Asia and Pacific Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have released a comprehensive statement critiquing the Zero Draft of the Pact for the Future of the United Nations. The statement, endorsed by several CSOs and individuals from across Asia, is the culmination of extensive consultations conducted through webinars and in-person meetings since December 2023. These consultations were co-organised by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), the Asia Civil Society Partnership for SDGs (APSD), Coalition for the UN We Need (C4UN) and the Asia Futures Forum (AFF).

Download Asia and Pacific CSOs Statement on the Zero Draft Pact for the Future of the UN SOTF 2024.

Key Concerns and Recommendations:

  1. Lack of Bold and Transformative Actions:

The CSOs welcomed the Zero Draft released on January 26, 2024, but expressed significant concern over its lack of concrete and transformative actions. They criticized the draft for being filled with diplomatic rhetoric reminiscent of previous UN declarations, without clear implementation strategies.

  1. Insufficient Recognition of Civil Society Contributions:

Despite substantial efforts in the SOTF process, the contributions of civil society have not been adequately recognized. The CSOs stressed the need for greater allocation of space and time for civil society at global, regional and national levels.

  1. Need for an All-Inclusive Approach:

The statement emphasized the importance of an all-of-government and all-of-society approach to ensure a safe and sustainable future, highlighting that the future belongs to everyone.

Detailed Recommendations by Chapter:

Chapter 1: Sustainable Development and Financing for Development

  • The CSOs welcomed the reaffirmation of commitments to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
  • They advocated for setting a deadline to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, stronger recognition of health issues and a legally binding treaty for Transnational Corporations (TNCs).
  • Specific recommendations included measures for tax justice, debt restructuring, and substantial funding for climate change mitigation from major corporations.

Chapter 2: International Peace and Security

  • The CSOs urged all governments, especially the permanent members of the UN Security Council, to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
  • They expressed concern over the draft’s affirmation of the inalienable right of all countries to develop nuclear energy, stressing the need to address associated risks.
  • They called for the commitment to the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045 and the establishment of a Peacebuilding Account.

Chapter 3: Science, Technology and Innovation

  • The CSOs welcomed the establishment of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board and the Global Digital Compact initiative.
  • They highlighted the importance of addressing surveillance, promoting democratic internet governance and regulating AI internationally.

Chapter 4: Youth and Future Generations

  • The statement supported the Declaration on Future Generations, emphasizing the need for it to be youth-led, with a focus on youth from vulnerable countries.
  • They welcomed the establishment of the UN Youth Office and the development of a global standard for meaningful youth engagement.

Chapter 5: Transformation of Global Governance

  • The CSOs urged member states to commit to the universal rule of law by respecting the decisions of international judicial bodies.
  • They advocated for the broadening of participation of developing countries in global governance institutions and reforming consultative mechanisms.

Path Forward Strengthening Global Commitments

The Asia and Pacific CSOs’ statement on the Zero Draft of the Pact for the Future of the UN reflects a critical yet constructive stance, pushing for more ambitious and concrete actions. As the statement will be presented at the UN Civil Society Conference in Nairobi, it aims to influence global policies and ensure that the voices of civil society are heard in shaping a sustainable and equitable future.