G20: Top-Down

pg. 24: The G20 is an important new instrument, but as a top-down mechanism it alone is not sufficient to improve the effectiveness and legitimacy of the international system. 

Readers' Guide Comment on “as a top-down mechanism it alone is not sufficient”

WEF seems to acknowledge in this recommendation that its own goals of improved effectiveness and enhanced legitimacy are not likely to work without a democratic component; yet it is unwilling to recommend any new form of international democracy.

The international elite know that the G7/G8 has not been acting as an effective global leadership body. The GRI recommendation is intended to improve the G20’s future leadership ability by addressing a communication gap between the G20 and the other 175 countries. GRI recommends that the chairs of the G20 meet regularly other governments during an ECOSOC session. However, by the UN Charter, ECOSOC does not have effective authority over even the specialized agencies, let alone other governments. How this annual visit by G20 leaders is going to address the democratic deficit or increase the effectiveness of the UN system remains unclear.

Related Ideas: Step One and Two; G20 global leaders; Fixes to the G20

The Readers' Guide welcomes comments with alternative examples or counter examples, supplemental assessments of the extracted GRI text or commentary – critical or otherwise – of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.