The agreement signed in June 2019 promises to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda by deepening coordination and institutional cooperation between the UN and the WEF. The agreement gives transnational companies preferential and suspensive access to the UN system at the expense of states and public interest actors. Harris Gleckman, a former UN official and senior adviser at the University of Massachusetts, said: “This strategic agreement is a blow to business leaders in Davos, but what does it offer the UN and the international community? This gives some of the most controversial companies unprecedented access to the heart of the United Nations, but it has not even been adequately discussed by UN members, let alone the general public. We firmly believe that this agreement is essentially contrary to the UN Charter and intergovernmental decisions on sustainable development, the climate emergency and the eradication of poverty and hunger. This public-private partnership will link the United Nations to multinationals, some of whose essential activities have provoked or exacerbated the social and environmental crises facing the world. This is a form of business seizure. We know that the agricultural economy is destroying biodiversity and that sustainable and equitable food systems, oil and gas companies are jeopardizing the global climate, Big Pharma is weakening access to essential medicines, extractive companies are permanently harming the ecology and peoples of countries, and arms manufacturers are taking advantage of local and regional wars and the repression of social movements. All of these sectors are important players in the World Economic Forum. Although corporate influence has long been exerted in the UN system, the UN will be permanently linked to transnational groups under the new conditions of the UN-WEF partnership. In the long run, this would allow business leaders to become “whispering advisers” to the heads of UN systems divisions. Instead, we call for the strengthening of the sovereignty of peoples, the deepening of democratic multilateralism and the fight against the further expansion of multitaism. Over the past 75 years, civil society organizations and social movements of general interest have played a crucial role in maintaining human rights and environmental agreements and in developing intergovernmental positions on a large number of global crises. In order to strengthen public support for the UN system for the next 75 years, we believe that your office, as well as the executive offices of specialized agencies, should hold public consultations on the future institutional role and mechanism of engagement with the communities and grassroots organizations most affected, including women, workers, farmers, fishermen , indigenous peoples, LGBTQ human rights defenders.
, educators, young people and scholars.