University of Cambridge > > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars > A Second Charter: Imagining a Renewed United Nations

A Second Charter: Imagining a Renewed United Nations

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Stefanie Ullmann.

The contemporary crises faced by humanity require a new kind of international agreement. One which will prevent accelerating climate change from ruining the world for future generations, deescalate the high levels of nationalism which risk precipitating further global conflicts, and address economic and social inequities which could undermine the basis of democracy and good governance. One which will remove the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons and place global security on international agreements securing freedom and democracy for all nations rather than on the military preparedness of individual states. This is a world which the UN, as currently constituted, with its decision-making capacities paralyzed by the veto powers of its permanent Security Council members, cannot achieve. At the 1945 conference in San Francisco where the UN Charter was adopted the UN´s founding members, conscious of the need to placate many countries which viewed the veto as undermining the legitimacy and future effectiveness of the UN, introduced Article 109—allowing for a future review of the appropriateness of the Charter in light of changes in the world. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s 2024 Summit of the Future provides the perfect opportunity to enact Article 109, binding states to hold a General Conference prior to 2030 where the Charter can be reviewed, and the first steps can be taken to confront the global catastrophic risks which threaten our future.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars series.

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