Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - Page 9 News List

International organizations need new roles

By Pascal Lamy and Ian Goldin

To increase the productivity of global negotiations, the Oxford Martin Commission recommends creating coalitions of motivated countries, together with other actors, such as cities and businesses. As outcomes improve, international bodies’ legitimacy would be strengthened, which over time would enhance countries’ willingness to delegate powers to them.

Moreover, the commission proposes creating voluntary platforms to facilitate the creation of global treaties in vital areas. For example, a taxation and regulatory exchange would help countries to tackle tax avoidance and harmonize corporate taxation, while promoting information sharing and cooperation. Likewise, a cybersecurity, data-sharing platform could prove vital to understanding, preventing, and responding to cyberattacks.

As governments learn to collaborate with one another and with other actors, such as businesses and civil-society groups, faith in the power of international cooperation could be restored. In such an environment, breaking the gridlock on urgent global issues would be far easier than it has become in the current atmosphere of disillusionment and mistrust.

With interconnectedness comes interdependence. To protect the global commons, world leaders must pursue shared solutions as inclusively and efficiently as possible — a process that can be accomplished only through international institutions. Failure to do so could threaten the tremendous progress that globalization has facilitated in recent decades.

If governments, businesses, and civil society work together, the changes are feasible — promising a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future for all.

Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the WTO, is chairman of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations. Ian Goldin is director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford and vice chairman of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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