Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Public-Private

pg. 41: One of the main learnings of the Global Redesign process is that there is an opportunity to achieve a step change in global environmental governance by focusing less on the traditional agenda (UN structure, new legal frameworks) and more on a new agenda to construct practical, often public-private, mechanisms that can accelerate progress even in the absence of agreement on new multilateral legal obligations. 

 

Readers' Guide Comment on “there is an opportunity to achieve a step change in global governance by focusing less on the traditional agenda (UN structure, new legal frameworks)"
  
WEF seems to be arguing that one of the main lessons from the GRI process is that the best outcome of the Rio+20 process would be a non-state led process, whatever the programmatic and policy directions that evolved. It also seems to suggests that organizational matters and the development of international law ought be minimized as appropriate outcomes of intergovernmental processes and have little to do with efforts to increase the effectiveness of the international system. This recommendation is therefore at odds with Step Two (on strengthening the capacities of the state-based part of the system), Step Three (on accelerating a result-oriented push on individual challenges); Tool 2 (on reinforcing the capacity of intergovernmental organizations); and Building Block Two (on multilateral legal frameworks and institutions).

 

Readers' Guide Comment on “focusing … more on a new agenda to construct practical, often public-private, mechanisms that can accelerate progress even in the absence of agreement on new multilateral legal obligations”

 

One successful outcome of the preparatory process for 1992 Rio Conference was the parallel and successful negotiation of three new international agreements on biodiversity, desertification, and climate change. These three multilateral environmental agreements changed the direction of the handling each of these issues, even if they have not met all of their key objectives.

One not so successful outcome of the Rio+10 Conference in 2002 was the Type II public-private partnerships. These largely collapsed within two years of the conference. If WEF has evidence that these 2002 public-private partnerships were highly successful and should therefore be a model for 2012 and beyond, it does not provide these information metrics in their report. This is not in alignment with Building Block Four, which calls for information metrics to assist in shaping priorities and benchmarking performance. 
    
Related Ideas: Three Special Mechanisms; Building Block Four; United Nations in a private, non-state world; a public-private UNa fix for the UN; Multi-stakeholder governance; Opt-in-Opt-outism

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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