What the United Nations Should Do in a Challenging World

4 min readNov 24, 2020


How Think Tanks can Help

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, leading think tanks, policymakers and intergovernmental organizations from the world gathered for the UN75 Think Tank Summit, organized by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) that have been partnered with the United Nations (UN).

In recent years, alongside the wave of anti-globalization and the rise of new trade protectionism, the function of WTO has been increasingly marginalized. It is then necessary to promote global amalgamation as soon as possible and further on the basis of globalization so as to well address various negative issues left by globalization.

Chan Kung, ANBOUND’s founder remarked that, “from the perspective of public policy and information environment, if the government is the first channel, news or media would be the second channel, then think tanks would take the role as the third channel to exert great impacts on social environment. Think tanks not only play a role in public policy research, but also contribute to facilitating the improvement of public welfare. In today’s world, upholding morality and justice is considered as a historical responsibility, a heavy burden with higher risks. Think tanks could not shirk this responsibility, and it is at least an explicit mission for those think tanks that are truly independent.”

In regard to the role of the United Nations in the world continuously facing multifaceted challenges, ANBOUND think tank scholars put forward the following three suggestions.

First of all, the United Nations should serve as a “super organization”, progressively helping developing countries to improve their capabilities of public service, overseeing countries to adhere to their commitments, and increasing the supply of public welfare worldwide. Noticeably, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic articulated the international community who can create concerted efforts and effectively alleviated the spread of coronavirus shocking various regions and countries. Through the United Nations and its organizations to collaborate arrangements, the countries across the world will strengthened constructive dialogue and jointly push forward global integration. The world’s economies have the desire to break through the limitations of small regional space, extend to global market space, mobilize resources to achieve wide circulation, and optimize the international industrial division of labor. That would boost a sustained growth for the world economy and drive capitals to flow freely and go into virtuous circle. The future government will gradually become a public institution like a social welfare organization. Taking welfare distribution into consideration, the world requires such a “super organization” as the United Nations to play a greater role. This will ensure that global manufacturing and commercial operations in normal status, fair and effective market competition, and social wealth accumulation.

Secondly, the United Nations should support independent think tanks from developing countries that would access to the equal opportunities that could engage in more international affairs and global policy-related activities, and to guarantee them with the right to provide professional capabilities in policy formulation. They would effectively cope with all aspects of injustice, and contribute more wisdom to global governance. Independent think tank, is non-partisan, non-governmental organization, with independent funding, objective, and neutral stance. Around the world, most of think tank researchers are equipped with high-level academic training. Many of them have worked for the governments so that earned a wealth of knowledge and experience in mapping out development strategies, proposing tactics and promoting cooperation. The professional opinions that think tank scholars speak out are more easily acceptable by the media and the public. As the voice from a third party, the policy recommendations put forward by think tanks that are increasingly being highly valued by the governments. Think tank scholars from different countries and cross-disciplines who can offer recommendations and solutions to resolve those complicated international issues. Cross-organizational collaboration enabled by the United Nations will be ongoing beyond geographical limitations and transcend ideology to think about how to respond to challenges and difficulties. Policy proposals that collect the professional strength with different think tanks that would be more practical to carry out. In this way, the United Nations will upgrade its capability to provide policy guidance and coordinate actions for those countries in trouble, and to propel the countries to reach new cooperation consensus on global governance issues.

Finally, the United Nations should put more efforts to convening public and private R&D institutions, enterprises, and government agencies from developing countries that come together for the meetings and discussions on the formulation of international rules and standards, as well as global technology-related standards. Mankind is facing lots of common challenges and risks, the spread of crises, the raging of viruses, and suffers various threats. In addition, climate issues, network governance, information security, digital crimes, and so on. The United Nations shall be leading to invite the governments, enterprises, non-profit organizations, civil society, and academia in developing countries more to participate in global agenda and rulemaking. Among organizations, enhance information transparency, assist the international levels to obtain essential and reliable data. In terms of the design of rules and standards, different groups exchange experiences, lessons, and best practices with each other, which is conducive to emergency coordination between countries and prevents the recurrence of crises.

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ANBOUND is a multinational independent think tank, specializing in public policy research, incl. economy, urban and industry, geopolitical issues. Est. 1993.