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<p>The world is for the public good, such is the Great Way. Confucius</p> <p>Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder. Paul Valéry</p> <p>. . . for with freedom  come responsibilities. Nelson Mandela</p> <p>Do what is right.  Rosa Parks</p> *

September 2012

Front Page
After Rio+20: What New World Governance Does the World Need?

There has already been a good deal of post-Rio+20 articles. A large majority have expressed discontentment, disappointment, the evidence of failure foretold, the inadequacy of the final declaration of governments, etc. Some have gone on to mention that the Conference of the United Nations exposed a crisis in world governance. The fact is that in the current state of things, we do not have the adequate structures to solve problems at the global scale.

The world-governance crisis, like any other crisis, carries its share of risks and its share of opportunities for new, innovative, dynamic, bold actors to open new perspectives and overcome the crisis. This requires deep rethinking of democracy, the state, and the market, as well as defining the world society that we want.


Rio+20 is over, seems long gone, and we’re back. Much has been written on the official summit and most of it could be called “Much Ado about Nothing.” Not much has been written, however, about the Peoples’ Summit. We are offering you three articles here: a critique of the UN Conference, some thoughts on the Peoples’ Summit, and on the left, an invitation to pursue our goal of building a new world governance. Staying the course in this effort is indispensable because the governance now ruling the planet—as proven once again in Rio—is completely unable to solve the current crucial problems, which will only get worse unless we take a different route, as is painfully evident from the article published by our ally organization “Grain.”
Moving in this direction, we hope to enhance your own thinking with a discussion of the Commons, at the core of the new world view that will lead us out of the dead end in which we are entrapped. Nor will the future be viable without social justice, as was strongly put before the conference.
We are completing our tour of the continents by showing you the World Governance Index of two countries in Oceania: Australia and Papua New Guinea.
We hope you enjoy these and other articles on our Web site and will be expecting your reactions and suggestions… the necessary transition can only benefit from everyone’s contribution.

FnWG Team

Where are we heading?
Rio + ???

The failure of Rio+20 could, to some extent, have been predicted. But what about the Peoples’ Summit? We demonstrated the vibrant and happy diversity that characterizes the peoples of the Earth, but we did not overcome our fragmentation. We showed proof of indignation, a capacity to mobilize, but we did not yet show signs of the vision and proposals that are needed, based on multiple and diverse ideas, on the many and diverse social and cultural identities and on a pluralism of visions, analyses and modes of action.

Environmental Governance and Managing the Earth
Rio+20 and Beyond. No Future without Justice

A reflection group of about 15 leading civil-society activists, experts, and academics from around the globe has assessed conventional and alternative models of development and well-being, reconsidered development goals and indicators, and drawn conclusions for future development strategies. It provided specific policy recommendations for the UN Rio+20 Conference but went unheard. The group argues that the state can respond quickly to the societal and ecological disaster we are facing if based on democratic legitimacy and accountability. In times of growing global interrelationship between societies, economies and people, universally agreed principles are the precondition for living together in justice, peace and in harmony with nature. The group proposes eight principles as the foundation for a new sustainability rights framework.

Proposal Paper
The Commons and World Governance

It is only by moving from the idea of individual protection to the idea of protection of all that we can start to envisage the possibility of a global social contract. In other words, it is our global freedom, that is, our freedom to enjoy, thus to protect, what is common to all of us as a world community that will entice us to, and determine our will to extract ourselves from what is essentially becoming a global war on our planet, on our “commons,” and on ourselves. The concept of common goods, or simply “commons,” may have the potential of serving as the needed bond for humankind.

This Proposal Paper is still in the makings. It will be enhanced by your comments and opinions. Feel free to send them to info@world-governance.org.

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Rio+20: Failed Diplomacy, Feeble Democracy

This incisive and spirited critique of the “Rio +20” Conference will take you behind the scenes of the power play in Rio and its tedious, fallacious, and, all things considered, sterile staging. It blasts nation states, their “national interests,” and their blindness to the general interest. “What we saw in Rio was a world ecological Munich, orchestrated by Brazilian diplomacy,” it declares.

“So what now? We have to take controversial initiatives. Consensus will have to be discarded if that is the price for saving the planet.”

News from our Allies

Banner created by communities of Grand Cape Mount, Liberia, in protest at the loss of their customary land to Sime Darby without their free, prior and informed consent. Photo: Justin Kenrick.
Responsible farmland investing? Current efforts to regulate land grabs will make things worse

While Rio+20 was being staged, international agencies and the international financial world blissfully pursued what amounts to the confiscation of land that serves to preserve biodiversity and food self-sufficiency, in short, the very life of its inhabitants, in order to put it to work for transnational corporations. They are calling this “large-scale land acquisitions” to gloss over what is actually land grabbing and they claim they are developing “responsible” regulation, which in any case would never be binding. Initiatives to stop this perverse and ultimately criminal process are underway, but this is a huge, uphill battle. We need to stop the financing of land grabs, not make them acceptable.

World Governance Index
Australia, Papua New Guinea

The Forum for a new World Governance launched the World Governance Index - WGI project in 2008. The idea was to develop a “tool” that would allow the players in charge of governance to be aware of the emerging issues and problems, and to help them to find the necessary solutions.
For this issue of the FnWG newsletter we are offering you the WGI 2011 for two countries in Oceania, as well as their ranking compared to their WGI 2008.

See or publish the map of the WGI.

World Governance Index
Proposal Papers
Dossiers and Documents
Document Database
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