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Governing Globalization - Globalizing Governance: New Approaches to Global Problem Solving

| Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy | January 27, 2005

Report of the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy

 The Helsinki Process Track on “New Approaches to Global Problem Solving” has examined why the current instruments of global governance are not producing satisfactory progress in solving global problems. International decision making is too exclusively focused on governments and remains disproportionately concentrated in the G-7 countries. Today’s system of global economic governance also exhibits a severe lack of coherence: discussions on aid, trade, and finance remain highly compartmentalised. These shortcomings contribute greatly to the lack of compliance to endorsed goals and standards. Instead of a comprehensive reform agenda, the Track makes the following concrete proposals to reduce the democracy, coherence, and compliance deficits, and to remedy weakness in the capacity to solve global problems:
A Representative Summit for Economic Stewardship. The Track recommends the replacement of the G-7/8 with a broader grouping, a G-20 (or thereabouts) annual summit of the heads of leading governments from the North and the South. This informal leader-level group could act as an effective co-ordination mechanism for global economic governance with coherence and legitimacy. The Track recommends that a dialogue could be undertaken by some disinterested countries and should focus on such issues as: criteria for membership, the possibility of members representing a group of states, and the advantages of rotating membership.
Improving the Coherence and Accountability of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. The Track recommends that the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and the Director General of the WTO should be asked to issue a joint annual report on the state of the world economy - and on their policies vis-à-vis broad objectives of growth, stability, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. In addition to governmental bodies, this report should be discussed annually in two public hearings, including the heads of the three institutions and an international group of parliamentarians.
Engaging Parliamentarians in the Supervision of Global Economic Management. The Track recommends that the Helsinki Process be a catalyst for the establishment of Global Public Policy Committees (proposed by the Cardoso panel) and for the development of a Global Parliamentary Group (proposed by the ILO Commission). In order to address these questions, a meeting of representatives from the IPU, other apex bodies of parliaments and parliamentarians, as well as regional parliaments, should be organised in connection with the Helsinki Conference.
Improving representation and participation in the supervision of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. The Track states that the Boards of the IMF and the World Bank are insufficiently representative and responsive to those it most affects, namely the developing countries. As an example, The Track recommends a review of the role of quotas to be undertaken by the Bretton Woods institutions in order to redistribute representation and basic votes. Concerning the WTO, the Track proposes that the negotiation capacity of developing countries and the role of the UN system and non-state actors be strengthened.
Strengthening International Labour and Environmental Governance. The Track recommends that the ILO and the UNEP together with other international environmental institutions be transformed into effective vehicles for compliance. According to the Track, the international community should approve a series of reforms to strengthen the ILO’s monitoring and reporting functions as well as expand the ILO’s capacity-building activities. The Track recommends that UNEP should work towards integrated country reports of compliance with all MEAs and, on the initiative of a balanced group of developing countries, be converted into a specialised agency of the UN system, establishing a World Environment Organisation.
Amplifying and Diversifying Voices. To address the North-South imbalance in information flows, The Track recommends the creation of a media council and a media institute to support the media access of the marginalised. To improve the sensitivity of global governance to the reality of poverty and marginalisation, the Track recommends that global coalitions of the voices of the poor and spaces for civil society consultation be created to inform global policy-making.
Evolving new forms of hybrid governance: the case of transnational corruption. The Track recommends that a joint group of concerned UN entities, industry groups and NGOs act as a catalyst to ensure the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption.

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