Global citizens: We can do better than the United Nations

Should the UN be reformed?Couple weeks back I wrote about research from the Global Challenges Foundation which indicates the majority of human beings are ready for massive global change, including the creation of a new supranational organization organized to tackle our most pressing challenges.

That same research revealed that while a majority of people believe in the United Nations’ ability to respond to the top three global challenges we face, a far larger number believe the UN must be reformed to address those same challenges. Two-thirds of those surveyed believed the international agency can effectively respond to identified global challenges, but 85% of the same respondents thought the UN needed to be significantly reformed to do so. This belief is stronger among men (87%) versus women (84%) but as you can see, the difference is only slight. The belief is highest among people with high education levels and those who identify themselves as “global citizens”.

global citizen snapshot
Who identifies most as a “global citizen”?

That “global citizen” moniker is interesting. People from “emerging countries” are more likely than those from “developed countries” to use that term to define themselves. Higher-educated people are more likely to self describe themselves this way than those without such an education. Age plays a factor too: the older a person is, the less likely that person will describe themselves as a “global citizen”, possibly indicating a trend among young people.

global challenges
Global challenges identified across all countries surveyed

“Global challenges” identified differ both in description and ranking. However, the top three across all the countries surveyed are (in importance order) Mass Destruction Weapons (WMD), politically motivated violence escalating to war, and climate change. In China, for example of a difference in description and ranking, The top three are “Large-scale environmental damage”, “Climate change” and WMDs.

It’s not surprising to me that so many people are thinking about these issues. It is encouraging to see that many people, in many different countries, realize something fundamental must happen. These are truly global challenges galvanizing global attention.  While I don’t agree with the urgency, it’s comforting to know the world is catching up with our conclusion that we can do better. That we must do better. As a result of that, I think we will do better as a species.

I’ll be writing more about these statistics as I digest the information. If you want your own copy. You can download it free on the Copiosis store.



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