Global Resilience Council (GRC)
A ‘Security Council’ for Non-Military Threats
The world is experiencing a convergence of global crises that is exposing inadequate response mechanisms at all levels of governance. Current institutions are not providing the necessary holistic responses needed to address the multi-dimensionality and interconnectedness of the crises we experience today. To prepare for and respond to these multidimensional global crises, it is evident that the current siloed, multilateral governance systems need to be reconsidered, more tightly interconnected, and equipped with more efficient response protocols.
The COVID-19 pandemic and evolving climate crisis are two poignant examples. Along with millions of lives lost and the secondary health crisis that has resulted from health care systems diverting their resources to COVID-19, the pandemic has undone decades of progress fighting poverty, inequality, and unsustainable development. Similarly, compounding catastrophic climate events are having a cascading effect: they can crash economies, dismantle societies, eradicate entire species, and threaten the foundations of our human existence.
Since their Declaration on the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, Member States have been calling for the “upgrading of the UN”, urgently reimagining and reforming the global governance system to effectively respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow. In this context, the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS) has put forward a proposal for a United Nations Global Resilience Council (GRC) as a way of elevating the response to multidimensional crises from the level of self-standing intergovernmental bodies to an inclusive multilateral platform. It is not the first time that the world is facing challenges far greater than tools available. Fundamental institutional changes can and have taken place over time when extraordinary global circumstances demand so.
Subsequently, at an informal session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released his Our Common Agenda (OCA) report with proposals and ideas on how to upgrade the UN, in preparation of the planned “Summit of the Future” in 2023. FOGGS has carried out an in-depth review of OCA and is contributing to this discussion with complimentary suggestions, including the previously proposed Global Resilience Council. Further information on this FOGGS project is presented here.
WHY do we need a GRC?
There currently is no global body with decision-making authority to tackle non-military global threats.
In order to prepare for and respond to the multidimensional global crises we currently experience, it is evident that the current siloed, multilateral governance systems need to be reconsidered, adequately interconnected, and equipped with more efficient response protocols. The Global Resilience Council would be able to demand action from all parts of the existing multilateral system. Distinct from current practices in environmental, economic and social global governance, it would have binding authority similar to that of the UN Security Council.
WHAT would the GRC deal with?
It would address global non-military threats such as climate, health, and economic crises that find no adequate response at lower levels of governance.
This body would be expected to address global non-military threats such as those related to climate, health and economic crises, and do so by engaging diverse global constituencies in coordinated actions. This new multilateral body would be designed to address global shocks in a dramatically new fashion: one that is based on a ‘whole of government,’ ‘whole of multilateralism,’ and ‘whole of globalization,’ approach.
WHO would the GRC include?
The GRC would involve state and non-state actors, including scientific advisory bodies and UN system entities.
The exact composition of the GRC remains to be determined via intergovernmental negotiations. It can be expected to include a limited number of states and regional integration organizations, while involving as observers UN system agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, as well as diverse constituencies of non-state actors.
AND as a companion body
The GRC could be established in conjunction with an interim Intergovernmental Leadership Council (ILC).
Currently, intergovernmental bodies do not have a protocol for requesting an item to be placed on another intergovernmental body’s agenda or that another intergovernmental body to take specific action. As a companion body to the GRC, the ILC could serve as a platform for representatives of intergovernmental bodies to meet and design joint programs drawing on their respective expertise and political insights of their different intergovernmental constituencies. By accepting the participation of all intergovernmental bodies, the ILC would be the first step to end siloed global governance and overcome fragmentation in the face of global shocks.
Discussions around the GRC
“[The OCA Emergency] Platform is not intended to become a permanent body or institution such as the Global Resilience Council proposed by FOGGS.”
– The Development and Peace Foundation (SEF) in December 2021
“A Global Resilience Council should be established as a new, specialized international body to better address non-military threats and to build greater resilience, well-being, and comprehensive human security.”
– Select Global Governance Innovation Examples from Roundtables held at Club de Madrid in June 2021
“Create a Global Resilience Council to bring global climate governance together with wider sustainable development efforts, outside of the UNFCCC framework.”
– The Stimson Center in April 2021
Follow Our GRC Project
A series of online events are planned under this project. Come back for more information, we will update this section as the project progresses.
24 March 2022
Public Webinar co-organized by the Global Governance Forum and FOGGS
“Time to Rethink the UN – Addressing Major Threats to Human Security”
Moderated by Nik Gowing, former BBC presenter
Global Risks Index
Augusto Lopez-Claros, Executive Director, Global Governance Forum
A Review of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Governance Reform Proposals
Harris Gleckman, Board Member, FOGGS
Civil Society, Gender, and UN Reform
Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Co-Chair, Coalition for the UN We Need (C4UN)
Climate Change and a Better Format for Global Environmental Governance
Arthur Dahl, President, International Environment Forum
In Need of a Global Resilience Council?
Yvonne Rademacher, Senior Global Governance Advisor, FOGGS
The recording of the webinar can be found here
18 February 2022
Virtual Informal Roundtable Discussion
“A Common Agenda for Global Resilience through a More Inclusive Multilateralism”
Participants: A select group of representatives of non-state actor constituencies such as think tanks, scientific associations, civil society organizations, the private sector, and local authorities.
Topics: In the context of the UN Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report and key proposals covered therein, the roundtable explored
· Conceptual and structural elements of global governance in the UN SG’s Our Common Agenda.
· FOGGS proposal for a Global Resilience Council (GRC), including constituent assemblies of non-state actors.
· Non-state actor priorities for multilateralism and engagement in intergovernmental processes.
For the Discussion Summary, click here.
27 January 2022
Virtual Informal Roundtable Discussion
“Our Common Agenda and the Future of Multilateralism”
Participants: A small group of representatives from UN Permanent Missions, the UN system, and international think-tanks
Topics: review of key global governance proposals presented in the UN Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda (OCA)
· Conceptual elements and multi-stakeholder issues in the OCA.
· Key institutional proposals and counter-proposals.
· Strategic priorities and political processes leading to a successful Summit of the Future in 2023.
For the Discussion Summary, click here.