75 Years After the Creation of the UN: Resignifying multilateralism

Together with UN Argentina, we have carried out the event “Civil Society facing the new global scenario post COVID-19” with the aim of proposing a space for dialogue to think about the future of our sector. In the context of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the UN, we invited everyone to resignify multilateralism. In order to do this, we were accompanied by great international and local experts which joined our panel: Clara Bosco (CIVICUS), Francisco de Santibañes (CARI), Mercedes Korin (Modo Delta) and Gerardo Torres (Meridian International).

Within this context of uncertainty, as consequence of the pandemic and the emergence of new trends and structural changes in the international system, the experts emphasize on the need of a strong Civil Society. It is of utmost importance that alliances strengthened and promoted, and that dialogue is encouraged. In this context, Francisco de Santibañes assures: “We must work for a more agile, realistic multilateralism, closer to Civil Society”.

CSOs need to reorganize and adapt to the current scenario, however, we should ask ourselves: what is the future we want?, what are our priorities?. Without delimiting the pre-eminent lines of action, we will not be able to promote the change we want for the new post-COVID paradigm. Some of the lines planted were: Prioritize the needs of the most excluded, reform multilateral organizations to give space to new voices and demand for enabling environments for an unrestricted and resilient Civil Society. Clara Bosco stated: “The pandemic shows our interdependence and the need for greater cooperation, sharing resources, innovation, technology and skills.”

Gerardo Torres then outlined some positive points. On the one hand, civic action increased around topics that Civil Society organizations have been working on for a long time, demonstrating that if the interests of CSOs align with those of citizens, people are willing to collaborate. Then he added: “I see five well-marked opportunities for issues in the post-pandemic scenario in Latin America: rethinking the new social contract, education, access to technology, financial inclusion and the right to property.” Finally, questioning the old narratives about “success” and “impact”, he proposed a new figure: The leader who cares about others.

“The world is going to need more than ever that we all think from the common good” declared Mercedes Korin, also inviting to “befriend” with uncertainty, question our certainties and not seek answers, but new questions, since these are the ones that open the game to build with others.

In this way, the event revolved around a conversation that analyzed from the international and institutional context, to the individual experience of the crisis, going over the role of Civil Society and innovation to overcome the adversities that 2020 has brought.

Special thanks to UN Argentina and our four panelists for participating. To view the full event, visit: