Towards equitable and sustainable globalisation
According to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, the world has reached a critical juncture. He has spoken of a global emergency caused by the simultaneous occurrence of the food, climate and energy crises. Together with the economic and financial crisis, the combination of these factors is worsening global inequality, and there is a real risk of increased poverty and hunger.
Nonetheless, globalisation also offers opportunities for innovation, more justice and sustainability. To capitalise on these opportunities, we urgently need a new balance of interests between and within the world's regions. The aim, in this context, must be to prevent the gap between rich and poor from widening further; instead, it must be closed.
The present financial and economic crisis shows with great clarity the extent to which globalisation has increased the linkages and dependencies between countries. Every region of the world is linked with developments elsewhere through numerous and diverse pathways.
The global challenges for the 21st century require new forms of cooperation. Climate change, poverty, hunger, the resource crisis and the arms race – none of these problems can be solved separately, and no state can deal with them unilaterally. We want to manage the globalisation process to make it more equitable. Protecting the climate, combating poverty, preserving natural life support systems and implementing a new energy policy must be key projects for global cooperation.
In order to address these tasks effectively, it is not only essential to expand international cooperation. A reform of institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization is also required. China, India, Brazil and many other emerging and developing countries are demanding a greater role in these organisations. And in some areas, new organisations such as a global UN environmental agency must be established.
The United Nations plays an indispensable role in promoting peace, justice, freedom and sustainability worldwide. The immense challenges arising within the context of globalisation require a strong and effective UN. Its great strength lies in its universal legitimacy – all 192 member states participate in its political processes. However, this is also its weakness. Decision-making is often complex and lengthy. The UN must therefore overcome its current fragmentation and excessive complexity and introduce reforms that restore its effectiveness and capacity to act.
We want to solve the global economic crisis. We Greens therefore advocate a "Green New Deal". We are not alone: at international level, many others are championing a "Global Green New Deal", including the UN Secretary-General and the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner. A further 21 UN organisations have also recently endorsed this call.
In response to the present crisis in particular, massive investment worldwide in technologies to promote ecological modernisation are required. It must focus on the following key areas: energy, efficiency, transport, sustainable agriculture and better use of resources. These investments will create jobs around the world, establish the bases for future markets, and develop effective climate protection mechanisms, thereby offering a combined solution to both the climate and the economic crisis.