The World Economic Forum’s Global Redesign Initiative is perhaps the best reflection of how corporations and other elites envision the future of governance. It calls for marginalising intergovernmental decision-making with a system of multi-stakeholder governance, but what does this mean for democracy, accountability and the rule of law?
Multistakeholder approaches are becoming ever more dominant, shaping standards for products, setting the rules for global initiatives and increasingly entering every arena of global governance including the UN. What is the driving force behind these initiatives? To whom are they accountable? What are the implications for social movements seeking to challenge unjust power relations within states and globally?
No stakeholder-based global governance system comes close to matching the democratic legitimacy of a citizen-based and nation-state-based governance system, but there are ways global governance can and should be reformed.
Multistakeholderism has become a new buzzword for global governance, shaping standards for products, setting the rules for global initiatives and increasingly entering every arena of global governance including the UN. They are driven by transnational corporations to consolidate power and profits and have disturbing implications for democracy, accountability and for communities most affected by corporate human rights violations.
As corporate executives fly into Davos for the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, more than 400 civil society organizations and 40 international networks have denounced a Strategic Partnership Agreement between WEF and the UN and called on the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to end it.
The UN Secretary General and the World Economic Forum signed on June 13 a Strategic Partnership Agreement for the implementation of the 2030 agenda (SDG). More than 400 organisations signed the following letter demanding the end of the agreement and denouncing it for formalising the corporate capture of the UN and moving towards an increasingly privatized and less democratic global governance.