Review of ‘Divided Nations: why global governance is failing and what we can do about it’ by Ian Goldin
Is there a blueprint for driving change at global level – and is it being applied to sustainable energy and food security?
Shaping the mission statement and the work programme of the G20
The G20 leaders’ meeting in Seoul in November will be well-organised and well-attended. Following earlier meetings in Washington, London, Pittsburgh and Toronto, it will demonstrate the growing importance of the emerging powers, especially in Asia. It will provide an opportunity to discuss how to sustain recovery from the global financial crisis, especially through the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. It will deliver some valuable outputs, especially on bank regulation, a global financial safety net, and a development agenda linked to growth. And it may – but may not – achieve what some of its proponents hope, position the G20 as the premier forum for leaders’ meetings and as a steering committee for the world.
G-20 - CIGI: Ontario
I was at the Centre for International Governance Innovation for two days, for a conference on ‘Issues for 2010 Summits’. The main focus was on the G-20 and the main substantive discussion on the Financial Stability Board and the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth (from last year’s Pittsburgh G20). See here. CIGI has a particular attachment to the G20, of course a Canadian invention, originally for Finance Ministers and now for leaders. Paul Martin was the original inspiration, when he was Finance Minister of Canada, and was at the meeting. There was quite a lot of discussion about legitimacy and representativeness, but, perhaps not surprisingly, enthusiasm for this particular contribution to what was described as ‘messy multilateralism’. CIGI has been supporting the G20 process around the world – for example, they ran a seminar in London last year, which I went to, and are doing work in Korea as well as Canada. This is track 1.5 diplomacy, apparently.
Reform of International Institutions: Towards a Commonwealth Agenda
Reform of International Institutions: Towards a Commonwealth Agenda - Commonwealth Secretariat In today’s world, responses to global challenges can only be achieved by collective debate and action. A coordinated response is required to achieve satisfactory and sustainable outcomes, however, international institutions are no longer placed to support an adequate response to these challenges: they are structurally outdated and in urgent need of reform....
Global governance innovations to stabilize globalisation: The G20 summit must initiate a political breakthrough to fight against global systemic
Global governance innovations to stabilize globalisation: The G20 summit must initiate a political breakthrough to fight against global systemic Authors: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Prof. Dr. Garth Le Pere, Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner, Director, Prof. Dr. Enrique Saravia, Dr. Margret Thalwitz, Prof. Dr. Yu Yongding
The G-20 is a temporary sticking plaster, not a full organ transplant
The G-20 is a temporary sticking plaster, not a full organ transplant, ODI Blog, March 2009
Simon Maxwell, outlines why we need to reinvent globalisation and international institutions to ensure they genuinely reflect and represent regional, cultural and income diversities and provide a framework to govern the world amid new global threats.
A Development Charter for the G-20
ODI researchers, in coordination with other developed and developing country institutes, are tracking the spread of the recession, monitoring and modelling its impacts and applying their different skills to the policy challenge of restoring growth and development in the poorest economies in the world. The G-20 cannot deliver development, but its members can aim to promote development efforts rather than hinder them. The 12 short articles in this pack do not constitute an institutional position but, taken together, they outline a Development Charter for the G-20 to help poor countries tackle the effects of the global economic recession.
A Commonwealth Initiative to Support UN Reform
A Commonwealth Initiative to Support UN Reform. Available for free in the e-book version of 'Reform of International Institutions', Economic Paper No 85, Commonwealth Secretariat, London Summary (see link in title for full article): This paper places UN reform in the context of reform of the international system and has been prepared on the basis of representative consultation. The core argument can be summarised in four sentences: first, Commonwealth countries need the UN to meet and solve global challenges and shared problems, and to take advantage of opportunities for change; second, the UN is not performing as well as it could; third, reform is slow, for understandable reasons; and fourth, the Commonwealth can play a unique role in forging consensus about the shape and pace of change.
A new global order: Bretton Woods II...and San Francisco II
A new global order: Bretton Woods II...and San Francisco II, Open Democracy, November 2008, with Dirk Messner
The G20 summit in Washington must focus on an inclusive and dynamic renewal of the global development agenda - a task in which Europe has a vital role to play, say Dirk Messner & Simon Maxwell.
Global leaders are preparing to meet in Washington on 15 November 2008 for a summit of the G20 group of states and representatives of leading international financial institutions. The gathering is being ambitiously named "Bretton Woods II" - echoing the conference on 1-22 July 1944 which established the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT). With George W Bush presiding, and Barak Obama waiting in the wings, the delegates' task will be to fix a global financial system which has failed with spectacular and highly damaging results. They need to succeed. However, they also need to realise that financial failure is symptomatic of more fundamental failures and fissures in the global order. Fixing the plumbing will be of little help if the house is falling down................. (see link in title for full article)
G8 is Gr8?
G8 is Gr8? New Statesman, July 2008
At this time of the year, commentators queue up to disparage the G8. Too much hot air. Too much hospitality. Not enough action. I disagree.
This year, the leaders didn’t do badly, at least on international development. Aid, Africa, food prices and climate were all on the agenda, as was Zimbabwe.
In terms of aid, a huge effort went into securing reaffirmation of pledges made at Gleneagles in 2005. This is a necessary project, especially considering the slow pace of delivery. Excluding debt relief for Iraq and Afghanistan, overall aid has barely increased since 2005, and donors are currently close to $US 40 bn short of the target they set for 2010................. (see link in title for full article)
Reform of the International System: the momentum is building
Reform of the International System: the momentum is building, ODI Blog, June 2008
The Commonwealth mini-Summit in London is the latest sign that reform of the international system is moving rapidly up the agenda. The Summit discussed reform of the UN, the Bretton Woods Institutions and global environmental governance. On all these, there is enthusiasm among Heads of Government for faster and better coordinated change. We can expect to see this translated into specific proposals at the EU Council, the UN MDG Summit, and the Doha meeting on Financing for Development, and in discussions leading up to the Copenhagen conference on climate change........ for the full article follow the link above.
Rome exceeded expectations; will the G8 do the same?
Rome exceeded expectations; will the G8 do the same?, ODI Blog, June 2008
The Food Summit in Rome turned out better than expected. It was not derailed by Robert Mugabe. It survived the unedifying wrangling over a final communiqué. It gave the topic a good hearing. It confirmed some practical actions. And it passed the torch successfully to the G8 in Japan in July.
As usual, delegates spent too much time arguing about statements of principle and too much time on political issues only loosely linked to the summit theme. Not surprisingly, they found it hard to reach agreement on contentious issues, like biofuels. But there have been some large new pledges, and a high degree of consensus on the twin issues of agricultural development and social protection for the poorest....................
What future for the World Bank?
The World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President, Francois Bourguignon, was in London yesterday, for informal consultations on the future strategy of the World Bank. This contributes to the Long Term Strategic Exercise (LTSE), described on the World Bank website, on a page which also provides opportunities for electronic comment................. (see link in title for full article)
What will the High Level Panel on UN Reform announce this Thursday?
What will the High Level Panel on UN Reform announce this Thursday?, ODI Blog, November 2006
Kemal Dervis, the UNDP Administrator, spoke for ODI and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development on Wednesday and hinted at the recommendations of the UN High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence..........................
Blunt and brutal. But UN reform is possible. Blair, Brown and Benn can make it happen
Blunt and brutal. But UN reform is possible. Blair, Brown and Benn can make it happen, ODI Blog, November 2006
I welcome the release of ‘Delivering as One’, the Report of the High Level Panel on UN Reform. The Report is blunt and brutal. That’s what happens when you commission a report from three serving Prime Ministers and have Gordon Brown on the team.
The Report criticises the incoherence, fragmentation and unpredictability of UN work on international development. Quite right too, we can’t have 20 UN agencies in every country, all fighting for the Minister’s ear. Nor can we expect the UN to do its job, when donors withhold funding and cherry-pick their favourite projects.....................
System Failure, Developments,
Reform of the international system. Well, that sounds exciting – definitely something to get out of bed and onto the streets for. We’ve campaigned to double aid, drop the debt, unpick trade barriers. We’ve worn white bands to Make Poverty History. We’ve turned the spotlight on slow progress in achieving key Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs), like cutting maternal mortality and putting more girls into school. Can we persuade the rock stars to line up for system reform? Let’s be honest – can we persuade ourselves? We should. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander (see opposite and page 12) are right to say, as they have recently, that we live in a complicated and interdependent world, and that we need to find better ways of working together. This agenda is about having a United Nations which works, a World Bank which is more accountable to its clients, an international community which acts quickly to prevent genocide, a world which avoids the worst effects of climate change. If “we, the peoples”, as the UN Charter says, care about poverty reduction, the MDGs, the environment, then we care – or should care – about how the international system works.
Is the WTO too complicated? Or not complicated enough?
Is the WTO too complicated? Or not complicated enough?, ODI Blog, January 2006
The WTO is certainly complicated, and not just because of the profusion of acronyms and the arcane detail of trade policy. The real complexity lies in the way many different issues are brought to the table, with the idea that losses in one area may be offset by gains in another. There were some obvious examples in Hong Kong: the best known was the EU demanding better access to developing country markets for its manufactures and services in countries like Brazil, as a quid pro quo for reduction in its agricultural subsidies and for further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP)................
How to help reform multilateral institutions: an eight-step program for more effective collective action
How to help reform multilateral institutions: an eight-step program for more effective collective action, Global Governance, Volume 11, No. 4, November 2005
Dissension over Iraq in 2003 challenged the legitimacy and effectiveness of the UN. It also highlighted long-standing problems that previous UN institutional reform efforts had failed to resolve. Kofi Annan has been a reforming secretary-general, but even he acknowledged in September 2003 that the core UN institutions needed "radical reform." (1) The High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change was the response: (2) wide-ranging, certainly; radical, up to a point; and with at least some of its core recommendations regarding peacebuilding and protection likely implemented at the UN summit in September 2005................. (see link in title for full article)
Diplomats and NGOs to blame for UN Summit failure – send them all to boot camp
Diplomats and NGOs to blame for UN Summit failure – send them all to boot camp, ODI Blog, September 2005
Two main groups carry the blame for the relative failure of the UN Summit in New York last week. The first group are the NGOs, whose error was to focus on the wrong priorities. They should be sent back to campaigning school. The second group are the diplomats, whose collective error was to mismanage a year’s worth of negotiation. Diplomacy school would be too generous. Boot camp seems more appropriate: long hours and scant rations until re-education is complete on how to create the right incentives for reform..................
UN Reform: An eight step programme for more effective collective action
UN Reform: An eight step programme for more effective collective action ODI Opinion 49, September 2005
The United Nations development system is the source of many norms and standards at global level, ranging from the Millennium Development Goals to technical standards in areas like health and food safety. It also delivers humanitarian aid, technical assistance and support to social sectors like health and education. Making the system work better is a constant preoccupation – in 2003, Kofi Annan observed that ‘ . . . The system is not working as it should . . . We need to take a hard look at our institutions themselves . . . They may need radical reform.’ At present, the outlook for serious reform on the development side is not especially propitious – but it could be................. (see link in title for full article)
UN Summit: Getting the structures right and securing effective collective action
UN Summit: Getting the structures right and securing effective collective action, ODI Blog, September 2005
There are two big agendas at the UN MDG Summit in mid-September. One matters and one does not. Keeping this thought in mind helps greatly in sorting through the Bolton amendments and in helping to focus debate during the last days before the meeting.
The agenda which does not matter is the one on which most NGO attention has focused: the MDGs themselves. The draft outcome document, named for Ambassador Ping, the President of the General Assembly, reiterates the principles underlying the MDGs and lays out sectoral priorities..............................
Governance Reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions and the UN Development System
Governance Reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions and the UN Development System, Dialouge on Globalization Accasional paper No 18, may 2005, washington: Freidrich Ebert Stiftung (with Messner, Nuscheler and Seigle) Executive Summary The key messages of the present report can be summarized in six propositions: • First, we face unprecedented problems at a global level – questions of war and peace, of climate change, of environmental sustainability, and of poverty. Second, these problems cannot be solved by nation states, however powerful, acting alone – we can only ameliorate our present and safeguard our future if people and their governments work together. Third, that means we need strong international cooperation and a strong multilateral system. Fourth, we do not have a strong system: it does not work well and it lacks legitimacy. Fifth, there are reform proposals on the table, most recently those made by Kofi Annan for the MDG Summit in September 2005. Sixth, those do not go far enough: We can and should do more. The report makes the case for each of these propositions, and in particular lays out a program of action for 2005 and beyond. This year, however, is crucial. Attention is focused on international development as never before. The preparatory work has mostly been done. The decision-making structures are in place. It is imperative that the opportunity will not be missed. Above all, when governments meet in New York in September, for the MDG Summit, they must take the opportunity to make major changes to the multilateral development system.
UN Reform: How?
'The key question on UN reform is not 'Why?' or 'What?' but 'How?'. Take as read the high principles and values: peace, justice, freedom, equity, sustainability and the rest. Take as read, also, the many specific proposals about membership of the Security Council, the need for stronger institutions to manage the world economy, or voting rights for developing countries on the boards of the World Bank and the IMF.
On June 28th, the occupying powers in Iraq handed sovereignty of a sort back to Iraqis, in the shape of the new Interim Government. The key step which made that possible was taken in New York earlier in the month, when the UN Security Council approved the handover and described an enhanced role for the UN itself along the road to full democratic elections. The event was claimed as a turning point, not only for Iraq but also for the rebuilding of international trust................. (see link in title for full article)
Inside the palace of glass
Inside the palace of glass, Open Democracy, June 2001
The international conferences of the new world order are regularly seen through the eyes of media, protestors, and spin-doctors. But what is it like to be a participant? The director of the Overseas Development Institute was in Amsterdam to discuss poverty with the World Bank. This is his witty, compelling account.
Not long ago, international summits were surrounded by the silence of the lambs. The loudest noise was the ripple of camera shots at the group photo. But that was before Seattle. And Prague. And Sao Paulo. And Nice. And Goteborg. In a stunningly short time, the tranquil festivities of globalisation’s government – IMF, World Bank, EU, WTO, G8 - have been transformed into sites of epic, mediatised confrontation with a refreshingly eclectic liberationist caravanserai................. (see link in title for full article)
New Approaches to Planning
New Approaches to Planning (with T Conway), OED Working Paper Series No 14. World Bank, Washington DC. Summer 2000
This chapter addresses the question of multisectoral planning, taking up the pillars of the Comprehensive Development Framework ( CDF) that call for a long-term, holistic approach and, to a lesser extent, a focus on results...... for the full article please click on the link above
Global Governance: an Agenda for the Renewal of the United Nations
Global Governance: an Agenda for the Renewal of the United Nations, ODI Briefing Paper, 1999 (2) July
Global governance is a topic that waxes and wanes in the international firmament – and at present is waxing fast. On topics as varied as climate change, capital flows, trade liberalisation, and international security, current problems are discussed in frameworks which imply the need for new institutional arrangements at global level. The Commission on Global Governance observed this trend in 1995: it has accelerated since................. (see link in title for full article)