lessons to new initiatives such as the preparation of the IMF’s Fragile States strategy and the UN’s new work on integration.

To promote gender parity and other forms of inclusiveness in appointments at the UN, we maintain the senior appointments dashboard and regularly publish analysis of progress and remaining challenges.