The UN and global governance institutions are ill-suited to address many modern, evolving threats and must reform or risk prolonging and deepening global crises. According to Secretary Albright, the world requires “more capable tools of global governance, with different kinds of public, private, and mixed institutions designed for twenty-first-century challenges.” To address these challenges, the report provides targeted reforms that transcend national borders, and reach out to diverse stakeholders, including business groups, mayors, civil society, and local communities and cities, a point which was emphasized at the launch by Mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen, former Dutch Foreign Minister and member of the Commission.
Following over a year of preparations and more than twenty international consultations, the high-level, nonpartisan, and geographically and professionally diverse 14-member Commission offers far-reaching recommendations to reform the UN and other global governance institutions to better address new global challenges posed by conflict affected states, climate change, and the hyperconnected global economy. The report, entitled Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance, reflects the global perspective of commission members that have served in leading government and non-governmental positions in Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Nigeria, Tanzania, the United States and at the United Nations. The report and recommendations come in advance of the United Nations’ 70th Anniversary Summit in September.
Commission recommendations include:
- Create next-generation UN conflict mediation and peace operations capacity: build responsive capacity to provide experienced mediators, including a greater proportion of women, for crisis and conflict prevention and peacebuilding; build capacity to deploy civilian, police, and military personnel to meet urgent peacekeeping requirements; build a new cadre of experienced personnel to serve as Heads of Mission and members of mission senior management teams; beyond transitional justice, invest in transformational justice; and coordinate activities closely with regional actors and local civil society, with particular attention to inclusion of women in peace processes.
- Strengthen the Responsibility to Prevent, Protect, and Rebuild: invest in early-warning capabilities and Responsibility to Protect (R2P) action plans for an approach to atrocities prevention that involves all UN agencies and programs; embed UN mission monitors in all forces participating in R2P implementation; and set concrete, achievable goals for all international actors seeking to prevent, react to, and rebuild after mass atrocities.
- Innovate climate governance: facilitate new kinds of engagement between the UNFCCC and other international regimes, subnational authorities, and civil society and business groups; establish an International Carbon Monitoring Entity, a Global Climate Action Clearinghouse, and a Climate Engineering Advisory Board to review all experiments involving atmospheric modification; and define a global goal for climate adaption comparable to the 2 degrees Centigrade atmospheric warming target set for climate change mitigation.
- Develop a green technology licensing facility within the Green Climate Fund: harness private-sector innovation for climate mitigation and adaptation, especially in support of vulnerable populations in developing countries.
- Establish a G20+ within a new framework for global economic cooperation to avert financial shocks and deliver on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: enhance G20-UN-Bretton Woods institutional coordination to prevent the spread of cross-border financial shocks, promote inclusive economic reform, and foster the equitable growth necessary for achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.
- Develop a global network of cybercrime centers and increase Internet access in the Global South through enhanced capacity-building: bolster the global response to cyber attacks through INTERPOL and national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), and increase Internet access and cybersecurity in the Global South through multiple initiatives, including the International Telecommunications Union’s Connect 2020 Agenda and the promotion of cyber hygiene.
- Establish the UN Global Partnership: give a greater voice to underrepresented policy issues, such as women’s rights, migration, and training a modern workforce, through new social compacts and a new hub and online platform whereby the entire UN system can tap into the expertise of civil society and the business community.
- Expand UN Security Council membership and nontraditional engagement: create more opportunities for countries, regional organizations, local authorities, and non-state actors to contribute to peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, while increasing the Council’s representative legitimacy and restraint in the use of the veto.
- Establish a UN Peacebuilding Council: transform the Peacebuilding Commission into a Council—similar to the Human Rights Commission’s transformation in 2005—with new coordination authorities, new financial and knowledge resources, and a new focus on prevention, including through “peacebuilding audits.”
- Strengthen and more fully use the International Court of Justice: expand acceptance of the World Court’s jurisdiction and make us of its authoritative advisory opinions in innovative ways.
This article orginially appeared on the website of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. The Commission is a project of The Hague Institute and the Stimson Center.