Global Governance Initiative: Executive Summary 2004

January 1, 2004

The World Economic Forum is pleased to issue the first annual report of the Global Governance Initiative at its 2004 Annual Meeting.

Over the past year the Initiative brought together some of the world’s leading experts on the most pertinent issues of global governance—security, human rights, environment, poverty, hunger, health and education—to assess the level of effort that humanity is putting into achievement of the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and numerous international agreements. The chairs and members of the Expert Groups are to be commended for their original and thoughtprovoking analyses, and for their commitment to shedding light on new approaches to overcoming complex problems.

The Initiative is guided by a distinguished international Steering Committee. Not all Steering Committee members necessarily agree with all of the analysis and assertions in the report, but they broadly endorse its approach, conclusions and call to action.

The Initiative starts from the premise that the Millennium Declaration goals are too large and complex for governments alone to achieve. Governments may bear primary responsibility, but a broader response will be required for the international community to have any prospect of realizing the Declaration’s ambitious expression of the global public interest. So the Initiative is also attempting to assess what role the private sector, civil society and international organizations can be expected to play in achieving common objectives. Even after accounting for the efforts of such diverse actors towards a common purpose, the warning is clear: the world community is devoting less than half of the effort necessary to meet any of the goals. Yet, the positive results of numerous innovative programmes from all sectors also give reason to be cautiously optimistic about our ability to overcome these “solvable problems”.