Through surveys and dialogues, the global body asked people about their hopes and fears for the future – representing the UN’s most ambitious effort to date to understand expectations of international cooperation and of the UN in particular.
That was also the largest survey to date on priorities for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of September 21, over a million people from all countries and all walks of life had taken part in the survey. Their answers provided unique insights into what the public wants at this challenging time for the world.
The people’s views were released on September 21 to coincide with the UN General Assembly’s official commemoration of the 75th anniversary, held under the banner: ‘the future we want, the UN we need.’
Amid the current COVID-19 crisis, the immediate priority for most respondents is improved access to basic services – health care, safe water, sanitation and education, followed by greater international solidarity and increased support to those hardest hit. This includes tackling inequalities and re-building a more inclusive economy.
Looking to the future, the overwhelming concerns are the climate crisis and the destruction of the natural environment. Other priorities include: ensuring greater respect for human rights, settling conflicts, tackling poverty and reducing corruption.
Perceptions of the UN are; over 87% of respondents believe global cooperation is vital to deal with today’s challenges, and that the pandemic has made international cooperation more urgent.