Remarks at an Informal Consultation on the United Nations Summit of the Future

Ambassador Chris Lu
U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform
New York, New York
April 20, 2023

As Delivered

Let me first thank the co-facilitators for their service and for convening us today to discuss the scope of the Summit of the Future.

The U.S. welcomes the many thematic consultations that have taken place so far. We look forward to discussing future policy briefs, as well as the High-Level Advisory Board report that was published earlier this week. These consultations have provided valuable context and recommendations for how to address gaps in the multilateral system and anticipate new threats to ensure that we are able to respond most effectively.

Our discussions on the scope and elements of the Summit of the Future must also include a robust discussion of this fall’s preparatory ministerial meeting. Among the issues we will face are how to preserve a meaningful role for a wide range of stakeholders and whether there is scope for any substantive outcome.

Many delegations in this room have called for discussions on the scope of the Summit of the Future alongside substantive consideration of the various workstreams. Today’s discussion is therefore timely. Initiating these discussions early should help us reach consensus on a balanced set of priorities for the Summit of the Future and ensure that the Summit is as productive as possible.

Given the breadth of proposed workstreams, we support the criteria proposed by the co-facilitators for elements of the Summit, namely strengthening the multilateral system, addressing gaps in the UN’s capabilities, and meeting future challenges.

Many of the policy briefs have yet to be published, so we believe it would be premature to close the door on any particular workstream. At the same time, we recognize that some prioritization may eventually be necessary. In setting priorities, we also need to assess where the United Nations has a comparative advantage, where there are ongoing processes and mandates in other UN agencies and multilateral bodies, and how the Summit of the Future can build on the work of this fall’s SDG Summit.

We believe that preventing conflict, ensuring a just global digital transformation, strengthening the integrity of public information, and improving the ability of the multilateral system to respond to complex crises are priority issues and will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We also welcome discussions on evolving the international financial architecture – including reforms introduced at the World Bank to increase its lending capacity and better tackle global challenges. We look forward to working constructively with other member states to address the many challenges we collectively face.

Thank you.