Global Governance and the UN
243 pages

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243 pages
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How gaps in global governance impact the world's most challenging problems

In the 21st century, the world is faced with threats of global scale that cannot be confronted without collective action. Although global government as such does not exist, formal and informal institutions, practices, and initiatives—together forming "global governance"—bring a greater measure of predictability, stability, and order to trans-border issues than might be expected. Yet, there are significant gaps between many current global problems and available solutions. Thomas G. Weiss and Ramesh Thakur analyze the UN's role in addressing such knowledge, normative, policy, institutional, and compliance lapses. The UN's relationship to these five global governance gaps is explored through case studies of some of the most burning problems of our age, including terrorism, nuclear proliferation, humanitarian crises, development aid, climate change, human rights, and HIV/AIDS.

List of Boxes, Tables, and Figures
Series Editors' Foreword Louis Emmerij, Richard Jolly, and Thomas G. Weiss
Foreword John Gerard Ruggie

Introduction: The Problématique of Global Governance
1. Tracing the Origins of an Idea and the UN's Contribution

Part 1. International Security
2. The Use of Force: War, Collective Security, and Peace Operations
3. Arms Control and Disarmament
4. Terrorism

Part 2. Development
5. Trade, Aid, and Finance
6. Sustainable Development
7. Saving the Environment: The Ozone Layer and Climate Change

Part 3. Human Rights
8. Generations of Rights
9. Protecting against Pandemics
10. The Responsibility to Protect

About the Authors
About the United Nations Intellectual History Project



Publié par
Date de parution 23 avril 2010
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780253004154
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Ahead of the Curve? UN Ideas and Global Challenges LOUIS EMMERIJ, RICHARD JOLLY, AND THOMAS G. WEISS
Unity and Diversity in Development Ideas: Perspectives from the UN Regional Commissions EDITED BY YVES BERTHELOT
Quantifying the World: UN Ideas and Statistics MICHAEL WARD
The UN and Global Political Economy: Trade, Finance, and Development JOHN TOYE AND RICHARD TOYE
UN Contributions to Development Thinking and Practice RICHARD JOLLY, LOUIS EMMERIJ, DHARAM GHAI, AND FRÉDÉRIC LAPEYRE
UN Voices: The Struggle for Development and Social Justice THOMAS G. WEISS, TATIANA CARAYANNIS, LOUIS EMMERIJ, AND RICHARD JOLLY
Women, Development, and the UN: A Sixty-Year Quest for Equality and Justice DEVAKI JAIN
Human Security and the UN: A Critical History S. NEIL MACFARLANE AND YUEN FOONG KHONG
Human Rights at the UN: The Political History of Universal Justice ROGER NORMAND AND SARAH ZAIDI
Preventive Diplomacy at the UN BERTRAND G. RAMCHARAN
The UN and Transnational Corporations: From Code of Conduct to Global Compact TAGI SAGAFI-NEJAD IN COLLABORATION WITH JOHN H. DUNNING
The UN and Development: From Aid to Cooperation OLAV STOKKE
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© 2010 by The United Nations Intellectual History Project All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Weiss, Thomas George. Global governance and the UN : an unfinished journey / Thomas G. Weiss and Ramesh Thakur ; foreword by John Gerard Ruggie. p. cm. — (United Nations intellectual history project) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-253-35430-3 (cloth : alk. paper)—ISBN 978-0-253-22167-4 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. International organization. 2. International cooperation. 3. United Nations. I. Thakur, Ramesh Chandra, 1948– II. Title. JZ1318.W447 2010 341.23—dc22 2009036271
1 2 3 4 5 15 14 13 12 11 10
List of Boxes, Tables, and Figures Series Editors’ Foreword Louis Emmerij, Richard Jolly, and Thomas G. Weiss Foreword John Gerard Ruggie Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations
INTRODUCTIONThe Problématique of Global Governance 1 Tracing the Origins of an Idea and the UN’s Contribution
PART 1 • International Security 2 The Use of Force: War, Collective Security, and Peace Operations 3 Arms Control and Disarmament 4 Terrorism
PART 2 • Development 5 Trade, Aid, and Finance 6 Sustainable Development 7 Saving the Environment: The Ozone Layer and Climate Change
8 Generations of Rights 9 Protecting against Pandemics 10 The Responsibility to Protect
PART 3 • Human Rights
Notes Index About the Authors About the United Nations Intellectual History Project
Box 2.1. The Difficulty of Reaching Consensus about the Nature, Causes, and Consequences of Major International Events: The Case of Iraq Box 2.2. The International Crisis Group Box 3.1. Policy Gaps and the World Court Project Box 3.2. The Revolving Door of Personnel for the Three UNs Box 5.1. ODA as 0.7 percent of GDP Box 5.2. The International Promotion and Protection of Children’s Rights: UNICEF and the Convention on the Rights of the Child Box 5.3. UNDP Box 5.4. Millennium Development Goals and Targets Box 7.1. Definitions of Climate Change Box 7.2. UN Milestones in Protecting the Environment Box 7.3. The Human Development Report 2007/2008 Box 9.1. Celebrities as Actors in Global Governance Box 9.2. The World Health Organization
Table 3.1. World Military Expenditures, 1950–2005 Table 3.2. Number of Nuclear Warheads in the Inventory of the Five NPT Nuclear Weapons States, 1945–2005 Table 8.1. Child Mortality Rates in Iraq, 1960–2005 Table 9.1. Regional Breakdown of HIV/AIDS Statistics, 2007
Graph 3.1. World Military Expenditures and Gross World Product, 1960–2005 Graph 3.2. World Military Personnel and Population, 1960–2005 Graph 3.2. World Arms Exports, ODA, and International Trade, 1970–2005
We began the United Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP ten years ago to fill a surprising and serious omission, the lack of any comprehensive study of the history of the UN’s contributions to economic and social thinking and action. Now, with some satisfaction, we can look back at thirteen published volumes that document the UN’s work in these areas. The final three volumes of the series, of which this is one, are in press. The project has unearthed some important findings that are still not adequately recognized: that ideas have been among the UN’s most important contributions; that the quality of the UN’s work has, at its best, been outstandingly good; that in its intellectual work, the UN has often been ahead of the curve (and ahead of the Bretton Woods institutions; and finally, in terms of impact, that the UN’s leading contributions have literally changed history. This is reflected in the title of our capstone 1 volume—a synthesis of the major conclusions of the entire project—UN Ideas That Changed the World. We are pleased that over the last decade, the landscape of UN history has been changing due to the work of others. Books documenting the history of the UN Development Programme; the World Food Programme; the International Labour Organization; UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; 2 and other UN funds and specialized agencies have been produced or are in the process of being written. The record of the UN’s contributions is now more accessible. But though all this is welcome, we should underline that it is no more than what should be expected of all public organizations, especially internationally accountable ones. We look forward to enhanced efforts among these UN funds and agencies to organize, improve, and open their archives so that independent researchers can dispassionately analyze their efforts and achievements. All of this is an essential part of what is needed to improve international cooperation. The United Nations Intellectual History Project, launched in 1999, is an independent research effort based in the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. We are grateful for the enthusiastic backing from Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General when the project was launched, and of many UN staff. Generous financial support from five foundations and eight governments has ensured total intellectual and financial independence. Details of the project can be found on our Web The work of the UN can be divided into two broad categories: economic and social development, on the one hand, and peace and security, on the other. Though UNIHP started by focusing on the former, the project grew to encompass three volumes in the areas of peace and security. All the volumes have been or are being published in a series by Indiana University Press. In addition, the project has completed an oral history collection of seventy-nine interviews of persons who have played major roles in launching and nurturing UN ideas—and sometimes in hindering them! Extracts from these interviews were published in 3 2005 asUN Voices: The Struggle for Development and Social Justice.Authors of the project’s various volumes, including this one, have drawn on these interviews to highlight substantive points made in their texts. Full transcripts of the oral histories are also available from the UNIHP secretariat in electronic book form as a CD-ROM to facilitate work by other researchers and interested persons worldwide. There is no single way to organize research, and that is certainly true for such an ambitious project as this one. This UN history has been structured for the most part by topics, ranging from trade and finance to human rights, from transnational corporations to development assistance, from regional perspectives to sustainability. We have selected world-class experts for each topic, and the presentation and argument in all of the volumes is the responsibility of the authors whose names appear on the cover. All have been given freedom and responsibility to organize their own digging, analysis, and presentation. Guidance from us as the project directors as well as from peer review groups is provided to ensure accuracy and fairness in depicting where the ideas came from, how they were developed and disseminated within the UN system, and what happened afterward. We trust that future analyses will build upon our series and go beyond. Our intellectual history project is the first, not the last, installment in depicting the history of the UN’s contributions to ideas. This present volume,Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey,bridges the themes and topics of earlier volumes and seeks to draw them together in terms of the challenges and conclusions for the institutions involved in global norm setting, decision making, action, and monitoring—in short, for global governance. Several chapters present the most concise, complete, and up-to-date account of the most pressing problems of our age.
As explained at the outset by Thomas G. Weiss and Ramesh Thakur, the volume has been long in the making. This in part is a consequence of the difficulties and complications of the topic, especially as seen through the eyes of international relations scholars. Global governance among this fraternity and sorority is generally defined by a critical absence—as global governance without global government. Other disciplines have their own ways to avoid the hardest questions. Many economists have long done it by favoring free market solutions—global governance without the need for government action. The global financial and economic crisis of 2008–2009—as well as many less serious previous crises —underline the risks, problems, and enormous costs of a global economy without global government— that is, without adequate international institutions, democratic decision making, and powers to enforce compliance. Although countries, especially the major powers, may not yet be ready to accept the need for some elements of global government and the limitations this would impose on their sovereignty, the logic of interdependence and recent developments would seem to place global governance more squarely on the international agenda. Indeed, some of us anticipate that over future decades, a gradual advance of intergovernmental agreements and powers will take place along the lines that most countries have seen nationally over the last century and as Europe and some other areas have seen develop regionally since World War II. Elements of global government will emerge. Meanwhile, there are still things to do in a world of global governance without global government— and Weiss and Thakur provide a stimulating analysis of what is needed in key areas. They avoid the complacency of accepting the status quo by taking the reader through the actions that are possible and needed to fill the gaps in each of the main areas of the present system. All this is in line with the goals of UNIHP, which expressly committed itself to writing a future-oriented history that draws conclusions about the ways the UN system needs to be strengthened. The need for improvements in global governance remains urgent. Over the decade of our work, countries, regions, and often the whole world have experienced major crises, setbacks, and difficulties that have shown only too clearly the weaknesses of the international system as it functions at present. These inadequacies have produced war and conflict, weapons of mass destruction, natural and human disasters, and international economic and financial instabilities. All of these have had consequences that have spread far beyond national borders and have had disastrous effects on global instability and human progress. Our project has identified a number of global problems—climate change, growing economic inequality, economic and financial instability, and the risks of nuclear destruction, among other problems —which can only be tackled with stronger agreement and global action by both the major powers and many smaller ones if the world is to survive through the twenty-first century. Global governance with stronger powers, more resources, and mechanisms to ensure compliance will be essential for the longer run, if not in the next few years. While Weiss and Thakur accept the limits of global governance without global government, they analyze what has been achieved and how things might be improved by strengthening action in five key areas, each at present characterized by an important international gap: in knowledge, in norms, in policy, in institutions, and in compliance. Their core argument is that each of these gaps needs to be filled in relation to the key problems the international system confronts today. By doing so, global governance can be impressively strengthened, even without the stronger powers that global government might bring. For tough-minded realists, this provides a practical agenda for action in the years ahead. For those longing for more robust advances in global governance—including advances toward global government—another volume is still to be written with a subtitle ofNext Steps on the Journey. We are persuaded that the UN system needs to be greatly strengthened to meet the challenges of the years ahead. Global governance provides an agenda for all who wish to move forward as well as a wide-ranging overview of the steps already taken and the mechanisms and organization already in place. As former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote in the foreword toAhead of the Curve? UN Ideas and Global Challenges:“With the publication of this first volume in the United Nations Intellectual History Project, a significant lacuna in twentieth-century scholarship and international relations begins to be 4 filled.” With the present volume, another gap in that record is now closed. We are confident that other analysts will now be in a position to use this critical building block to add to the history of UN contributions to global governance. We hope that readers will enjoy this account, at once a journey through time and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of today’s attempts to tackle many of the priority issues on the global agenda. As always, we welcome comments from our readers.
THOMAS G. WEISS New York December 2008
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