I have the honor of presenting the enclosed vision statement from Ms. Helena Reitz in response to the invitation for candidates for the position of Secretary-General. I request that the Council take it into consideration with assurances of my highest esteem of Ms. Reitz and her qualifications.
Rikard Widfross, Permanent Representative
Restoring Faith and Confronting Challenges
In 1921, the representatives of thirty-three governments - Mine own included - gathered in Rilanon. They did not so not as friends. The bitterness of the Great War was a close memory, and we should not convince ourselves of any sort of amity on that day. Yet it is this very reality that made all that was said and done on that day exceptional. The Charter of the International Forum set to paper a common and shared belief that peaceful cooperation between peoples, governments, systems, and beliefs is not only a possibility but a matter of pragmatism.
One century later the validity of this belief remains untarnished, even if its bearer does not. The International Forum remains the greatest institutional expression of global partnership and multilateralism. Through this it enjoys an immense capacity for common problem-solving and serves as a cornerstone for the stable and secure international system from which we benefit.
If the Forum is an essential foundation, I think it is also uncontroversial to call it a deeply flawed one. The faith and goodwill that the Forum both seeks to foster and thrive upon have been undeniably cratered in the past years, and it is in the spirit and purpose of this organization that we all share in the responsibility. This comes at a time when we as a global community begin to face new and unprecedented challenges, among which are those that respect neither borders nor politics. We are confronted by familiar antagonists - Terrorism, international crime, and the many instances of instability and open conflict that are today present on nearly every continent.
Our accelerating technology has furthered not only economic growth and wellbeing but also longstanding inequalities stemming from the concentration of wealth and the distribution of social and environmental costs - Inequalities that should not only be considered increasingly unacceptable in a period of extraordinary progress but which also contribute to the instability that finds itself to every doorstep in an era of globalization. An inequitable world will always be a dangerous one, and it is the Forum’s task to tackle such dangers.
This same development has lent itself to the specter of climate change, which threatens to disrupt the very fabric of our societies, livelihoods, and planet. We must face the reality that this is no longer a long-term threat, but an immediate one as infrastructure and basic resources such as food and water are placed under both cascading and escalating strain by severe weather events, rising sea levels, and shifting climate patterns.
The Forum, whatever its shortcomings, is uniquely positioned to address the array of threats the world faces. We need no faith or ideology to recognize the dangers of collapsing ecosystems that will, if unaddressed, place basic needs at risk in every nation and will generate the waves of violence and displacement that this Forum’s founders sought to prevent.
I do not write with the intention of merely preaching catastrophe, but to present the solutions which can be provided by the International Forum and the position for which I place forth my candidature. Already we have witnessed notable strides through multilateral diplomacy. The International Convention on Climate Change offers a strong first step and a concrete roadmap to limit the damages of the crisis while protecting equal opportunities for growth and development. The Global Health and Solidarity Organization has presented a means of coordinating vital and immediately lifesaving efforts worldwide, while the Global Development Bank and Trade Organization offers solutions that promote long-term prosperity. The passage and enforcement of Motion 2021-18 have demonstrated the Forum’s ability to confront bad actors who seek to abuse this same goodwill.
It is now incumbent upon the Forum to continue to build upon these important steps. The position of Secretary-General is uniquely located at the intersection of administrator, moderator, and global face of the Forum. Within this role it is my intention to promote the good use of the tools created by the General Council and funded by the Forum’s member nations. The future of the Forum will be determined by its ability to restore faith in its institutions and ability to implement meaningful change. As such the Secretary-General must not only maintain a continued and unwavering commitment toward transparency, accountability, and oversight but must also take up the lead in healing the Forum’s reputation. This, perhaps tragically, includes the maintenance and restoration of basic order and coherence within the General Council through the SG’s role as a moderator, but also extends to improving the outreach and profile of the Forum within member states as a trustworthy and capable institution that can effect positive change in the lives of Urth’s citizens.
In this vein we must also acknowledge the recent inclusion of large new member states, and the SG must act within its own office and as an example across the organization to promote regional diversity and parity among the employees and officers on the Forum’s payroll. Finally, the SG must elevate its role as an administrator to promote efficiency and communication across the many newly formed institutions under the Forum’s umbrella.
In keeping with my beliefs in the pragmatic value of the International Forum, I have written of crises and opportunities which are tangible and immediate - The intersections of climate change, inequality, and instability, the undeniable necessity that we confront these in unison, and the very concrete measures that have already been taken.
There remains however one other accomplishment I wish to give mention to. Approximately one year ago the Forum formed the International Cultural Heritage Organization. In doing so it cemented the truth that regardless of their different backgrounds and faiths our peoples are capable of holding one another’s cultures and histories with respect. This is not an ideal but rather the reality in which we live, no matter the cynical and jingoistic beliefs of the few. It remains my desire that the Forum demonstrates that we are equally capable of cherishing one another’s futures.
Written By: Cryria
Election: Fall 2022 Secretary-General