Global Governance and Sustainable Development: Revitalizing Research to Support Multilateral Solutions

TOKYO: On 20–22 June 2024, UNU will co-organize the Academic Council on the United Nations System Annual Meeting 2024.

- Asia/Tokyo

On 20–22 June 2024, UNU and the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) will co-organize the ACUNS Annual Meeting 2024 at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo under the theme "Global Governance and Sustainable Development: Revitalizing Research to Support Multilateral Solutions".

In September 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to hold the Summit of the Future: Multilateral Solutions for a Better Tomorrow in September 2024. The Summit will serve as an opportunity to renew existing global commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (as featured at the September 2023 SDG Summit), to strengthen international cooperation and reinvigorate multilateralism, and to secure global consensus towards an “action-oriented” Pact for the Future.

Crucial to revitalizing global governance efforts, and ensuring that multilateral systems make a positive impact on people’s lives, is recognizing that challenges to sustainable development (including, for example, ending extreme poverty, social injustice, personal insecurity, and environmental degradation) intersect with threats to human rights and human security. The deep connections between and mutual reinforcement of these global challenges, and the need for innovative, UN system-wide solutions, have never been more acute and urgently needed as now.

The ACUNS Annual Meeting 2024 will provide a platform for collaborative dialogue on the links between sustainable development and global universal values of human rights and human security, in keeping with UNU’s mission of providing a “bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system.”

Call for submissions

Submissions for the meeting are invited (until 10 January 2024) under one of the following broad thematic categories:

  • Common Values, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development
  • International Cooperation in Upholding Human Security Objectives
  • Inclusion and Participation in Multilateral Decision-making Processes

ACUNS welcomes proposals from scholars, students, practitioners, policymakers, and UN staff and delegates, in the following forms:

  • Group-organized panels, theme roundtables or book roundtables
  • Individual abstracts for working papers, policy briefs or digital tools. 

When forming panels, participants are encouraged to ensure diversity, with particular attention paid to geography and gender.

Group-organized panels, theme roundtables or book roundtables

Group-organized: a group organizes a panel or roundtable, striving for diversity in many forms, such as gender, geography, career stage, methodology, scholar/practitioner mix, etc. Note that pre-organized groups are more likely to be accepted into the final program.

  • Panel (3–4 working papers and/or policy briefs plus a chair and a discussant)
  • Theme roundtable (5 experts discuss a theme)
  • Book roundtable (five (5) experts discuss a book with the author)

Groups may propose a fully-formed panel or roundtable. In cooperation with the other participants, one member of the group submits all details, including information about each participant and a brief abstract describing the overarching theme uniting the session (up to 1,500 characters). For panels, this individual also submits titles and abstracts for the working papers/policy briefs. 

Individual abstracts for working papers, policy briefs or digital tools

Individual: An individual or co-authors submit a paper, policy brief, or tool. ACUNS vets the proposals, groups into panels, and assigns a chair and discussant.

  • Working paper (unpublished research paper or book chapter)
  • Policy brief (4-6 pages that lay out a problem, its causes, and solutions)
  • Digital tool (for example, an app to display and share information)

Submission deadline

The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, 10 January 2024. If you would like to submit multiple proposals (up to a maximum of four), you must submit separate forms for each proposal. Selected participants will be notified in January 2024. Submit each proposal using the online form: https://go.unu.edu/Th93l

For questions, contact annualmeeting@acuns.org

Event schedule

Opening keynote address

Thursday 20 June 2024
Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala — UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General

Holmes Lecture

Friday, 21 June 2024
Prof. Lise Howard — President of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Optional Kyoto tour

In partnership with the Kyoto University of the Arts, the ACUNS Tokyo Liaison Office invites participants to a 3-day, 2-night optional tour to Kyoto, following the ACUNS Annual Meeting 2024.

Tour schedule

Sunday, 23 June — Meet at Kyoto Station and go sightseeing at Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine
Monday, 24 June — Free time or optional tour options arranged with a minivan (more information regarding optional tour options to follow)
Tuesday, 25 June — Check-out and return 


Hotel Okura Kyoto or similar three-star hotel
Fees: The total fees are estimated to range between 90,000 yen to 150,000 yen per person, which may vary based on the number of participants and optional tours arranged. Included in the fees*:

  • Accommodation — two (2) nights with breakfast
  • 23 June — lunch and transportation from Kyoto Station to Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine
  • 24 June — ptional tours with lunch

* Transportation to and from Kyoto are to be arranged independently by each participant