Distinguished Speaker Series: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

On 13 June, The Hague Institute welcomed Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, to deliver a lecture on “The Challenges of Global Governance in the 21st Century”. Listen to the audio recording below.

The future of global governance is multilateral. Humanity is facing unprecedented forces of change that are sweeping across the globe. This raises difficult questions for international organizations that were created in different times to face different challenges. Analysts speak of a ‘G-zero world’ without global leadership, and international institutions are compared to dinosaurs – cumbersome and sclerotic. However, the rising complexity of global challenges calls for more multilateralism, not less.

Key events in 2015 show the thirst for multilateralism that exists across the world. In September, countries agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes seventeen new Sustainable Development Goals. The COP21 concluded with the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. Moreover, our societies are increasingly multicultural and require that we re-think how we approach development, dialogue, social cohesion and peacebuilding.

In a world buffeted by strong forces of fragmentation, the UN best expresses the vision of humanity as a single community. Multilateralism, that is guided by the principles of ownership, inclusion and openness, and seeks to prevent conflict and foster the resilience of people and communities, has never been more important. It is imperative that the new multilateralism of the 21st Century is inspired by a new humanism.

A discussion was moderated by Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute.

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