Proposed UN Office of Strategic Threats
- Posted by JGlenn
- On 27 April 2021
- 0 Comments
Although the United Nations includes agencies that are addressing many of the problems facing humanity
today, there is no integrated central office to identify, monitor, and anticipate long-term strategic threats
to humanity, and to coordinate efforts for preventing them.
There are many threats—such as decreasing fresh water per capita, the concentration of wealth, and
ethnic violence—but they are not a threat to the extinction of our species. However, there are long-term
threats that do—such as a single induvial creating and deploying a weapon of mass destruction (most
likely from synthetic biology), loss of control of future forms of artificial intelligence, nuclear escalation
and proliferation, uncontrollable pandemics, catastrophic global warming, asteroid collision, weakening
of the Earth’s magnetic shield, solar gamma ray burst, malicious nanotechnology (including the “gray goo”
problem), and a particle accelerator accident (antimatter, black hole). There is no single point in the UN
system that addresses such long-term threats to human survival.
A UN Office on Strategic Threats could centralize and coordinate information and strategic thinking on a
global scale. It would be a central point to identify and assess long-range trends and synergies among
potential future threats. It would serve the main international agencies, multilateral organizations, nation-states,
-and humanity in general.
The idea was raised during the celebration of the “World Future Day” on March 1st, in a global online
conference of more than a thousand experts from 65 countries. The participants were from universities,
governments, corporations, and the main foresight organizations and think tanks such as The Millennium
Project, the Association of Professional Futurists, UNESCO Future Literacy, Humanity+, the World
Futures Studies Federation, World Academy of Art and Science, the Ibero-American Foresight Network,
the Foresight Europe Network, and the Chilean Council for Foresight and Strategy.
Following subsequent discussions with experts, The Millennium Project suggests that the next UN General
Assembly—to be held in September 2021—could be the right forum to discuss and adopt a Resolution
that would give the General Secretariat the mandate to assess the feasibility of a UN Office of Strategic
This initiative needs the endorsement of governments, so that it can be included on the agenda of the UN
General Assembly. The UN Missions to the UN could play an important role in supporting the creation of
this UN Office by offering a UN General Assembly Resolution to study the feasibility of such a UN Office.