Thursday, May 21, 2009

How "Multi" should "Stakeholder Meetings" be? Should corrupt elites be sanctioned and endorsed by being included?

There is a bubble in "multi-stakeholder meetings".

It has suddenly become fashionable to be totally inclusive in discussions - for example at the UN, and at the Bretton Woods institutions.

However, in such dialogues, when democratic countries accept, as equal participants, countries that are non-democratic, the results are bound to be skewed.

Usually to the advantage of the corrupt elites that control non-democratic countries.

Naturally, everyone should be consulted. But decisions need to be based on universal values not on the basis of what is in the interest of corrupt elites.

The dilemma is well summed up in the remarks of the President of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brock¬mann of Nicaragua, who said recently that the final outcome of the forthcoming UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, which is to be held in New York from 1-3 June
2009, “must reflect the call of many nations for new paradigms for building a sustainable economic life, one that integrates the values and the ethical imperatives that should guide our development. It must reflect the call for greater justice and inclusiveness in our global economic life, and it must reflect the passionate call for promoting the common good over the obsessive impulse to consume more and more, and to dominate others at any cost.”

It is fine to criticise the US for wanting political domination. However, that is a dead horse anyway.

The criticism of "obsessive consumption" needs to be supplemented with a criticism of "obsessive accummulation".

And the question that needs to be put in the forefront is: how to build "new paradigms" in such a way that corrupt elites are not reinforced, how to have "greater inclusiveness" without defining that as meaning corrupt governments that actually harm the common good, and how to extend the benefits to the masses rather than to elites.

To that dilemma, bodies such as the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions, that are by definition multi-governmental (and therefore by definition including corrupt elites as equals), naturally have only very limited solutions, specially if they exclude appropriate conditionalities and the right values by which to evaluate initiatives, mechanisms and solutions. Sphere: Related Content

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