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75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75) – Action Celebrations

The Duke Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS)/Rethinking Diplomacy Program (RDP) is launching the series: 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75) – Action Celebrations.”

The virtual webinars will follow the conclusion of the United Nations’ commemorative activities for its 75thanniversary last year. In the aftermath of the January 2021 release of UN75’s final report on the commemorations, the series will kick off on Thursday, January 28, 12-1PM with the event: “Beyond Common Aspirations and towards Common Solutions” and will welcome UN Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the UN75, Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, and the Academic Advisor for UN75, Dr. Cecilia Cannon.  According to the organizers of the series, Mr. Christian Lara (DUCIGS/RDP fellow) and Dr. Giovanni Zanalda (Director of DUCIGS), “this event represents a great opportunity for students, faculty, and practitioners to hear first-hand from the team behind this unprecedented initiative and to learn how to engage as we all have a role to play.”


In January 2020, Secretary-General António Guterres launched the yearlong UN75 initiative as an opportunity for the United Nations to listen to the people it serves. The global consultation aimed at gathering information about perceptions and aspirations about the world we want. The initiative reached over a billion people through a one-minute survey, open dialogs, opinion polling, and online events. 1.5 million people from over 195 countries cast their votes, shared their hopes and fears for the future, and discussed how all actors, including the multilateral system, and particularly UN agencies, funds and programs; can work together to better address the global challenges we face. 

On January 8, 2021, the UN published its final report of UN75 global conversation. Among the report’s findings:

  1. climate change and environmental issues are identified as the number one long-term global challenge;
  2. 97% of respondents believe that international cooperation is important for addressing global challenges;
  3. Many respondents look to the United Nations to lead in international cooperation to address immediate and longer-term global challenges.
The “75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75) – Challenges and Solutions” series.

The DUCIGS/Rethinking Diplomacy “75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75) – Challenges and Solutions” series will explore and reflect about the challenges faced by the multilateral system and the role of the United Nations for the future we want, as reflected in the results of UN75 global consultation. 

In partnership with the UN Secretariat team in charge of the UN75 commemoration, the January 28 event will introduce the spirit of the global initiative as well as its methodology and findings. Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond and Dr. Cecilia Cannon will present a prospective view of the role of the United Nations in responding to the multiple challenges highlighted in the UN75 outcomes.

The series will continue in the coming months with thematic webinars about other prominent topics identified by the UN75 global survey:

(1) Climate change and environmental protection;

(2) Equitable and universal access to health care (in the context of a new reality post-COVID-19;)

(3) The impact of digital technologies (another major issue challenging multilateralism and becoming both a threat as well as an opportunity to tackle global challenges.)

As the UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently said(link is external), there are “four horsemen in our midst”, “four looming threats to human progress: Surging geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology.” To face these threats, he added: “Commemorating the 75th anniversary with nice speeches won’t do.  We must address these four 21st-century challenges with four 21st-century solutions.”

The Rethinking Diplomacy Program (RDP) is a DUCIGS signature idea incubator and forum for students, diplomats, faculty, and practitioners to explore, share, and promote new practices of diplomacy. RDP is supported by a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund.


UN75 Final Report: is external)

UN Secretary-General’s preliminary report (Sep. 2020) on UN75: UN75: The Future We Want, The UN We Need, 2020.(link is external)

UN75 Film – 2020 and beyond: is external)

UN75 Data Sets: is external)