Venue: New York/San Francisco/Brussels
Date: October 23-24 2018
From November 11-13, 2018, some of the members of the Upholding the San Francisco Promise working group were invited to attend the Paris Peace Forum with the generous funding of the Global Challenges Foundation. More than 10,000 visitors and 65 Heads of State and Government convened for the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum to exchange and discuss concrete global governance solutions.
The Paris Peace Forum was an inspiring effort to turn the world’s attention to multilateralism and better global governance. Many of the projects on display were small in scope – environmental work to protect a single species, or initiatives to promote peacemaking among youth in a specific region, for instance – but the sum of them gave an impression of a much larger global effort of many people working in their own way towards the single goal of a more peaceful world. The mixed format meant that there were always many things happening at once – project leaders giving pitches, large group events, thematic panel discussions, and the constant buzz around the 120 project booths. There were therefore plenty of things to see, and most importantly, plenty of people to meet.
This started with meeting each other – this was the first opportunity for some of our group members to meet one another, and our delegation was joined by the distinguished Sukehiro Hasegawa from Japan, the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Timor-Leste. It was also a good chance to catch up with the GCF staff and members of the other GCF working groups, whom some of us originally met in Hamburg in September, and it was especially gratifying to spend some time with Francisco Plancarte and his team from CEMERG, who had a booth right next to GCF’s and helped bolster our calls for UN reform through their own valuable work.
Dr. Sharei gives his pitch, “San Francisco Promise: Letting we the people govern the world—Article 109(3) Rediscovered”Most importantly, though, the Forum was an opportunity to meet people who were interested in what the working group is doing. Dr. Sharei was given a time slot in which to pitch our project to interested attendees, and our group members had numerous opportunities to engage in one-on-one conversations with individuals from distinguished organizations and governments around the world. Several were very interested in the San Francisco Promise of Article 109(3), and we undertook to send more detailed information about the proposal once the Forum had ended. The governments who expressed interested included Ireland, France, and the Netherlands, two of which have already gotten in further contact with so we are planning to work on keeping in contact with them and hopefully convince some or all of them to act as champion states for our cause to start building momentum for UN Reform at the state level. We also had the opportunity to meet not one but two Nobel Peace Laureates – José Ramos-Horta, former president of Timor-Leste, and Nadia Murad, who was this year’s laureate. As our team member Sukehiro Hasegawa is Personal Advisor to Dr. Ramos-Horta, we are especially happy to have made a connection with him and are looking forward to building a relationship with him in the future.
Overall, the Paris Peace Forum was a crucial chance for CUNCR and the SFP working group to promote our proposal and start making the necessary connections to make progress with the San Francisco Promise. We at CUNCR are very excited to use this momentum to continue to move forward, both with the work we did this year, and perhaps at future Peace Forums as well!
CUNCR/San Francisco Promise Team in PARIS
Team Coordinator: Shahr-yar Sharei, USA/Iran
Sukehiro Hasegawa, Japan
Huaru Kang, China
Roger Kotila, USA
Tim Murithi, Kenya
Francisco Plancarte, Mexico
Mais Qandeel, Palestine
Maria Vizdoaga, Moldova
Kelci Wilford, Canada
The SFP Paris team meets with Jens Orbeck and Fredrik Karlsson of the
Global Challenges Foundation during the Paris Peace Forum.
Meeting this year’s Nobel Prize Laureate, Nadia Murad (2nd from right)
SFP team members pose with Nobel Peace Laureate and former
President of Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta (far right).