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Strengthening the United Nations

The Elders believe strongly that the United Nations is a necessary and core part of the global governance system.


The Elders' Work

The Elders launched a specific initiative on “Strengthening the UN” at the Munich Security Conference in 2015. They proposed four reforms to the UN’s peace and security architecture that would enhance the organisation’s legitimacy and efficacy: a new category of membership for the UN Security Council; a pledge from Permanent Members not to use their veto to prevent action against mass atrocities; a greater voice for civil society; and a more independent Secretary-General.

Following the election of António Guterres as Secretary-General in October 2016, The Elders have focused their efforts on veto restraint. They have raised the issue at meetings with Security Council members in New York and have worked to amplify the voices of civil society and victims of conflict.

The Elders also strongly support the UN’s 2030 Agenda on development and its efforts to introduce new Global Compacts on refugees and migration.

Our call for veto restraint

In May 2016, The Elders joined civil society to call on members of the Security Council to exercise veto restraint to prevent mass atrocities.

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