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<p>Henceforth, our country should be the universe. Flora Tristan</p> <p>True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr.</p> <p>. . . for with freedom  come responsibilities. Nelson Mandela</p> <p>Whenever you are in doubt, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man. Gandhi</p> *

March 2013

Front Page
Raising International Climate Finance

Finance is a key tool to advance climate policy. The gap between commitments made by the developed world for the fight against climate change and for poverty reduction and the effective level of financing ranges between 300 and 320 billion annually for the 2013-2020 period. The International Trade Union Federation presented, at the Doha climate-change conference of November-December 2012, a number of proposals on how to fill this gap and go even further. It believes, among others, that given the sizable need for grant-based financing, international funding of climate mitigation and adaptation policies must be broadened and supported by new sources of financing, both nationally and globally. Institutional investors must come on board alongside public financing. Pension funds, with which trade unions have a special relationship, are pointed to as possible contributors. Other courses of action include: stepping up carbon-related taxation; broadening the tax base beyond carbon taxation; and setting up a global financial-transactions tax.


How can citizens take politics back from the powers destroying our species and our planet? The question is vast and… global. But contrary to the hegemonic vision of those who have the upper hand for now, the global we are seeking is diverse, interdependent, and interconnected within a single living planet. In what ways can we build the new world to which we aspire? How can we be a global community ruled by global democracy? These are the questions cutting across this issue of the FnWG newsletter. They bring with them specific proposals. International labor movements, for instance, aware of the interconnectedness of all issues, are making proposals on how to raise finance for climate policy. New economic thinking suggests a rethink of how the value of work is rewarded. A benchmark study on global governance across the ages underscores that new world governance cannot be grounded on pure thought; it also needs experience in order to build on the essentials of a good common life. The movements converging in Tunis for the 2013 World Social Forum will be doing just that, just as smaller international civil-society meetings have been doing for many years. The World Governance Index for Mali and Niger is also here to remind us of the connection between poor governance and armed conflict. Much food for thought and action: enjoy!

FnWG Team

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Citizens’ Reappropriation of Politics
Can Democracy Survive Interdependence?

Democracy today is challenged, radically, deeply, fatefully. Born and cultivated in the ancient world as the face-to-face participatory township, and successfully re-imagined in the early modern world as the representative nation-state, it must now adapt to a global, networked, interdependent world. Or likely perish. To survive actually, it must find ways to establish itself virtually. To preserve its local vitality, it must achieve a global compass. Society‘s naturally expanding scale is forever outdistancing democracy‘s naturally limited compass. That was the issue confronted by ancient direct democracy, above all in Athens and Rome; and it remains the issue confronting those who today aspire to fashion a new age of global democracy.

Dialog of Chinese, European, and South American Civil Societies at Rio+20

Impossible ideas are fundamental to have and to dream about, but more importantly, to make them possible.

Civil societies from all over the world have been sharing their ideas and experiences for more than 20 years in order to contribute to the building of a global community outside of governmental relations. This 19’ video is an excellent summary of one of the many dialogs that have been organized for this purpose. It took place during Rio+20 in June 2012 among members of the Chinese, European, and South American civil societies, who together, explored how each society is facing its own challenges: poverty eradication in China, the crisis in Europe, and the search for a new civilization model in South America.
The video is available in French, Chinese, English, and Portuguese.

Nature of Work and Globalization of Social Rights
A Bit Rich: Calculating the Real Value to Society of Different Professions

Pay matters. How much you earn can determine your lifestyle, where you can afford to live, and your aspirations and status. But to what extent does what we get paid confer ‘worth’? Beyond a narrow notion of productivity, what impact does our work have on the rest of society, and do the financial rewards we receive correspond to this? Do those that get more contribute more to society? With controversial bonuses being paid out in bailed-out banks, the authors believe that it is time to ask challenging questions such as these. In this report to the New Economics Foundation (NEF), they calculate the value to society of a number of different jobs and advocate a fundamental rethink of how the value of work is recognized and rewarded.
They use some of the principles and valuation techniques of Social Return on Investment analysis to quantify the social, environmental and economic value that different roles produce—or in some cases undermine.

Citizens’ Reappropriation of Politics
Capitalism Has Failed: 5 Bold Ways to Build a New World

The old economic model has utterly failed us. It has destroyed our communities, our democracy, our economic security, and the planet we live on. The old industrial-age systems—state communism, fascism, free-market capitalism—have all let us down hard, and growing numbers of us understand that going back there isn’t an option. But we also know that transitioning to some kind of a new economy—and, probably, a new governing model to match—will be a civilization-wrenching process. The new system should be as democratic as possible, with strong mechanisms in place that protect the common wealth and the common good. It needs to put true costs to things, and hold people accountable for their actions. Above all, it needs to be rooted in the deep satisfactions—community, nature, family, health, creativity—that have been the source of real human happiness for most of our species’ history. As we peer out into this future, we can catch glimmers and shadows...

Document Database
Theories of Global Governance: A Study in the History of Ideas

Abstract global theories are built upon the assumption that the creation of a world community is reducible to a simple choice between the existing international arrangements and an ideal universal order held together in some predetermined structure. The inhuman quality of such speculation is revealed by the way that they terminate in imperatives addressed to the will. They leave no room for any further concrete reflection on the essentials of a good common life. They fail to see that the future good of the world will depend upon a more concrete understanding of the power and range of human reason. By concentrating upon the immanent development of consciousness, pure thought assumes that nothing further is to be discovered because all has already been conceived. Thus it misses the meanings which can be discovered outside the self within the working of experience. The author of this book, Cornelius F. Murphy, Jr., professor of international law, explores how theorists have reflected upon the necessary components of an effective global order.
(This article is also available in Chinese.)

News from our Allies
World Social Forum 2013

The World Social Forum will take place this year—in just a few days, from March 26 to 30—in Tunis, one of the main locations that gave birth to the "Arab Spring." This 13th World Social Forum will offer a wealth of opportunities for civil societies of the region to come together and meet with movements from the rest of the world to share their experiences, actions, and plans, and learn from one another, thus taking one more step in the constitution of a global community in its diversity and unity.

World Governance Index
Mali, Niger

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 visualize the emerging issues and problems and help them reflect on the necessary solutions.
In this issue of the FnWG newsletter, we are offering the 2011 WGIs for Mali and Niger as compared to their 2008 WGIs. These indexes were calculated before last year’s attempted coup in Mali and the intensification of the armed conflict last January with the intervention of the French army in the region.

See or publish the map of the WGI.

World Governance Index
Proposal Papers
Dossiers and Documents
Document Database
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