New global commission launched to create ‘blueprint for survival’ in new age of world instability

A new high-level global commission, which includes representatives from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), has been formed to tackle the risks of conflict to the contemporary world using the framework of ‘common security’.

The new commission will present a far-reaching report for Common Security 2022 that will form a blueprint for survival in the face of extreme challenges: climate change, unbalanced globalisation, crumbling disarmament treaties, the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the decline of democracy.

The concept of common security emerged from the conclusion of a commission in 1982 led by the prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme.

The ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, is on the commission: “After 40 years, the time has come to reframe security and reimagine our world again. No single country can address the extreme challenges of the modern world; we must work together.

“I am looking forward to working with this diverse and knowledgeable group and finding ways to deal with the existential challenges facing the world. I believe that we will show that the only true security is common security.”

Project launch

The project will be launched at a digital seminar on Monday 14 June at 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Stockholm time) – more details here.

The event will include Stefan Löfven, the Prime Minister of Sweden; Hans Dahlgren, Sweden’s Minister for EU Affairs; and six members of the new global high-level advisory commission:

  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC
  • Kumi Naidoo, Global Ambassador, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity
  • Saber Chowdhury, Member of the Bangladeshi Parliament and Honorary President of Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Sean Conner, International Peace Bureau
  • Anna Fendley, Chair of the ITUC Youth Committee
  • Rosaline Marbinah, OSCE Special Representative, Youth and Security

The full advisory commission includes:

  • Barry M. Blechman, Co-founder and Fellow of the Stimson Center
  • Ouided Bouchamaoui, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2015
  • Peter Brandt, historian
  • Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Patron of The Helen Clark Foundation
  • Sergio Duarte, President, Pugwash International
  • Jan Eliasson, Former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Alexey Gromyko, Director of the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Alexander Kmentt, diplomat and disarmament expert
  • Liv Tørres, Director of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, NYU-CIC
  • Fumihiko Yoshida, Director of Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA)
  • Tong Zhao, Senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

In the next year, a number of flagship events will gather knowledge and perspectives, with the aim of the commission publishing its report in April 2022 at the conclusion of the project Common Security 2022.

The project is coordinated by the Olof Palme International Center, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Peace Bureau – the world’s oldest peace organisation.