Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Driving Synergy

pg. 36: Indeed, the strongest reason for making these [ECOSOC] summits a standing item on the international calendar is to fill this void in international governance – to create a mechanism capable of driving greater alignment and synergy among the various multilateral institutions and the individual portfolios of ministers that govern them. 


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.

Related Ideas: Three Special Mechanisms; Overview

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.