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Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining cooperation in a polarised world

Pedro Conceição, Director of the UNDP Human Development Report Office
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Auditorium Ivan Pictet (A1B) | Maison de la paix, Geneva

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Today, collective action on global challenges, ranging from climate change mitigation to peace and security, is frustratingly slow or stymied altogether. Lack of trust and polarisation, both associated with insecurity, exacerbate the gridlock. Shared, interlinked challenges, like the pandemic and its recovery, are outpacing our willingness and our national institutions’ capacities to respond to them. Why, despite all our riches and technologies, are we facing such a gridlock? How to mobilise action to address globally shared challenges in a world that is intensively polarised?

On the occasion of the recent release of the 2023/24 Human Development Report (HDR) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Geneva Graduate Institute together with the UNDP Office in Geneva are convening a policy dialogue to address these questions and reimagine cooperation, moving beyond narrow zero-sum thinking, and closing human agency gaps.

Pedro Conceição, Director of the UNDP Human Development Report Office, will present the main findings of the 2024 report and will then be joined for a panel discussion reflecting on possible pathways to mobilise collective action to address today’s and future shared challenges:

  • Kareen Jabre, Director of the Division of Programmes, Inter-Parliamentary Union

  • Vahini Naidu, Coordinator of the Trade for Development Program, South Centre

  • Mia Seppo, Assistant Director-General, Jobs and Social Protection, International Labour Organization

  • Achim Wennmann, Director for Strategic Partnerships and Nagulendran Chair in Peace Mediation, Geneva Graduate Institute (moderator)

Closing remarks by Daniel Cavegn, Senior Diplomatic Advisor, State Secretariat, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs



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