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UNDP Report: Post-2015 Means of Implementation

UNDP by Victoria Cole, July 27, 2015 Adjust font size:

The United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with the CCIEE and the SIIS, published a report entitled, "Rebalancing Global Economic Governance – Opportunities for China and the G20 beyond 2015." The report highlights the importance of global governance and sustainable development to "add value to ongoing debates and inform the work of policy makers and practitioners in China as well as around the world."

How Can Global Economic Governance More Actively Support Global Development Cooperation? (Chapter 2)

2.3.1 Plurilateralism versus Multilateralism - Making the UN Fit for Purpose

Global economic governance is experiencing a transition period that is progressing in a fragmented and chaotic way. On the one hand, global economic institutions are considered especially relevant since the global issues they address are becoming more challenging. On the other hand, global economic governance institutions are struggling to restructure at the speed required to keep up with global economic power shifts, and the proliferation of bilateral and regional initiatives that are striving to overcome gaps in the existing system.

One of the main reasons behind these recent developments is the fact that the current system is built on a dual-structure of economic rules that differentiates developed and developing countries. This pattern does not match the current triple-structure of global power characterized by the advent of the "emerging economies" – a group that has risen in-between developed and developing countries.

The current scenario can be inscribed into a framework where plurilateralism represents a reaction to the failure of multilateralism. On one hand it can be used to support and achieve desired agreements, however on the other hand, it can harm traditional multilateral principles and thus the international multilateral system itself. Furthermore, plurilateral negotiations often exclude the smallest and poorest members, which lack the power and size to be able to participate.

Current negotiations around the Post-2015 Agenda have witnessed wide participation, with more than 100 country consultations and thematic debates, a High-Level Panel of experts from across the Global North and South, a global survey that has reached over 5 million people, and 13 meetings between UN Member States via the OWG on Sustainable Development – making the process one of the most democratic and collaborative in the history of the UN.

A renewed call for strengthening and reforming existing global governance institutions is needed now more than ever. Therefore, the UN itself is conducting internal reviews via the UN Economic and Social Council dialogue, which seeks to reposition the UN development system. Discussions will be focus in particular on the inter-linkages between the alignment of functions, funding practices, governance structures, capacity and impact of the UN development system, partnership approaches and organizational arrangements.

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