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globe logo     Caravan: Newsletter of the Alliance for a Responsible and United World
Number 6 August 2000

bulletFrom Readers
bulletMohawk people
bulletASSEMBLY 2000-2001
bulletAlliance in Motion
bulletViews on the Alliance
 · What kind?
 · Discussion Paper (Revised)
 · Brainstorming
 · Extra-nationality
 · Security
 · Crime Industry
 · Water management
 · No longer source of life
 · Water famine in India
 · African framework
 · Future of Nation-State
 · Social movements
 · World Social Forum
 · Political renewal
 · Partners
bulletThe Artist
bulletReturn to ALLIANCE LIBRARY

Brainstorming on Global Governance
(Villarceaux, France - 13-15 june 2000)

drawing of people thinkingWe began with the questions of water, energy, financial markets, security and conversion of arms industries, management of conflicts, environment, cultural or commercial relations and examined for each of these questions what could be the necessities for a global governance, in what way the current regulations were insufficient and what perspectives were put to the forefront. Bringing together of proposals on these particular resources give weight to general proposals. We have had the good fortune of having amidst us a ressource person of the corresponding thematic workshop of the Alliance.

visit Water Campaign pagesWater - Larbi Bouguerra ("Water" workshop of the Alliance) has shown the danger of managing water problems world-wide using techno-structures, through the example of the conference on Global Water Partnership held in the Hague. In spite of the representations of 106 National States, this meeting was dominated by the overwhelming presentations made by multinationals dealing in water resources, with the support of audio-visual and electronic aids. According to these companies - who were the only players in the conference to propose their principles based on the criterion of profitability and the promotion of offers - water was an economic not a social commodity. These principles are contrary to those required for a good water management. (See text by L. Bouguerra)

visit Energy Workshop pagesEnergy - Bernard Laponche ("Energy" workshop of the Alliance) came up with a similar statement in the field of energy. Here too, big public and private players dominate the scene of production and distribution and the techno-structures monitored by a number of political heads favour big projects which are prestigious and profitable. The field of energy also highlights the supremacy of rich countries, explicit in the very statement of the debate. At present, there isn't any independent expertise, which has nevertheless become a major concern of global governance. An alternative strategy could be based on the efficiency rather than on the development and production of energy. This alternative strategy could foster conservation on a large scale over a few decades.

Commercial Relations - Matthew Stilwell (one of the promoters of the Global Citizens - Observatory of the World Trade Organisation) has shown the disparity between the assertion of private rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis the community, which has been introduced in the regulations relating to international trade. The central problem can be studied in terms of a balance between regulation, de-regulation and subjugation to law of private players whose rights must equal their duties. The example of the WTO also shows the dissymmetry in the negotiations: the weakest countries find it difficult to understand the stakes involved or to master the rules of the game and even to question the legitimacy of these rules. The role of the regional groups could be to recreate capacities of negotiations which the weaker countries are not equipped with, so long as these countries participate separately in the negotiations.

visit Financial Markets Workshop pagesInternational Finances - According to Paul Dembinsky ("Financial markets" workshop of the Alliance), finance constitutes a field in which governance is generally insufficient, even absent. The two current dominating trends, de-materialisation and de-territorialisation of economy have radically changed the terms of the debate: the finalities defined in the Bretton Woods negotiations fifty years ago, are no more ours. Finance and currency are intertwined: as private currencies develop, finance by its globalisation and its impact has become a public subject. This forces us to redefine rights, duties, subjugation to law and responsibilities. The responsibility of private players points to the public nature of the impact of actions and not the legal character of the deeds. Two questions of governance emerge for finance: the management of systematic risks and that of equity in the access to financial markets.

visit Arms Industry Conversion Workshop pagesWorld Security - Many participants, especially Ahmadou Ould Abdallahn (President of Global Coalition for Africa), Larry Thomson (Director, Refugees International) and Richard Pétris ("Conversion of the arms industry" workshop of the Alliance) have suggested deliberation on the theme of security and made different proposals for a common management of these problems. The reflection made by Richard Pétris is presented in the following page.

visit Biodiversity Workshop pagesEnvironment - Laurent Tubiana (Director of publication of Courrier de la Planète) has underlined the presence of a number of advances on the environmental plane. The principles adopted at the Conference of Rio de Janeiro (1992) are bearing results on the legal plane, especially the principle according to which "the polluter should bear the cost of pollution" (shown by the Convention on climatic change), the principle of precaution (Agreement on bio-diversity), and responsibility (illustrated by the law of the sea). On the other hand, economic policies are increasingly concerned with the environmental aspect. There have been a lot of institutional innovations during the environmental agreements, for example the participation of the natives in the negotiations on bio-diversity. But there still remain some stumbling blocks, particularly the asymmetry in the power relations between commercial and environmental rules.

Farming - In the light of the experience of Mercosur (Argentina, Uruguay, Chilli, Bresil), Silvio Marzaroli (Uruguan farming director and founding member of the Alliance) has underlined the fact that governance is a movement which takes place simultaneously at different levels, especially regional and national. He underlined the need of linking farmers' movements at the international level and the importance of training their leaders so as to enable them to formulate propositions. He gave a good illustration of the impact of the structuring of civil society on a regional and a global level.

An institutional proposal for good global governance has been made by Georges Berthoin in the light of the European experience which is based on the notion of extra-nationality (see article). Jean Tardif (an official of the Government of Quebec, on secondment in Paris), on his part, has shown the importance of cultural factors in world dynamics.

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visit Global Governance Workshop pages
Workshop on "Global Governance"

The "Global Governance" workshop of the Alliance intends to hold a debate on this question by adopting a pragmatic and repetitive measure: an exchange between the general and the particular. After several weeks of online debates, a meeting between some twenty allies took place between the 13th and the 15th June 2000 at Villarceaux (see report).

The objective of the workshop is to pursue this debate untill the Assembly for a responsible, plural and united world in 2001. However, we have the desire to grab the opportunity of the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations which will be held at New York during the first week of September 2000 in order to make our suggestions known by circulating them to the heads of State and governments, to the media and organisations of civil society. Each ally is thus invited to participate in two ways:

  • by contributing to the public forum in the light of his experience;
  • by actively participating in the distribution of documents of the workshop.

Chairperson of the workshop:     Jérome Vignon
Website of the workshop:     http:/
Address of the electronic forum:     http:/
Support group of the forum:     Pierre Johnson (
& Jacques Riboud (

Chantal Tien, Foundation Charles Léopold Mayer/FPH
38, rue Saint-Sabin, 75011 Paris
Tel: (33.1) - Fax: (33.1)

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© 2000 Alliance for a Responsible and United World. All rights reserved. Last updated October 22, 2000.