The Future We Want, the UN We Need : Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism

The United Nations (UN) was established in 1945, to foster global peace and security, provide platforms for the development of friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be the hub for harmonization of the actions of governments and other international legal personalities in the world. For many decades of its existence, the UN has worked assiduously to fulfill these roles and achieve these objectives. Specifically, in the last decade, the organization made remarkable contributions to Global Peace, Global Growth, Health, Education, and Diffusion of Science and Technology.

However, as the organization continues to contend with and manage plethora of global and human challenges, even in its 75 years of existence, it is also apparent that that the World is increasingly at risk of facing the impact of technological change accompanied by a shortage of talents, economic and political conflagrations, religious extremism and terrorism; and that countries need to tackle climate crisis in a divided world. Besides, the World is only ten years away from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Hence, as we approach the set timeline to attain the SDGs, it is imperative to pause, ponder on and consider some essential questions, and hard-hitting conversations that arise as the UN system and stakeholders look ahead into the future.

Is there a collective future we want? Are we Futures-literate? Why do we need a Futures- literate United Nations? What kind of United Nations do we need in the future we want? Is the effort to re-skill individuals essential? Should we re-skill individuals for the future we see or for the future we want? What morphological models exist for the individual, organization, or economies we want in the future?

A Conference for a Futures-Ready Generation

To commemorate the 75 years of the multilateral organization, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)- the communications and information outpost of the UN body in Nigeria- and Covenant University (CU) came into a partnership to organize a C-UNIC UN@75 international conference, where stakeholders from around the globe will gather to push the lofty aims of the international organization to the desired limits.

To these ends, the C-UNIC UN@75 Organizing Committee (OrgCom) hereby calls for abstract submissions from scholars, professionals, government personnel, students and members of the local and international publics, for participation at this conference. Dimensions to the questions may be addressed from an individual, organizational, State, National, Regional, or global perspectives, but with the view to illuminating the global impact of these diverse perspectives. The principal theme of the conference, The Future We Want; the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism, provides opportunities for scholars and others to engage and share their research in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary dialogues and exhibitions on topical issues and concerns facing the World.

The Sub-Themes

Subthemes for this conference include- but are not limited to- the following:

1. The SDGs and United Nations

  • The sustainability(ies) we want
  • Sustainable consumption & production, industrial development, economics & investment, stakeholder participation
  • What structure and architecture of the UN would we need? An AI-led United Nations or knit networks of humans in the United Nations?
  • The future of jobs and the UN we need
  • The future role of machines, networks, and the UN we need

2.  The Science We Want: Responsible Science?

  • Ethical frameworks for innovating digital technologies
  • Models for building IOTs for habitable and strengthened societies
  • Building networks, systems that control emergence in complexities
  • Science and the code of ethics we want
  • Legal frameworks for bio-inspired innovation we want
  • Data responsibility in the future we want
  • Responsible engineering for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Digitized future and the news we want
  • Data science in the social, political, cultural and economic future we want
  • Ethics for cloud technology
  • Ethics for creating smart cities, grids, schools, hospitals, etc

3.  How to Create the Future We Want through Education and Curriculum Innovation

  • The future of learning and the UNESCO we need
  • Learning assessment in the future we want
  • Redesigning formal learning for the future we want
  • Education governance in the future we want
  • Curriculum and education for the future we want

4.  Industries in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

  • Sustainable consumption & production, industrial development, economics & investment, stakeholder participation
  • Fourth Industrial champions and climate crisis we don’t want
  • Smart data, privacy, and health
  • Pharmaceutical giants, health and generic products
  • Policies and regulation for hard and soft infrastructure powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution

5.  Mother Earth and the Climate

  • The climate we want
  • The Ocean and water we want

6 .  Africa

The Africa we want in the Fourth Industrial revolution

  • Africa integration, peace and security, monetary union and global relevance
  • Human trafficking, firearms proliferation, migration, ethnicity, xenophobia, identity, insurgencies and counter insurgencies

7.   Free and Equal- the Future We Collectively Want

  • What barriers need to be overcome to achieve equality of all citizens, regardless of gender?
  • Legal frameworks to protect communities
  • Anti-discrimination commitments across markets
  • Inclusion and diversity for the collective future

 

  1. Other Global Conversations that (now) Require Cross Examinations
  2. New technology and human rights
  3. Education for Justice (E4J), peace, and mediation
  4. Equality to create the future we want
  5. Global movement for climate change
  6. Nation-building for sustainable future – a move to reduce migration
  7. Reengineering of value system to lead change in the future we want.

Note: Other pertinent questions and areas that relate to the United Nations System, are acceptable.