Hope was high when the United Nations convened in 1945 in the aftermath of the world’s deadliest war. The UN Charter charged the organization with maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The United Nations has worked on all of these fronts, and with marked success, but even its most fervent admirers would acknowledge that it has not fully met the hopes that marked its conception.
I commend the United Nations for envisioning the period leading to its centennial in 2045 as a time to ask how it can be strengthened. Creative thinking will be needed, not only about stubborn old challenges but also emerging ones, including the spread of Artificial Intelligence. Properly harnessed, AI could spur a new age of enlightenment. But AI also raises the specter of a level of government surveillance and control previously unthinkable.
We at the Boston Global Forum ( BGF) look forward to working with the United Nations Academic ( UNAI) as part of the effort to strengthen the United Nations. To this end, we have created the United Nations Centennial – BGF and UNAI Initiative website as a place where creative ideas for an enhanced United Nations can be nurtured and disseminated.
Chair, Boston Global Forum