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Who rules the world?
The role of effective global governance in harnessing globalisation
‘ATHENS 3’ Third Annual Conference of the New School of Athens

John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation Athens Greece April 2-5 2008

V Vijay Mehta vijay@vmpeace.org

Contents 1. Introduction 2. Who rules the world? 3. Present day global threats and challenges 4. Strengths and weaknesses of world institutions 5. Recommendations for an effective global governance in harnessing globalisation

6. Conclusion

Introduction The creation of legitimate global institutions involves multiple goals: First, the institutions must be representative. Second, the institutions need to be effective. Third, collectively the international institutions need to serve as an effective global governance system. Finally, the international institutions should offer opportunities for national and international leaders to forge coalitions for action and reform. Globalisation involves a whole range of issues, from intellectual property, trade, multinational corporations, how we manage the environment, natural resources, oil, as well as the global financial system. In a sense, globalisation is the sum total of all of those. Many of today’s international institutions were created at the end of World War II, more than 60 years ago. Since then they have responded in many significant ways to the challenges arising during the second half of the 20th century, including decolonisation, the end of the cold war, global security, environmental threats, and global poverty. Even though many new global and regional organisations were added since 1945 - when the United Nations was created and the Bretton Woods organisations opened their doors - very little has been altered in the basic structure of these global institutions. Global institutions are not working well individually and as a group. For example, the global institutions at the core of the international system, such as the United Nations, the...

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