“Reclaiming Multilateralism: For People, Rights and Sustainable Development”

“Reclaiming Multilateralism: For People, Rights and Sustainable Development,” the latest United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) publication, is an analytical think piece that looks at the evolution of the multilateral system in the context of the various challenges posed by the global economic and environmental crises.

The publication, authored by Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger, seeks to engage all stakeholders – whether government, multilateral, regional, and sub-national institutions, civil society and social movements – in an open debate on a “new multilateralism” or rather what kinds of development and governance models the multilateral system should be endorsing that would balance and regulate the political, economic and social shifts brought by globalization and bring the promises of justice, equity and sustainable development to fruition.

Barbara Adams is economist, a well-known international social justice and gender equality advocate, Senior Fellow at the Global Policy Forum (New York), and member of the Coordinating Committee of Social Watch. Gretchen Luchsinger is a journalist specializing in gender and development.

The study aims to identify principles and practices to be respected for establishing meaningful partnerships between the UN and non-State actors in the context of the discussion on development cooperation, the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development more broadly. This will include exploring how the UN system can better foster the development of innovative multi-stakeholder global governance partnerships to support more coherent, effective, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development strategies while taking into account the emergence of these new actors.

“Reclaiming Multilateralism” embarks on an exploration of what multilateralism should and could look like when sufficient political will is in place to make the necessary changes. It raises as many questions as answers, aiming to generate further thinking.

The publication includes three chapters. While Chapter 1 looks at multilateralism from its beginning to the present and asks a series of conceptual questions on reform, and Chapter 3 provides recommendations for specific actions, Chapter 2 challenges the reader to imagine the ideal. What would it mean if the multilateral system was realigned around the principles of human rights and the three pillars of sustainable development? What would a broader vision of multilateral decision-making entail in terms of rebalancing realism and idealism that is in line with sustainable development and the global collective good?

“Several global crises (in finances, climate and food) are merging into an unprecedented storm which the international institutions are unprepared to cope with,” wrote Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch, on the publication. “Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger argue with precise wording and passionate commitment that multilateralism as we know it needs to be re-founded -or, in their own words, reclaimed.”

“People, rights and sustainable development are being paid lip service by all. This book shows how to make the multilateral system work to actually promote them. The proposal is surprisingly simple if only we dare to introduce coherence between the promises and the actions,” concluded Bissio.

Hardcopies in English are available and can be ordered from NGLS: ngls@un.org or ngls@unctad.org.

More information
The book, in PDF format: http://bit.ly/KRzhwM

NGLS: http://bit.ly/LoLjwM