Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Understanding Contemporary Global Policy

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; Cert. PELD–NALI-K; LLB Student–Mak.]
bsaint3@gmail.com; www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com

1.0. Introduction

Global policy denotes the harmonization of world relations and cooperation, in various matters considered to be of international concern.

It is used interchangeably with globalization, [1] a system that perceives social phenomena from a common worldwide perspective, necessitated by enhanced interdependence of states on issues of global reach. [2]

Global policy has ushered in the phenomenon of global governance, which is characterized by the emergency of international institutions [3] and human communities [4] working across borders.

To understand global policy in the contemporary world, regard must be had to its notable achievements and failures so far. It would also be necessary to make future projections.

2.0. Global Policy Achievements

Global policy has triggered global cooperation and governance, which over the years, has registered notable achievements, including the following:

2.1. Promotion and Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms

The horror of the two world wars has, as of necessity, united the world under the common cause to observe, promote and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms. This is evidenced by the unanimous adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.

Former UN Secretary General Mr. U Thant (1961-1971), has been quoted to have said that, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights––this great and inspiring instrument, was born of an increased sense of responsibility by the international community for the promotion and protection of man’s basic rights and freedoms. The world has come to a clear realization of the fact that freedom, justice and world peace can only be assured through the international promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms.”

The UDHR has acquired the status of a yardstick upon which civility in international relations is measured and the nobility of its provisions is amplified by statements of outstanding world leaders like former USA President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who stated that, “Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them.” [5]

2.2. Democracy, Rule of Law and Constitutionalism

The exercise of arbitrary power has faced international condemnation. Any failures of democratic politics are now internationally bemoaned. The prevailing view is that people should directly participate in their governance, through regular, free and fair elections, conducted according to formal legal standards.

Even countries like China (well known for its paternal management style), have been pressurized to appear to be democratic by referring to itself as the “People’s Democratic Republic.” This global consensus has also forced rogue states and governments, like the military junta of Myanmar, to hold elections (call them selections if you want) in order to gain legitimacy and credibility.

2.3. Environmental Protection

In the face of serious challenges like climate change, with far reaching consequences for humanity, the international community has consistently advocated the protection of the environment and called upon states to make it a priority.

Many states have therefore, adopted and ratified several international legal instruments and made numerous declarations in high level conferences geared to this effect. For example, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, unanimously adopted the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

This conference was the largest one ever convened in the history of international relations. [6]

3.0. Global Policy Governance 5-10 Years Ahead

In the next 5-10 years, I would like to see global policy governance make the following breakthroughs.

3.1. Creation of Fully Authoritative and Functional Institutions

There is need for the creation of legislative, judicial and executive institutions at the global level, with ability to make decisions on issues of international concern.

The current institutions are largely voluntary and ad hoc, simply operating as states’ agents, while lacking decisive influence in the conduct of international relations. This renders global governance, merely illusory.

For starters, the United Nations General Assembly, could be vested with legislative powers; the Security Council with executive authority; the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), with judicial mandate ¬- the former being a criminal division and the latter, a civil division. The World Bank and IMF would jointly serve as the central bank.

3.2. Holding International Institutions Accountable

Contemporary global policy and governance are largely abstract and alien concepts especially, in the developing world.

It is believed that there is a democratic deficit in global governance, which undermines accountability and legitimacy of international financial and governance institutions. [7]

As World Bank President Mr. Robert Zoellick has said, these institutions need to “…work with developing countries as clients, not as objects of development models from textbooks. …[they] need to help them solve problems, not test theories.” [8]

This abstract and alien character stems from what Joseph Stiglitz calls “global governance without global government.” [9]

3.3. International Economic Organization

The world should pursue equitable global business-economic organization, geared towards opening up international markets.

Although the emergency of IFIs is indicative of this need, [10] there is need for fast tracking such that international trade adequately utilizes interstate trade opportunities existing beyond the local commodity markets.

International trade will enable countries to grow faster than they would have done on their own, through export led growth, [11] thereby maximizing national aspirations like creation of wealth and employment.

Former Mexico President Zedillo observed that, “…the problem for poor people is not too many markets, but too few: we need markets for microfinance or small and medium-sized enterprises, especially if run by women; markets to move, store, and sell goods; markets to save, insure, and invest.” [12] I respectfully agree.

4.0. Obstacles to Global Governance

Governance, cooperation and solidarity at the global level face several obstacles today. The following deserve mention.

4.1. State Sovereignty

Sovereignty is defined as the “… supreme and independent power or authority in government as possessed or claimed by a state or community in a defined territory.” [13] It is thought that global interdependence compromises, subverts and erodes states’ ability to make independent decisions in managing their internal affairs.

The structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), which are conditions imposed by the World Bank and IMF for developing countries to fulfill before accessing their loans, have been identified as key impediments to states’ socio-political and economic sovereignty. [14] SAPs have increased unemployment, poverty and fueled conflicts in developing countries.

Due to this, the IFIs for example, can hardly meet without street protests against their economic policies. Nowadays, even people in developed countries are up in arms!

4.2. Abstractness and ‘Invisibility’ of International Institutions

International institutions are virtually detached from the ordinary people in the world. They are hardly relevant to them since they appear to be somewhat abstract and invisible to them, without any clearly ascertainable channels of communication except with national governments.

The ordinary people, who finance these institutions through payment of taxes, find themselves in a situation of taxation without participation and representation.

5.0. Conclusion

Although global policy has had both achievements and failures - almost in equal measure - it nevertheless presents attractive opportunities that should be fully exploited. Appreciating that global policy is indicative of states’ and peoples’ oneness is imperative for understanding contemporary global policy.

Notes and References

1. Globalization has been defined as ‘… the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world …’ due to ‘… the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flow of goods, services, capital, knowledge and … people across borders.’ See, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents (2002), at 9.

2. Philippe Cullet, ‘Differential Treatment in International Law: Towards, a New Paradigm of Inter-state Relations’, 10 EJIL (1999), at 550.

3. For instance, the international financial institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the other intergovernmental institutions like the United Nations (UN), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

4. For example, international civil society organizations like the Jubilee Movement, agitating for debt reduction for the poorest countries.

5. Four Freedoms Speech, 6 January 1941.

6. S.P. Subedi, International economic law (2006), at 30.

7. Kal Raustiala, ‘Rethinking the Sovereignty Debate in International Economic Law’ 6(4) JIEL (2003), at 844.

8. Robert B. Zoellick, ‘The End of the Third World? Modernizing Multilateralism for a Multipolar World’, (2010), at 7.

9. Joseph E. Stiglitz, supra note 1, at 21.

10. Joel P. Trachtman, ‘The International Economic Law Revolution’, JIEL (1996), at 1.

11. Joseph E. Stiglitz, supra note 1, at 4.

12. Robert B. Zoellick, supra note 8, at 5.

13. Kal Raustiala, supra note 7, at 842. Kal says that it is based on the belief that within every political community of state, there must be a determinate sovereign authority whose powers are decisive and recognized as the rightful or legitimate basis of authority.

14. See for instance, Asad Ismi, ‘Impoverishing a Content: The World Bank and the IMF in Africa’, (2004) at 5-6.