Today’s problems transcend international borders. As world population increases, natural resources become more valuable. Emergencies become more devastating and complex. Data is more freely shared. Political, social, and economic trends become global. Universality is an emerging and inevitable consideration. It encourages us as individuals to adopt a sense of the global common good if humanity is to flourish.
People want decent jobs, social protection, robust agricultural systems, rural prosperity, sustainable cities, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, resilient infrastructure, and renewable energy. To attain these goals, the world needs universal systems which ensure human dignity, equality, environmental stewardship, healthy economies, and freedom from want and fear.
People across the world want to preserve oceans, marine resources, terrestrial ecosystems and forests. They want more inclusive, sustained and sustainable patterns of growth which simultaneously manage climate change. Economists desire reform of international trade so as to ensure effective regulation of markets and financial actors, discourage corruption, curb illicit financial flows, combat money-laundering and tax evasion, and recover stolen and hidden assets. Enlightened citizens want information and data less siloed, more broadly disaggregated, and more accessible.
People of the world want to reform, consolidate, and trim the bureaucracies of UN and other global governance mechanisms. They want a universal agenda which requires measurable goals and targets. They want to broaden and strengthen participatory and inclusive governance, free expression and association, fair justice systems, peaceful, cohesive, and inclusive societies, respect for the rule of law, and personal security for all. They desire an end to all forms of racial and gender inequality and discrimination, violence against women, and against children, young boys, and girls.
Universality is the core attribute of human rights, international justice, and human development. It guides solidarity, cooperation, mutual accountability, and the participation of all nation-states and stakeholders. It suggests that we think in terms of shared responsibilities for a shared future.