REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
Part 1: Extracts From Co-Chairmen's Forward
The Charter of the United Nations was written while the world was still engulfed in war. Face to face with untold sorrow, world leaders were determined never to let it happen again . Affirming their faith in the dignity and worth of the human person, they set their minds on the advancement of all people. Their vision produced the world's most important political document.
Half a century has passed since the Charter was signed in San Francisco. There has been no world war at that time, but humanity has seen much violence, suffering and injustice. There remain danger that could threaten human civilization and, indeed, the future of humankind.
But our dominant feeling is of hope. We believe that most notable feature of the past fifty years has been the emancipation and empowerment of people. People today have more power to shape their future than ever before; and that could make all the difference.
At the same time, nation-states find themselves less able to deal with the array of issue- some old, some new- that face them. States and their people, wishing to control their destinies, find they can do so only by working together with others. They must secure their future trough commitment to common responsibility and shared effort.
The need to work together also guided the visionary men and woman who drew up the Charter of the United Nations. What is new today is that the interdependence of nations is wider and deeper. What is also new is the role of people and the shift of focus from states to people. An aspect of this change is the growth of international civil society.
These changes call for reforms in the modes of international cooperation-the institution and process of global governance.
The international system that the UN Charter put in place needs to be renewed. The flaws and inadequacies of existing institutions have to be overcome. There is a need to wave a tighter fabric of international norms, expanding the rule of law world-wide and enabling citizens to exert their democratic influence on global process.
We also believe the world's arrangements for the conduct of its affairs must be underpinned by certain common values. Ultimately, no organization will work and no law will be upheld unless they rest on a foundation made strong by shared values. These values must be informed by a sense of common responsibility for both present and future generations.
The members of the Commission, all serving in their personal capacities, come from many backgrounds and orientations. Yet, over the last two years together we have been united by one desire: to develop a common vision of the way forward for the world in making the transition from the cold war and in managing humanity's journey into the twenty-first century. We believe this report offers such a vision.
Each member of the Commission would have chosen different words, if he or she were writing this report alone. Everyone might not have fully embraced each and every proposal; but we all agreed on the overall substance and direction of the report. The strongest message we can convey is that humanity can agree in a better way to manage its affairs and give hope to present and future generations. Each member of the Commission would have chosen different words, if he or she were writing this report alone. Everyone might not have fully embraced each and every proposal; but we all agreed on the overall substance and direction of the report. The strongest message we can convey is that humanity can agree in a better way to manage its affairs and give hope to present and future generations.
Each member of the Commission would have chosen different words, if he or she were writing this report alone. Everyone might not have fully embraced each and every proposal; but we all agreed on the overall substance and direction of the report. The strongest message we can convey is that humanity can agree in a better way to manage its affairs and give hope to present and future generations.
Global governance is not global government. No misunderstanding should arise from the similarity of the terms. We are not proposing movement towards world government, for were we travel in the direction we might find ourselves in an even less democratic world than we have- one more accommodating to power, more hospitable to hegemonic ambition, and more reinforcing of the roles of states and governments rather than the right of people.
This is not to say that the goal should be a world without systems or rules. Far from it. A chaotic world pose equal or even greater dangers. The challenge is to strike the balance in such a way that the management of global affairs is responsive to the interests of all people in a sustainable future, that it is guided by basic human values, and it makes global organization conform to the reality of global diversity.
Many pressures bear on political leaders, as they seek both to be effective and to retain support at a national level. Notwithstanding the drawbacks of nationalism, however, the history of even this century encourages us to believe that from the very best of national leaders can come the very best of internationalism. Today, a sense of internationalism has become a necessary ingredient of sound national politics. No nation can make progress heedless of insecurity and deprivation elsewhere. We have to share a global neighborhood and strengthen it, so that it may offer the promise of a good life to all our neighbors.
Important choices must be made now, because we are at the threshold of a new era. That newness is self-evident; people everywhere know it, as do governments, though not all admit to it. We can, for example, go forward to a new era of security that responds to law and collective will and common responsibility by placing the security of people and of the planet at the center. Or we can go backwards to the spirit of methods of what one of our members described as the 'sheriff's posse'- dressed up to masquerade as global action.
There should be no questions on which way we go. But the right way requires the assertion of the values of internationalism, the primacy of the rule of law world-wide, and institutional reforms that secure and sustain them. This report offers some suggestions for such responses.
Removed from the sway of empires and world of victors and vanquished, released from the constraints of the cold war that so cramped the potential of an evolving global system throughout the post-war era, seized of the risk of unsustainable human impacts on nature, mindful of the global implication of human deprivation-the world has no real option but to rise to the challenge of change, in an enlightened and constructive fashion. We call on our global neighbors, in all their diversity, to act together to ensure this-and to act now.
Call To Action