Professor Ibrahim Gambari - Co-chair of the

Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance -welcomed Boulder GTH participants via video, .

Fergus Watt, UN2020, listens attentively to a colleagues proposal for next steps on the Road to 2020.

The Inaugural Global Town Hall - held in Boulder, CO, USA, July 21-23, 2018,

on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder - brought together key experts

organizers to chart a course forward and all participants expressed a commitment

to what they believe is an important opportunity to modernize the UN.

Presenters included:

  • Commission Co-Chair Ibrahim Gambari (via video)
  • European Union Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan
  • President and CEO Emeritus of the Stimson Center Ellen Laipson
  • University of Colorado Provost Russell Moore
  • Director of Research One Earth Future Foundation Conor Seyle
  • Executive Director of the Global Security Institute Jonathan Granoff 
  • International Coordinator of UN2020 Fergus Watt
  • Director of Just Security 2020 Richard Ponzio
  • Director of the Int'l Security Program, Denver University Lewis Griffith

The Boulder GTH Report continues below the Photo Gallery. 

The event program is available here.  For a list of all speakers and their bio statements, click here.

In 2015, the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari made over 85 UN renewal recommendations that included a Summit of World Leaders on UN Renewal, Innovation and Reform in 2020.

Photo gallery from the Boulder Global Town Hall


Ellen  Laipson, Jonathan Granoff, Global Security Institute, and Pat Kushlis, SAnta Fe World Affaris Forum, exchange reform strategies.

JULY 21-23, 2018

Presented by

Global Voice, One Earth Future Foundation, and the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence

In association with the

University of Colorado Boulder

EU Ambassador David O'Sullivan

Felicia Naranjo Martinez, Executive Director of the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence, addresses the gathering.

The Center will keep The Road to 2020 engaged with the European Union over the next two years.

The year 2020 will mark the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, providing an opportunity to modernize the UN for the 21st century.
In this historic context, 2020 is also a year that many UN and Civil Society campaigns

have set as a target date for proactive transformations of how wegovern our world

to avoid catastrophic global events such as runaway global warming, a nuclear

nightmare or the victory of totalitarianism over democracy.
As daunting as these threats can be, we believe there are solutions to all the problems

facing us, and our campaign - The Road to 2020 - is dedicated to bringing these

solutions to the fore and plotting a new path toward justiceand security through a

series of public dialogues, or Global Town Halls.

Ellen Liapson, Ex-Officio Member of the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance delivers the Sunday Keynote Address.

Next Steps

         Toward 2020

Ambassador O'Sullivan, Larry David  (Citizens for Global Solutions, and Conor Seyle , One Earth Future Fdn, discuss UN renewal proposals..



UN Renewal, Innovation and Reform

       In our lifetimes, we have witnessed unparalleled human achievements: the halving of extreme global poverty in under two decades, the exploration of space and the rise of the Internet, and the steady advance of freedom and justice following the defeat of fascism and other forms of totalitarian government in the twentieth century, to name a few of the most notable examples. At the same time, we are keenly aware of the shadows that threaten our progress: militant extremism continues to take root in the world’s poorly governed spaces, where the rule of law has collapsed, and discrimination threatens the rights of women, children, and minorities in many places. Our fragile ecosystem, new threats in cyberspace, and the downside risks of an increasingly interconnected world economy also remind us daily that we need a new approach to global governance, one that relies on different kinds of public and private institutions.

Madeleine K. Albright and Ibrahim A. Gambari Co-Chairs, Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance.

Nancy Dunlavy, Workable Word Trust, and Richard Ponzio, Just Security 2020, reflect on the day's events.

First Report and Next Steps!

  • Making a Just Transition from the fossil fuel economy to the green energy economy is the linchpin for connecting justice to security.
  • Security is dependent upon justice; Justice is dependent upon the Rule of Law being upheld globally.
  • The UN Security Council needs to adopt the civil society mindset that we are one global community, deeply interrelated, and deeply interdependent.
  • Global Town Halls need to be truly GLOBAL, with participation from all around the planet!  The involvement of the European Union is a giant step in the right direction.

The UN General Assembly is expected to pass resolutions in September of 2018 to authorize formal intergovernmental negotiations on UN Renewal, Innovation and Reform and the 2020 World Summit.

Once authorized, TheRoad to 2020 will take on urgency, as Civil Society will have just two years to influence the outcomes of this rare opportunity to modernize the UN for the future.

Global coalitions are being organized now in anticipation of the UN resolutions, and Global Town Halls will be a key program going forward. We are working closely with UN2020 and Just Security 2020 to stay linked to the global coalitions that will partner with us in making this critical dialogue truly global.

SCHEDULE of Global Town Halls

A series of Global Town Halls will be scheduled and announced in late 2018.

Organizations and institutions interested in hosting a 2019 Global Town Hall should contact us here  to receive a GTH Program Template and Budget.


Building upon lessons learned in the Boulder Global Town Hall on UN Renewal, Innovation and Reform, future Global Town Halls will approach UN renewal holistically by assessing multiple innovative program and policy proposals as under three key themes:


A. Empowering Global Citizens at the UN:

    The United Nation's Charter begins with these words:“We the Peoples of the United Nations…”, yet the "Peoples" of the world have little influence over the policies and programs of the UN compared to nation-state governments.  Today's rapid growth of a Global Citizen sense of identity indicates that the time has come to redress this imbalance.

B. Building Peace:

    Peace is an active human condition that must be built, nurtured and maintained. Great expertise and experience in peacebuilding exists within the UN and in civil society. We know how to do it, we just need to set the world's - and the UN's - priorities straight.

C. Creating Justice:

    Justice takes many forms. From traditional to restorative to transitional, justice is a key compoenent of peace and prosperity for all.

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell Moore

Participants at the Boulder Global Town Hall addressed many issues, shared lessons, and raised questions. Here are some highlights from the dialogues:

  • Cooperation is as natural as conflict. It’s real and how human beings want to act with one another.
  • In these troubled times, the demand for UN assistance and leadership is growing - for saving lives and for improving the prospects of humanity.
  • It is important to increase cooperation between the UN system and Civil Society,  to assemble integrated teams of experts. The whole is larger than sum of its parts.
  • Moving toward a 2020 set of objectives, learn from Zero Hour Youth Movement and Global Youth Action Network to better engage young people moving forward.
  • How can we address corruption? What guidelines / norms does the UN brings to bear?
  • Reform recommendations can best be assessed by placing several related proposals together as a ‘bundle’, as that is the way the world works.
  • Prevention of conflict must be moved to the top of the UN's priority list. We have the tools and the strategies, now we need the political will.
  • Establishing the recommended UN Global Partnership is a key step toward more inclusive and representative governance.
  • Holding Global Town Halls to address pressing needs of Global Governance is a moral imperative and practical necessity as our institutions need massive support.