In various discussions focusing on global governance and defining priorities for multilateral organisations taking place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, representatives of several countries, for instance the United States and Saudi Arabia stated that security issues were at the top of their global governance agenda. But leaders from emerging countries voiced the need for global governance systems to work in support of sustainable development. Trade Minister of Indonesia, Mari Elka Pangestu at a lunch meeting on January 27 said that she welcomed the decision by the G-20 to include development on their agenda. But she also reminded participants that existing multilateral bodies such as the UN or the WTO needed to be equipped to implement decisions taken by leaders.
Several speakers highlighted the need for relevant and independent information as a key component in any political decision making.
Discussion also focused on how to achieve greater involvement of civil society in global governance.
“Media have a key role to play in this process,” said GFMD Director Bettina Peters. “If we want the public to be involved in global governance, they need to receive relevant, timely and independent information about the process. And we need free, independent and pluralistic media for that.”
Rick Samans of the World Economic Forum introduced a report “Global Redesign” that was the result of a year-long consultation among business, governments and civil society about how to reform or create open and effective systems of global governance.
“Without independent and comparable information on trade or human development, any type of global governance structure whether G-20, UN or others cannot take the right decisions on the issues facing the global community”, said Rick Samans. “And there is still a lack of information.”