Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Results-Oriented Coalitions

pg. 30: Examples of the third building block, practical, results-oriented coalitions, include such intergovernmental initiatives as the World Trade Organization Information Technology Agreement, US-Russia START nuclear arms reduction treaty and even the recent Copenhagen climate accord, which was originally signed by 28 countries but now has over 110 adherents. They also include such multistakeholder initiatives as the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Marine Stewardship Council, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, UN Global Compact, etc. These alliances of willing and able parties can often achieve considerable progress on a problem, particularly when a large proportion of the most relevant actors participate.

 

Readers' Guide Comment on “Investment Climate Facility for Africa, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI ), Marine Stewardship Council, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, UN Global Compact, etc”

This listing of ‘practical, results-oriented coalitions’ provides a glimpse of the WEF’s vision. Each of these multi-stakeholder bodies have fundamentally different ‘legitimacies and... constituencies.’  They also have fundamentally different track records on effectiveness and success. The most effective in delivering new global services is the GAVI Alliance, a consortium brought together by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to increase vaccinations and immunizations.  This does mean, however, that other major medical crises are better addressed by private foundations rather than an intergovernmental process or a domestic institution.

By far the most interesting governance arrangement cited is the Marine Stewardship Council. Its effectiveness, however, is severely curtailed by its inability to legally control fishing in “international waters.”


The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) is in a precarious position politically and financially and has not demonstrated any success in preventing corruption.

The United Nations Global Compact  has not demonstrated any widespread impact on global corporate behavior. Firms have been willing to associate with the Global Compact as far as it paints them with a UN brush of good global corporate citizenry.  For these firms the lack of accountability in the Global Compact is one of its best assets. In fact, one of its best successes is that it has reduced demands for governments to negotiate a legally binding set of corporate rules in favor of ten voluntary statements. The Global Compact set of standards has been so weak that they recently acknowledged that 200 firms should never have been included as members of  the Global Compact. 1  

Related Ideas: Key third building block; Governance by volunteering; Opt-in-Opt-outism; Multi-stakeholder governance; Multi-stakeholderism; Fear of enforcement 

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.

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