Global Governance Reform Project
Reimagining The Future: Towards Democratic Governance was the title of the first report prepared by the Global Governance Reform Project at the end of 2000 and distributed during the course of 2001 and 2002.
The five-year project was sponsored by the School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University (Melbourne), Focus on the Global South (Bangkok) and the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research (Honolulu and Tokyo). Joseph Camilleri, Kamal Malhotra, and Majid Tehranian served as project conveners and Eşref Aksu as project coordinator.
The project took an unashamedly radical perspective - not in the sense that it made revolutionary proposals, but that it kept the spotlight on a number of fundamental questions:
To grapple with this rather large and potentially unmanageable agenda, the project made a number of strategic choices and commissioned three studies, each of which dealt with an area which, though important in its own right was crucially connected with the larger concerns outlined above. The central themes of these three studies (democratizing global governance; governance of global financial flows; and global peace and security) correspond to the three sections that make up the core of this report.
Part 1: Democratizing Global Governance identifies the growing gap between de facto and de jure institutions of global governance as the central problem of our time. While the UN system is legally in charge of international peace and security, it is chiefly the actions of well-armed states that exacerbate or settle international conflicts. While state sovereignty is still legally the cornerstone of the international political system, it is primarily transnational actors that effectively shape global financial and economic markets. In other words, global legal institutions have not kept pace with the reach and power of political and economic actors outside the effective control of states. The study argues that if unchecked current trends will exacerbate conflicts between rich and poor within and between states, and weaken still further the social and political fabric of existing states without substituting alternative forms of legitimate governance. It concludes by offering a number of proposals for bridging this gap, with the accent on long-term structural reform.
Part 2: Governance of Financial Flows begins with a brief review of the nature and impact of economic globalization, and proceeds to an equally brief description of the main features of the globalization of financial/capital flows. It then surveys and evaluates a number of recent proposals for regional and international regulation of financial flows, before setting out the principles that should govern sustainable social and human development at the national, regional and global level.
Part 3: Global Peace and Security focuses on issues of conflict transformation, peacekeeping, peace enforcement and humanitarian intervention. More limited space is given to disarmament and arms control issues, with a number of specific proposals on the control and elimination of weapons of mass destruction and light weapons. In examining the prospects for multilateral peace operations, it begins by reviewing the UN's experience in the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. It then proceeds to an analysis of a number of reform proposals developed since the publication in June 1992 of Boutros Boutros-Ghali's An Agenda for Peace. The approach adopted by this study, however, is somewhat different. It spells out the normative and organizational principles that should govern the UN's security agenda generally, and peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations in particular.
The 100-page report was prepared by the three project directors Prof. Joseph A. Camilleri (La Trobe University, Melbourne), Prof. Majid Tehranian (the Toda Institute) and Mr Kamal Malhotra (Focus on the Global South). The Report was published by La Trobe University.
6000 copies were distributed to the following constituencies:
Acknowledgements, comments and responses have been received from a great many sources. The Report has been used as a teaching aid in a number of university courses.
Since then the full-length study has been published as a major book:
E. Aksu and J. A. Camilleri, Democratizing Global Governance, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002
The three sponsoring organizations wish to express their profound appreciation to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation and a great many other contributors who have helped to make the project possible.
J. A. Camilleri
6 February 2003