Thursday, March 13, 2008

Global governance between utopia and reality

The magazine 'Global Perspectives' published its March issue under the headline: Global Governance between Utopia and Reality. It was inspired by the conferences series “Global Resource Management: A challenge for peace, development and environment” organized by the German Development and Peace Foundation (SEF).

James M. Boughton (IMF) and Colin I. Bradford (Brookings Institution) look at the current global governance system, concuding that it is outdated, since it does not represent the real global power situation, and is fragmented and too specialized which lead to lack of effectiveness and spatial thinking.

“what we have today is a multiplicity of independent actors, both public and private, each pursuing its own objectives and priorities, with its own clientele and constituency, with its own technical language and organizational culture, with its own mandate and specialized focus” they go on concluding that “[s]pecialized technical expertise by itself is unlikely to be fully effective if it is not guided by a global and holistic vision.”

According to the authors a transition of the global system towards reformed institutions and new governance mechanisms is needed to respond effectively to urgent global challenges.

Carin Smaller (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Switzerland) agues for the same cause looking at the global free trade agenda. In her opinion the current system is neglecting the people:

“the negotiators in Geneva continue to produce text for new trade rules that do not support a model of development that most people are asking for”.

She advocates closer cooperation between the Bretton Woods institutions and the UN to give considerations to the complexity of trade and development.

Joyce Aryee (Ghana Chamber of Mines) looks at the marginalized role of Africa in resource governance despite its rich natural resources. She refuses Western explanations that corrupt regimes and war-lords are abusing African assets, because it ignores the role of the West in maintaining African conflicts and supporting corrupt leaders.

Global Perspectives is a bi-lingual (English/German) publication by IPS Europe. It releases monthly editions on various themes of international cooperation and development and is available for free download.

See also Euforic newsfeeds governance and from IPS Europe.