Our Common Agenda: A Vision of the Future of Global Cooperation

Our Common Agenda, the UN Secretary-General’s landmark report, was supported by the UN Foundation and a network of partners. We helped to catalyze inputs from UN Member States, global thought leaders, young leaders, activists, and a broad spectrum of civil society and private sector voices.


The report

At a time where humanity faces a stark choice between breakdown and breakthrough, Our Common Agenda proposes a path forward centered around a renewal of our social contract, greater solidarity with young people and future generations, and a new global deal.

In marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, world leaders asked Secretary-General Guterres to set out a vision for the future of global cooperation and how to reinvigorate multilateralism to tackle the interconnected challenges of the 21st century.

The Secretary-General presented his report to 75th session of the General Assembly in September 2021, describing it as “a starting point for our joint efforts to improve global governance together on foundations of trust, solidarity and human rights.”



Flagship Inputs

Our Common Agenda was the result of a year-long global listening exercise. The UN Foundation and its partners supported a series of roundtables for UN member states and provided a platform for young people and civil society to propose ideas and recommendations.

Our Future Agenda

In line with his call for young people to be designers of their own future, the Secretary-General asked for young people to help to shape Our Common Agenda.

The UN Foundation hosted a global group of eight Next Generation Fellows, who worked with the world’s young thinkers, activists and leaders to identify solutions to the biggest challenges facing next and future generations. They organized open space dialogues, a series of national conversations, and more, to hear from young people from all backgrounds.

As well as helping to shape the Secretary-General’s recommendations on renewed intergenerational solidarity, the Next Generation Fellows set out their own vision and plan in Our Future Agenda. They are committed to putting the needs of young people at the top of the political agenda.

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We the Peoples Digital Consultation

In keeping with the vision of more networked and inclusive multilateralism, the Secretary-General sought to consult widely with the “we the peoples” of our world.

To support this, the Igarapé Institute—a key partner working with the UN Foundation to shape Our Common Agenda—held a digital consultation to bring in the voices of non-governmental organizations, impact investors, philanthropists, parliamentarians, city leaders, academic institutions, and under-represented groups. The process generated 523 proposals from 1,759 participants from 147 countries.

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The Research

The UN Foundation commissioned research to contribute to Our Common Agenda, some of which has been published. Research reports on climate, health, and future generations helped inform the Secretary-General’s recommendations.

An analysis of the nature and value of multilateral cooperation on climate change

A contribution from the United Nations Foundation, E3G and Climate Analytics.

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A new agenda for the 11 billion people who are yet to be born this century

A contribution from the United Nations Foundation and the NYU Center on International Cooperation.

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An analysis of the impact of multilateral cooperation on the COVID pandemic

A contribution from the United Nations Foundation, Metabiota, and a group of health experts.

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Reaction and Implementation

Our Common Agenda marks the beginning of a new era for the United Nations and for global governance. The United Nations Foundation is working with partners to track and support implementation of the Secretary-General’s recommendations.

UN Foundation
Other Reactions

The Engine Room

The Engine Room is a global virtual forum where young changemakers can forge connections, collaborate and mobilize their impact initiatives to address the world’s greatest challenges. The Engine Room is launched each year at the Big Brainstorm, a virtual event hosted by the United Nations Foundation’s Our Future Agenda program.

In 2023, the Big Brainstorm brought together more than 2,500 young people from 136 countries with the mission to mobilize action ahead of the SDG Summit. These young people now continue to develop their ideas into action through the Engine Room.

Related Reading

Multilateralism for the Future: New Challenges, New Models, New Solutions

Global challenges have become increasingly interconnected and disruptive since the birth of the G20 in 1999, and its emergence as a global leader in 2008.

These challenges have sparked the evolution of networked models of multilateralism, which have had significant impacts but still fall short. Authors David Steven, Senior Fellow at UN Foundation, and Valeria Colunga, Mexican Delegate to the Y20. propose that, in pursuit of its goal of building multilateral institutions for 21st-century challenges, the G20 should use its comparative advantage as a leadership forum to make these governance innovations more effective and inclusive.

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Our Common Agenda Partners