Readers' Guide Comment on “greater alignment and synergy among the various multilateral institutions”
WEF’s recommendation for greater alignment and synergy is as impractical as it is ineffective. ECOSOC has no governing authority over the specialized agencies, over the World Bank, IMF, or WTO, or over the conference of parties of multilateral environment agreements. An annual or semi-annual visit to ECOSOC by the Chairs of the G20 cannot possibly achieve a greater alignment and synergy between these legally independent bodies.
If WEF wanted to increase global institutional synergy, it could have recommended a way that governments could reverse their decades-long practice of isolating interconnected issues, such as housing, environmental protection, and land use in separate international organizations (e.g. UNEP and FAO). Or it could have recommended that inter-governing bodies of these organizations meet regularly with their counterparts in other related organizations.
What WEF did propose avoids the tough questions of how to manage the substantive organizations (e.g. UNDP, World Food Programme, UNICEF) and the financial ones (IMF, WHO, WTO) in a coherent fashion.
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