To All Global Leaders
Enclosed is a “Global Partnership Declaration” that issues the call -- on this day of November 16th 2020, the United Nations designated “International Day for Tolerance”-- to unite in a new spirit of Global Partnership to meet the emerging challenges of the 21st Century.
The importance of the US-China relationship is such that the whole world waits, poised precariously at an inflection point. If the United States and China continue on their current path of growing mistrust and tension, the world seems likely to slide into a new cold war, which could turn out to be even more destructive than the last one. The United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, recently warned that if the US and China go their own ways, the world is in danger of splitting into two rival blocs. He made a forceful appeal to them to cooperate to overcome major challenges such as the current pandemic and climate change.
The Honorable Anson Burlingame, an American statesman who is little-known today, can show us the way. Burlingame’s legacy in building ties for both America and China should be lauded as one of the most relevant reconciliation guides for our own time. His life story projects the promise of America; his underlying principles need to be studied and applied today to the promotion of tolerance, global resilience, and youth empowerment for sustainable development in the 21st century.
Over the last two decades, the United Nations has created and catalyzed many successful multi-stakeholder partnerships to mobilize support, first, for the Millennium Development Goals and now, for the Sustainable Development Goals. In view of its vast experience in partnership-building and its universal and neutral character, the United Nations is the ideal partner for the Global Challenges Forum Foundation to offer a collaborative platform for crafting an enduring global partnership that can be embraced by world citizens everywhere.
The current pandemic has also shown that digital and other emerging technologies will need to be placed at the center of this effort. Digitally enabled resilience planning and modelling, drawing upon cutting edge technologies, can serve as important tools for professionals and policy makers to forecast scenarios, identify and fill gaps, enhance coherence and achieve the needed scale in our response to major crises. The world now needs America and China to collaborate once again, in the spirit of Anson Burlingame, to lead the way, in strengthening international cooperation, if we are to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Together, they can then lead the world into a new era of shared prosperity, equity, and sustainability to the benefit of all humanity.
With humility and hope, I invite the Heads of State and Government of every nation, as well as the Heads of all United Nations International Organizations, Global Corporations, Foundations, and indeed global citizens everywhere to join in the call to establish a new spirit of Global Partnership.
Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Founder and Honorary Chairman