The links for the Global Dialogues Toolkit is on the home page of the UN75 website at: https://www.un.org/en/un75
UN75 The Multilateralism We Want: Psychological Contributions to Building Bridges Among and Within Nations
Currently there seems to be a global increase in nationalist and populist movements, and dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance in many parts of the world. These trends are impacting attitudes towards the UN and the concept of Multilateralism upon which it is based. In addition the world is currently facing a major global pandemic of Covid-19, where the need for multilateralism is greater than ever before.
Multilateralism lead to the formation of the UN in the aftermath of WWII, and is a form of international cooperation, where the many member states work together to prevent future such catastrophic conflicts. However in the 2019 United Nations General Assembly a stark divide emerged that now defines international relations, a split between globalists in favor of multilateral relations and patriots or nationalists in favor of bilateral relations.
Last fall to counter the rise of nationalism and protectionism and to strengthen and transform the multilateral system, the General Assembly decided to recognize the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 as an important opportunity to hold governments accountable to the commitments they made to the UN Charter in 1945. In addition, it presents an opportunity to mobilize public support to demand progressive improvements to global institutions and policy through a UN75 Summit in Sept 2020 dedicated for this purpose. The theme for the summit is “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism.”
The UN75 theme is guiding all meetings and conferences organized by the UN in 2020, and Secretary General has launched a Global Dialogues initiative by a UN75 taskforce to start grassroots dialogues around the world.The purpose of these dialogues is to raise awareness about the need for ML and inspire people to think about the kind of world they want in the future. It is a way to engage civil society and youth. People participating in dialogues are sending their feedback to the UN75 taskforce, so that their voices can be presented to world leaders at the Sept summit commemorating the UN’s 75th anniversary, as it is vital that our voices are heard at this crucial time for the world.
Psychology at the UN can contribute to the UN75 theme in two ways. Psychological research can contribute to understanding the challenges to Multilateralism such as the rise in nationalism, exclusion, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments, as well as contribute towards building better international cooperation and collaboration. Research from Cross-cultural psychology can enhance understanding of how to tackle xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments, and elucidate the stresses of acculturation on both the host and immigrant populations. Research from Social psychology can contribute to facilitating better communication and cooperation between cultural and ethnic groups. And research from Health psychology can illuminate and facilitate international collaboration on combating global pandemics such as covid-19 and other public health crises.
Social policy discussions that seek to understand and address threats to multilateralism rarely include psychology, but social issues are complex, requiring a multidisciplinary approach. Psychological considerations can help us gain a deeper understanding of an issue and determine strategies to address it. Analyzing complex situations from a psychological perspective as well can inform social policy making, and help to develop more effective strategies for building cooperation between cultures.
The Psychology Day Program -- will consist of a panel to discuss psychology’s contributions to
1) understanding the challenges to multilateralism, and 2) building international cooperation. Panelists will consist of experts from cross-cultural, social and health psychology who will discuss their research on various aspects of these challenges and the building of international cooperation described above.