14 October 2021

Mind the gaps: improving global governance in times of Covid-19

Previewing the fourth edition, 11 – 13 November 2021

The case for improving global coordination could not have been made in a more dramatic way than by the havoc Covid-19 wreaked, with millions of deaths and economies devastated worldwide.

We now need to build back better, but that will not happen if we cannot address the gaps that threaten the reconstruction: the action gap on the response to the pandemic and on economic recovery; the ambition gap on global goods like climate; the North-South solidarity gap that endangers the joint resolution of global problems; and the inclusion gap (elite gap and gender gap) that threatens to further divide our societies and leave many behind.

In November 2020, the Paris Peace Forum contributed to combatting the pandemic by boosting vaccine financing and distribution, convening public development banks for a greener recovery, and putting forward civil society solutions to the crisis.

In November 2021, the fourth edition will focus on spurring a more solid and inclusive recovery by addressing the various gaps in global governance, offering initiatives to better tend to the global commons, and putting forward new principles of action for the post-Covid world.

Combining the best of 2019 and 2020: a unique hybrid edition

The pre-pandemic 2019 edition gathered 7 000 in-person participants in Paris, while the 2020 edition gathered 12 000 online participants. On 11-13 November 2021, we will combine the best of both worlds: in-person participation and a full online experience on the acclaimed Paris Peace Forum digital platform.
This hybrid edition will be as multi-actor as ever, convening heads of state, government and international organizations (more than 125 took part since 2018) as well as NGOs, foundations, companies and citizens from around the world, with special attention to participation from the global South.
This fourth edition will come in the wake of the UNGA, the G-20 summit in Rome (30-31 October) and the climate COP26 in Glasgow (1-12 November) and will echo and complement the work done in these other fora.

"A heat wave, a cyber attack, a global disease: what impacts people’s lives is often beyond the reach of their national government. The Forum offers a platform to coordinate a response among all actors."

Justin Vaïsse, Founder & Director of the Paris Peace Forum


Closing the gaps and preparing for the post-Covid world: a program for the fourth edition of the Forum

Closing the action gap on health and economic recovery

The first objective is to get vaccination right for all now. The forum will focus on improving the global governance of health, including pandemic preparedness and the crucial One Health approach. It will also boost efforts on recovery, with particular push back on restrictions imposed on civil societies and women’s rights during the pandemic.

Closing the ambition gap for the global commons

The Forum will complement the COP26 efforts on climate by pushing for faster mitigation and deeper adaptation and feature new initiatives including on the governance of climate risks. It will also focus on biodiversity and oceans. The same goes with the governance of the digital space, with the intensification of the work on cybersecurity (the Paris Call), AI ethics and the Digital Bill of Rights initiative. Activities in outer space are under threat: the Forum will launch a major initiative on space sustainability.

Closing the North-South gap

The Paris Peace Forum devoted its 17 May Spring Meeting to the North-South divide on vaccines, debt and climate. It will keep this focus in November by working on vaccination for all, financial recovery – but also South-South and triangular cooperation.

Closing the inclusion gap

Women’s right will figure prominently in this edition, following up on the Generation Equality Forum, and focusing on countering the pernicious effects of the pandemic on gender equality. But the Forum will also address the growing gap between elites and the general public who is worryingly distrustful of global coordination.


Showcasing and boosting projects that will make a difference

This year, the Space for Solutions will showcase 80 projects tackling issues at the core of the fourth edition. Some of them will be present at la Grande Halle de La Villette, all of them will enjoy a dedicated space on the digital platform and a presentation during the regular sessions of the program.

They will also enjoy better visibility and more curated support through a shared, cohort experience by project leaders, tailored interaction, and networking opportunities with experts and de

Priorities for projects featured in 2021

  • Fighting against the Covid-19 crisis: global health governance, social impact, new tools
  • Better governing the global commons: climate, oceans, outer space
  • Better governing the digital world: AI, cybersecurity, harmful content
  • Fighting fake news and threats to the press
  • Protecting the civic space in times of Covid
  • Achieving equality among men and women
  • Strengthening South-South cooperation
  • Reforming capitalism through the impact economy