The Future of Multilateralism

How Can it Better Cater for Young and Future Generations?

Wednesday 26 April // 6:00 – 8:00pm EDT // UNHQ Conference Room 3


This ECOSOC Youth Forum side event is organized by the United Nations Foundation in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN.

It will gather the co-chairs of the High-level Advisory Board (HLAB), former President of Liberia, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Swedish Prime Minister H.E. Stefan Lövfen, the UNF Next Generation Fellow alumna Ms. Poonam Ghimire who served on the HLAB, and young diplomats working at Member State Missions in New York and the UN, in an intergenerational dialogue.

The session will begin with opening remarks, followed by a moderated panel discussion, a Q&A segment, and closing remarks. The side event will be held in person at the UNHQ Conference Room 3.

Guiding questions
  • How can the multilateral system improve the way it thinks, plans and acts for young people and future generations?
  • What advice does the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism have for decision-makers?
  • How do young activists, diplomats and politicians envision future-proofing the United Nations? 

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Our Speakers

Ms. Sofia Borges

Senior Vice President and Head of the New York Office, UN Foundation

Ms. Charlotta Schlyter

Ambassador to ECOSOC, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations

Ms. Poonam Ghimire

UN Foundation Next Generation Fellow and member of HLAB

H.E. Stefan Lövfen

Former Prime Minister of Sweden and Co-chair of HLAB

Ms. Daisry Mathias

Presidential Advisor on Youth Matters & Enterprise Development, Namibia

Mr. Jevanic Henry

UN Foundation Next Generation Fellow, AOSIS Fellow, Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the UN in New York

Mr. Jeremy Raguain

Masters Student at Columbia University (Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy)

Ms. Harshani Dharmadasa

Senior Director, Global Partnerships and Initiatives, UN Foundation


Since its foundation, the multilateral system – with the United Nations at its core – has aimed to deliver intergenerational public goods through its legal instruments, conventions and policies for peace, development, financial stability, human rights and the environment.

Young people today believe in this system to safeguard the future for them and their children. They support international cooperation to combat climate change, invest in education and create new jobs for the future.

At the same time, they are becoming more and more frustrated with the lack of decisive action among politicians and other decision- makers at national and international levels.

The challenge now is how the multilateral system can have a faster and stronger impact. The UN will need to cater better to young people, who constitute over fifty percent of the world’s population, and to protect the interests of the 10.9 billion people likely to be born this century, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.

The SDG Summit in September and the Summit of the Future next year will be critical milestones to take this forward.

This side event aims to:

Provide a platform for young people

to engage in meaningful intergenerational dialogue with UN Member States and entities to identify ways in which the multilateral system can better cater for young people and future generations, including the transformation required to achieve SDGs.

Present best practices, knowledge and recommendations

from the High-Level Advisory Board on effective multilateralism.

Share the vision, ideas and solutions

from young activists, decision-makers and politicians that will support future-proofing of the United Nations.

Mobilize young people, UN Member States and UN entities

to collaborate and exchange ideas around upcoming UN milestones, including the SDG Summit and the Summit of the Future.