Why is globalization today not improving the lot of millions of the world’s poor? Indeed, the number of poor people at the beginning of this new Century is the same as in 1987, and poverty is rising in most developing countries. The deliberate aim of international organizations was to advance and promote development through globalization – in particular through higher levels of international trade and investment for the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, while the United nations would promote well-coordinated and coherent policies at the national and international levels. Globalization in turn was expected to deliver higher degrees of welfare for all. We are now at a critical juncture where this link, the expectation that globalization creates higher welfare for all, is called into question. The current reappraisal was in part prompted by the world financial crisis of 1997-1998, and clearly manifested itself in the turmoil surrounding the WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle in 1999.
A new agenda is therefore opening up for the international community: What kind of governance do we need for globalization with a human face? What kind of architecture for the world financial system, what kind of framework for global trade? What rules of the game to protect the weak and the poor? This book aims to illuminate these questions by presenting some of the most important debates that have taken place at the United Nations, especially at its recent Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), covering the themes of globalization, financial architecture, trade, poverty, global indicators, and the nexus between security, economic, and social affairs.
The Chapters are as follows: Overview: Globalization, Governance and the UN role in economic and social affairs; I-Globalization with a human face; II-Financial architecture and development; III-Making international trade work for developing countries; IV-The fight against poverty; the overarching goal; V-Are we making a difference? Measuring social progress worldwide; VI-Coordination at work: putting Haiti back on track.
Isabelle Grunberg, a development economist, is co-editor of Global Public Goods: International Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century (1999) and a former senior policy advisor at the United nations Development Programme. Sarbuland Khan is Chief, Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.