Global Census Poll 2023

The United Nations and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are highly popular around the world, but reforms are needed for the UN to deliver.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in New York is pleased to launch the results of the fourth annual FES Global Census - a multinational survey gauging public opinion on key matters of multilateralism and international cooperation.

As world leaders travel to New York to meet at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the results should serve as a call to action for governments and international organizations alike. The United Nations and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are highly popular across countries and continents - people want positive change and for the UN to drive it. However, many doubt that the UN is well prepared for the many challenges ahead, and demand reforms so that words finally turn into action.

United Nations remarkably popular around the world 

  • Favorability ratings of the UN and other international organizations remain remarkably high despite global crises and have even improved compared to results from previous surveys. For example, favorability of the UN has improved from 46-26 favorable-unfavorable to 51-22 in Argentina, from 44-19 to 53-16 in Germany, from 62-14 to 68-14 in India, and from 49-34 to 53-30 in the US.

Overwhelming support for 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Similarly, the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are highly popular across the sample, including 96% support in Kenya,  91% in South Africa, 80% in the UK, 73% in Poland, and 70% in Brazil. Many respondents in the Global South moreover believe that the SDGs will be achieved. For example, in Indonesia, 71% of respondent say the SDGs are likely to be met, whereas in India (66%) and Kenya (61%) respondents are similarly optimistic.

However, Global North much more pessimistic than Global South; belief that UN is not prepared for challenges of the future

  • By contrast, many respondents in the Global North are significantly more skeptical that the SDGs will be met and further doubt that the UN is well prepared for the challenges of the future. For example, in France (75%), Germany (81%), and the UK (84%) most respondents do not believe that the SDGs will be achieved. Respondents also disagreed with the statement that “the UN is well prepared for the challenges of the next decade” by a 23-point margin in France, a 24-point margin in Germany, and an 18-point margin in Japan.

Strong global support for reform of UN Security Council

  • UN reform proposals, particularly regarding the UN Security Council, are strongly supported by majorities in all 15 countries included in the survey - even in countries holding a permanent seat on the Council. This includes support from up to 85% of respondents in Kenya, 79% in South Korea, 73% percent in South Africa, 59% in the US, 56% in the UK, and 56% in France.

The FES Global Census 2023 was fielded and conducted by YouGov on the internet among respondents in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Turkey, United States.

Find the full results at the link below!

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