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UN Campaign Update #1

Our 1st week of United Nations campaign is almost over, and so much has happened! So here’s a quick and crispy recap with next steps. But first,

Let’s talk about why who the UN Secretary-General is matters ⤵️

Five countries will choose the next United Nations Chief, all five currently involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity. No, this is not an April Fool’s Joke.

Consider that even the UN chief is chosen in an opaque process by five countries - the US, the UK, France, China and Russia - seeking to uphold the status quo without any public involvement. This results in the selection of the person — shamefully, so far always a man — that will upset the least or appease the most, those hyper-polarized powers. This, instead of someone with a vision of how to tame the survival threats we face and create a future in which humans and the planet can thrive.

Consider the ramifications: all five permanent members are involved in some of the most egregious ongoing crises the world has seen in a long timeFrom the US and the UK selling arms to Israel despite the International Court of Justice’s ruling that the country might plausibly be committing acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, to French weapons being sold to Saudi Arabia and fuelling its war crimes against Yemeni civilians, China’s rights violations against Uyghurs that could amount to crimes against humanity or Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and ensuing war crimes. 

To even stand a chance at ending such crimes and conflicts, the UN chief must be able to call them out and rally the people for change. That’s why at Atlas, we are running to become United Nations Secretary-General to ensure humanity’s survival. I will be the candidate for the 2026 selection process. You can find more details about the campaign here and our plan here!

Recap of the first week 🇺🇳:

  1. Announcement: it got quite a bit of attention! You can still watch it on Instagram, X, Threads, LinkedIn,Youtube, Facebook, & TikTok. If you haven’t yet done so, please endorse our campaign here, and share it widely.  (Here’s a template text: Israel’s war on Gaza. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Climate destroying our planet. Those existential threats can and must be tackled. That’s why I’m supporting Atlas’ campaign to elect the next United Nations Secretary-General 🇺🇳. We must #Unite4Survival
  2. Meetings: While in New York for the announcement, I also met with the President of the United Nations General Assembly and representatives to the UN. The meetings so far made it very clear to me why this campaign is needed. Without massive amounts of people demanding radical change, the United Nations will never change. But to ensure that the next pandemic doesn’t kill 7 million people worldwide, that democracy does not continue to lose ground, or that we can transition away from fossil fuel economies fast and fairly, we must radically transform the United Nations, starting from its leader.
  3. Coverage: you can read about the campaign in the Albanian Post and Passblue, and I published an article in Euronews on why it’s fundamental to challenge this opaque and undemocratic selection process. 

Picture taken with Andrea Venzon, Dennis Francis (President of
the GA) and myself

Next steps ✊

  1. Live Q&A: We received a LOT of questions. So following requests, I’ll hold a weekly Q&A on different social media, starting on Thursday, the 11th of April at 11 am UTC on Instagram. Feel free to send me all your questions in advance!
  2. Survival Sundays: We are preparing massive monthly grassroots consultation events - called #SurvivalSundays - to crowdsource policy solutions to the biggest issues of our times. We want you to be involved and come to a conclusion on who should pay for the energy transition, whether sanctions are an appropriate response to authoritarian crackdowns or how to change the United Nations. We will leave no stone unturned: we believe the people must have a voice in shaping political responses to the biggest issues of our times. You can find the first ones online here, but I want to hear from you: what topics should we discuss?
  3. Support our work
    1. With your time…. Finally, our teams are stepping up the work, specifically  1) drafting a political programme for the United Nations, 2) communicating massively on it, 3) building national chapters to run for elections on a similar agenda worldwide. If you are interested in participating, volunteer
    2. or otherwise: to power up our campaign, we are in the process of relaunching our membership process at Atlas. If you can contribute financially or just want to be an official member of our organization, please register as a member today! 

I hope you’ll join this campaign! Because together, united, we cannot be defeated.

So #Unite4Survival 🌏🔥

Colombe

Colombe Cahen-Salvador (she/her)

Co-Founder & Candidate for the United Nations Secretary-General 

Atlas

Substack | Facebook | X | LinkedIn | Instagram | TikTok | Threads

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