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Globalization and the Future of the United Nations


Globalization and the Future of the United Nations
Corporatizing the United Nations
Preserving the United Nations

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Part 6 of: "Globalization": the UN's "Safe Haven" for the World's Marginalized

Globalization: the UN's "safe haven" for the world's poor?

What is so appalling is the amazing arrogance of John Ruggie, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, concerning what some people have decided with great secrecy in the SG's Office is the "only" way forward for the world's poor - or was this done with the connivance of some Member States? They have done this despite views to the contrary by many, who are pejoratively labeled "rejectionists" -- namely "non-believers". They have completely ignored many coherently argued studies in support of alternative ways forward. Examples include Hazel Henderson (1999) in work commissioned by the New Economics Foundation to launch their ambitious programme Reshaping the Global Economy -- work researched in association with Focus on the Global South.

The UNDP has responded vigorously to criticism of its Global Sustainable Development Facility (GSDF) by claiming the lives of the world's two billion poor people can "only" be improved with the help of multinationals. However, a week before the launch of the Global Compact, the UNDP's Human Development Report acknowledged that globalization had been a boon for only 20 percent of the world population -- and a problem for many of the rest. It had ensured the enrichment of transnational corporations (many of which avoid payment of taxes) -- often at the expense of an increasingly impoverished developing world.

If the UN's version of globalization is the only way forward for the world's marginalized, to what extent does it carry the connotation of being, in the understanding of some, the Final Solution. Such tasteless allusions merit being explored further because, like it or not, it is the high resource strategies of multinationals and those that support them which are effectively turning the planet as a whole into a "gas chamber". The climatic challenges of global warming are merely precursors.

The UN has partnered with bodies who have never exhibited the slightest sensitivity to the world's poor - other than as a potential market for many dubious products necessity. And, incredibly naively, it believes it can encourage such corporations to behave in ways that are contrary to their bottom-line needs for survival -- and the enrichment of their shareholders. This is all done without taking account of the policy shambles thrust upon developing countries and transition economies over the years by the schools of thought from which the Secretary-General got this bright idea. And the UN ignored the recent failures in judgement and policy in relation to several massacres approaching in magnitude that of the Holocaust.

The core of the "Big Lie", seemingly promoted by the Secretary-General, lies in defining globalization in a way that satisfies the agendas of multinational corporations and then stigmatizing all those who have alternative views of the process as rejectionist. Contrary to this deliberately polarized perspective, it is quite possible that there are several (if not many) views of globalization that may be much healthier for the world's poor than that embodied in the Global Compact - as supplied by thinkers who have a dubious track record of achievements over several "development decades". It is also possible that the way forward lies in a complementarity of two or more such perspectives that the UN has made no effort whatsoever to explore or to report on. It is intellectually dishonest in the extreme to construct an argument to imply that unless people believe in the UN's view of globalization then they do not believe in any form of globalization. History is replete with examples of the consequences of this ploy as a basis for wars of religion.

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