Does the UN Security Council need reform?


Author: Jakkie Cilliers

The world is changing, but not the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Established by 51 countries 70 years ago, the UN now has 193 member states that coexist, compete and cooperate in a world that is very different from the situation in 1945.

Beyond a threefold increase in the global population, the rapidly changing world of the 21st century is characterised by a diffusion of power (away from states); an accompanying shift in relative material power and influence from the West to the East; and an ongoing transition from a brief period of unipolarity to multipolarity.

Transnational threats such as terrorism and cybercrime are straining national capacities, while globally armed conflict has been rising for several years; reversing the sharp downturns seen after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Yet we are stuck with a global peace and security governance architecture from the first half of the previous century. Greater multipolarity does not imply instability, but the global transitions that accompany these and other shifts in power are inherently disruptive. In short, in the years ahead, the world will need an effective and legitimate UNSC.

In the years that lie ahead, the world will need an effective and legitimate UNSC.

There is near unanimous consensus on the need for the UNSC to be reformed, but progress is rendered impossible by power politics. After the 1965 enlargement of the non-permanent members of the UNSC from six to 10 members, reform has been on the agenda since Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s appointment as secretary-general in 1992, but has delivered nothing. Meantime, the roles and influence of civil society organisations in global governance has expanded.

A new campaign by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) called Elect the Council advocates that civil society should bring its weight to bear on the task of major structural and procedural reform that would make the UNSC representative, allow it to retrieve its legitimacy and relevance, and enhance its effectiveness.

The ISS proposes a global initiative in which civil society and ordinary citizens use the power of an interconnected world to advocate for a specific set of fair and equitable proposals to amend the UN Charter. Our goal is to consult and develop a detailed set of proposals and then to establish a broad-based global partnership of civil society organisations. This partnership will work with states to ensure action by two-thirds of the members of the UN General Assembly, including the permanent five (P5) members, to reform the UNSC in line with the global norm of elected representation.

It is not possible to reform the UNSC without amending the UN Charter – and while only member states can effect such an amendment, they have repeatedly proven themselves unable to grasp this nettle on their own. In accordance with Article 109 of the UN Charter, Elect the Council will advocate for a simple majority of members of the UN General Assembly (currently 97 out of 193 members) and a vote by any seven members of the UNSC, for a General Conference of UN member states to amend the UN Charter. The amendment would subsequently need to be ratified by national legislatures as set out in the Charter.

Member states have repeatedly proven themselves unable to grasp this nettle on their own.

Civil society have not been actively engaged in UNSC reform to any meaningful extent, but the global village effect and the marked increase in new forms of instability (terrorism, cybercrime, events in Syria, etc.) demand new approaches. We do not intend to advocate for a commitment for reform – nominally that already exists – but rather on the precise modalities of such reform.

Consultation is important, but this cannot be an open-ended process and like member states, civil society will need to compromise in search of a common position based on principle. Our initial proposals are set out on the Elect the Council website. They are based on a formula of one five-year member per 24 countries, and double the number of five-year members to be elected for three-year terms. This gives a UNSC membership of 24 (similar in total to both option A and B contained in the 2005 report by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, titled In Larger Freedom), consisting of eight countries elected for five years, and 16 countries elected for three years.

The two distinct terms of membership – for three and five years respectively, based on minimum criteria – will allow for global powers and regional leaders to be re-elected on the five-year ticket, while the three-year category of membership would ensure flexibility and representativeness. We are currently looking at additional proposals that would encourage a transition from permanent seats and veto rights to normal elections and majorities.

The first version of our proposals also sets out a detailed position on the development of rules of procedure, voting, transitional arrangements and next steps, and is now open for comment at

By balancing fairness, transparency and efficiency, a new lease of life can be provided to an institution that will be tested as globalisation and shifts in power take their toll.

This article is published in collaboration with ISS Africa. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Jakkie Cilliers is the Executive Director and Head of African Futures and Innovation Section at ISS Africa.

Image: Members of the United Nations Security Council vote. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Our global institutions are not fit for purpose. It’s time for reform


Author: Mary Kaldor

The Brexit vote and the candidacy of Donald Trump are not exceptional developments. They are symptoms of a wider global phenomenon – a pervasive distrust in the political class, an expression of alienation and anger by those who have been bypassed by globalization, and an awareness that our institutions, designed in the 20th century, are not fit for purpose, that is to say, they cannot address the problems of the 21st century.

The paradox is that at the very moment when we need to construct the building blocks of global governance, institutions like the European Union and the United Nations are under attack from the rising tide of populism and xenophobia.

I’d like to make two observations on these developments.

First, global governance is a way of addressing the democratic deficit that is experienced everywhere, not by democratizing global institutions – though that might be desirable – but rather through the role that such institutions can play in devolving power to local levels closer to the citizen. In the British debate about membership of the EU, the leave campaign talked about “taking back control”; my argument is that in a globalized world, it is only possible to do so through membership in global governance institutions like the EU.

Second, xenophobic populism will only lead to insecurity, and global institutions need to develop a cooperative security policy both to address this insecurity and to establish legitimacy.

The global democratic deficit

In democratic theory, a useful distinction is made between procedural democracy and substantive democracy. Procedural democracy is about formal rules – elections, freedom of the media, or freedom of association. Substantive democracy is about political equality; it is about the ability of every individual to be able to influence or participate in the decisions that affect their lives. There’s a huge deficit in substantive democracy. This is the frustration that animates new movements on both the left and the right. “They call it democracy but it isn’t” was the slogan of the Spanish indignados. Similar arguments are made by the populist right.

So what are the reasons for our substantive democracy deficit?

First of all, it has to do with globalization. Procedural democracy applies largely to national levels; we vote to elect a national government. Yet the decisions that affect our lives are taken in the headquarters of multinational corporations, on the laptops of financial whizz kids, or by institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, the UN, the WTO, the EU or NATO. However perfect our democracy in procedural terms at national levels, we cannot affect those decisions. In theory we should be able to influence decisions through national membership in global institutions, but in practice such institutions are shaped more by the interests of the global elite than by ordinary citizens.

Secondly, the global democratic deficit is also the consequence of what I call the sclerosis of the nation-state. I would emphasize three aspects of this:

1) The technology of elections. The combination of polling, focus groups, messaging, and emphasis on swing voters has hollowed out politics and made it very difficult to hold genuine public debates. National politicians often seem wooden, speaking from a prepared script, compared with the insurgent politicians of right or left, or even compared with local politicians.

2) The growth of finance in relation to manufacturing, especially since the 2008 crisis, has meant that political elites are increasingly accountable to their financial backers and to the media that they control. We used to talk about the “resource curse” to explain the political problems faced by states, whose revenue depended on oil and not domestic taxation. It is an argument that applies to all rentier states and the growth of finance has meant that more and more states have an increasing share of revenue that comes from rent.

3) The deep state – the legacy of the Cold War, the entrenched bureaucracy, and the inner tendencies for surveillance and control – is embedded in the 20th-century state. The bureaucratized routines, the pressure from an often outdated security sector, and the career preoccupations of officials and politicians all make it very difficult to depart from knee-jerk 20th-century reactions to problems.

These factors help explain why our institutions are locked in backward-looking mind-sets, and systematically pursue policies that backfire and produce the very problems they are supposed to solve.

Borders to stop migrants merely increase the dangers for migrants; air strikes to kill terrorists produce more terror; engineering solutions to floods or fires exacerbate the underlying causes of these phenomena. And these reactions are reproduced in global institutions composed, as they are, of national members.

Reclaiming democracy

So what needs to happen to reclaim democracy? The task of global governance has to be reconceptualized to make it possible for citizens to influence the decisions that affect their lives – to reclaim substantive democracy. Because such institutions are distant, the answer is not necessarily more democracy at global levels, though that might be important. Rather, what is needed is more democracy at local levels, in cities and regions where institutions are closer to the citizens, and where the nation-state can be bypassed to some extent.

For that to happen, the job of global governance is to protect and enable local levels of democracy by constraining global “bads” and promoting global “goods”. For example, global bads might include tax evasion by global companies or short-term financial speculation, environmental damage, or wars. Global goods might include global redistribution, peace-building, or global environmental standards.

We need institutions that tame globalization so that its benefits can be allocated in participatory ways. This is not how they act now but the possibilities for change are greater because they are not constrained by national sclerosis.

It should be stressed that regional organizations like the EU should be conceived as models of global governance. The EU is not a state in the making. Nor is it a classic inter-governmental organization, since it involves an element of supra-nationality and much denser connections. Potentially (and paradoxically in the light of Brexit) the EU is an experiment in the kind of 21st-century institution that we need.

The consequences of populism and xenophobia

The rise of populism and xenophobia and the increasing number of authoritarian regimes has to be understood in the context of the democratic deficit, where frustration and marginalization is attributed to an “other”. In today’s open world, the classic closed and militaristic societies of the 20th century, which gave rise to the great wars of that same period, have been supplanted by a different sort of societal condition – an extreme version of neo-liberalism in which weak formal structures benefit a small predatory and kleptocratic globally networked elite, legitimated by a populist rhetoric, and violence replaces the market as a mechanism for the allocation of resources. Instead of 20th-century wars, what is experienced are “new wars” – a combination of political violence and criminality.

Unlike the 20th-century wars, which were clashes of will, new wars are perhaps better described as mutual enterprises in which the various armed groups benefit from violence either in economic terms or because it is a way of mobilizing around extremist political ideologies. Battles are rather rare. Instead, most violence is directed against civilians. One particular characteristic of such wars is expulsion – displacement on a large scale. Such wars are difficult to end because the various groups benefit from violence and they are difficult to contain because of the global character of the various political and criminal networks.

In these circumstances, traditional approaches do not work. Military intervention merely legitimizes further violence. Talks are very difficult because of the vested interest in war, and only succeed if they offer a privileged position to the various predatory networks. The only possible way to address these conflicts is through global cooperation and a far-reaching shift in the way we conceive of the world. The traditional geopolitical way of thinking about conflict needs to be replaced by a rights-based way of thinking, and this has to be associated with multilateralism and global cooperation. The only way to reconstruct security is through the establishment of legitimate political institutions and the opportunity for making a living through legitimate occupations. Armed groups need to be framed as criminals rather than legitimate enemies. And a global enforcement capacity is required that is more like policing than either military intervention or peace-keeping.

Security is at the heart of legitimacy. We trust our institutions if they keep us safe. The main source of insecurity today is new wars – what is going on in places like Syria, Libya, Ukraine or Myanmar. It is new wars that produce refugees – on levels most of us have never seen before – as well as transnational criminal networks. And it is in new wars that terrorism is nurtured. The failure to address these wars offers an example of the backward-looking attitudes of nation-states. They have to be addressed in a different way by the institutions of global governance, and that in turn could help underpin those institutions.

Getting from here to there

So how can this be achieved? Seen from a post-Brexit British context, Europe and the world seem to be spiralling towards a global new war. Yet if we look beyond the top-down national lens that dominates current discourse, we can observe a lot of social experimentation – civil society networks, for example, that assist refugees, that promote municipal ceasefires, or that establish new sources of livelihoods. Precisely because global governance is less deeply institutionalized than nation-states, there is a possibility of greater responsiveness to this type of civil initiative.

Those parts of the global elite that remain committed to a cosmopolitan outlook need to reach out to those at local and regional levels who are swimming against the tide in their own communities. Perhaps this sounds over-idealistic but these dark times call for a little innovative thinking.

3 reforms the UN needs as it turns 70


Author: Jeffrey D. Sachs

The United Nations will mark its 70th anniversary when world leaders assemble next month at its headquarters in New York. Though there will be plenty of fanfare, it will inadequately reflect the UN’s value, not only as the most important political innovation of the twentieth century, but also as the best bargain on the planet. But if the UN is to continue to fulfill its unique and vital global role in the twenty-first century, it must be upgraded in three key ways.

Fortunately, there is plenty to motivate world leaders to do what it takes. Indeed, the UN has had two major recent triumphs, with two more on the way before the end of this year.

The first triumph is the nuclear agreement with Iran. Sometimes misinterpreted as an agreement between Iran and the United States, the accord is in fact between Iran and the UN, represented by the five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US), plus Germany. An Iranian diplomat, in explaining why his country will scrupulously honor the agreement, made the point vividly: “Do you really think that Iran would dare to cheat on the very five UN Security Council permanent members that can seal our country’s fate?”

The second big triumph is the successful conclusion, after 15 years, of the Millennium Development Goals, which have underpinned the largest, longest, and most effective global poverty-reduction effort ever undertaken. Two UN Secretaries-General have overseen the MDGs: Kofi Annan, who introduced them in 2000, and Ban Ki-moon, who, since succeeding Annan at the start of 2007, has led vigorously and effectively to achieve them.

The MDGs have engendered impressive progress in poverty reduction, public health, school enrollment, gender equality in education, and other areas. Since 1990 (the reference date for the targets), the global rate of extreme poverty has been reduced by well over half – more than fulfilling the agenda’s number one goal.

Inspired by the MDGs’ success, the UN’s member countries are set to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which will aim to end extreme poverty in all its forms everywhere, narrow inequalities, and ensure environmental sustainability by 2030 – next month. This, the UN’s third triumph of 2015, could help to bring about the fourth: a global agreement on climate control, under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Paris in December.

The precise value of the peace, poverty reduction, and environmental cooperation made possible by the UN is incalculable. If we were to put it in monetary terms, however, we might estimate their value at trillions of dollars per year – at least a few percent of the world economy’s annual GDP of $100 trillion.

Yet spending on all UN bodies and activities – from the Secretariat and the Security Council to peacekeeping operations, emergency responses to epidemics, and humanitarian operations for natural disasters, famines, and refugees – totaled roughly $45 billion in 2013, roughly $6 per person on the planet. That is not just a bargain; it is a significant underinvestment. Given the rapidly growing need for global cooperation, the UN simply cannot get by on its current budget.

Given this, the first reform that I would suggest is an increase in funding, with high-income countries contributing at least $40 per capita annually, upper middle-income countries giving $8, lower-middle-income countries $2, and low-income countries $1. With these contributions – which amount to roughly 0.1% of the group’s average per capita income – the UN would have about $75 billion annually with which to strengthen the quality and reach of vital programs, beginning with those needed to achieve the SDGs. Once the world is on a robust path to achieve the SDGs, the need for, say, peacekeeping and emergency-relief operations should decline as conflicts diminish in number and scale, and natural disasters are better prevented or anticipated.

This brings us to the second major area of reform: ensuring that the UN is fit for the new age of sustainable development. Specifically, the UN needs to strengthen its expertise in areas such as ocean health, renewable energy systems, urban design, disease control, technological innovation, public-private partnerships, and peaceful cultural cooperation. Some UN programs should be merged or closed, while other new SDG-related UN programs should be created.

The third major reform imperative is the UN’s governance, starting with the Security Council, the composition of which no longer reflects global geopolitical realities. Indeed, the Western Europe and Other Group (WEOG) now accounts for three of the five permanent members (France, the United Kingdom, and the US). That leaves only one permanent position for the Eastern European Group (Russia), one for the Asia-Pacific Group (China), and none for Africa or Latin America.

The rotating seats on the Security Council do not adequately restore regional balance. Even with two of the ten rotating Security Council seats, the Asia-Pacific region is still massively under-represented. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for roughly 55% of the world’s population and 44% of its annual income but has just 20% (three out of 15) of the seats on the Security Council.

Asia’s inadequate representation poses a serious threat to the UN’s legitimacy, which will only increase as the world’s most dynamic and populous region assumes an increasingly important global role. One possible way to resolve the problem would be to add at least four Asian seats: one permanent seat for India, one shared by Japan and South Korea (perhaps in a two-year, one-year rotation), one for the ASEAN countries (representing the group as a single constituency), and a fourth rotating among the other Asian countries.

As the UN enters its eighth decade, it continues to inspire humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains the world’s moral charter, and the SDGs promise to provide new guideposts for global development cooperation. Yet the UN’s ability to continue to fulfill its vast potential in a new and challenging century requires its member states to commit to support the organization with the resources, political backing, and reforms that this new era demands.

This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals.

Image: Tourists walk past the United Nations Headquarters in New York. At left is the U.N. General Assembly building and at right is the U.N. Secretariat building. REUTERS/Mike Segar






在达沃斯论坛上,古铁雷斯强调了创新和新技术的重要性,他认为二者在解决全球危机时能发挥关键的作用。然而,新技术带来的风险也是众所周知的:无人机技术落入恐怖分子手中,后果将不堪设想;基因突变导致的的疾病危害极大;ISIS还会利用社交媒体招揽成员。正如Anja Kaspersen和Jean-Marc Rickli在之前的议程文件中指出的那样,新技术的出现,使得无数非国家行为体接触到能够导致冲突的事物。


运用新技术,联合国在倾听冲突地区当地人民的声音这一方面取得了进展。例如,在民主刚果东部使用社交网络来确定可能发生暴力冲突的地点。在科索沃地区,人们还利用社交媒体进行更为系统的监控。但这只是很小的进展,我们还需要更多地运用新技术。人们的主动行为通常也只是针对系统中相对较为模糊的部分。试想:如果联合国能够系统地处理2012年从开罗塔里尔广场中传出的海量社交媒体数据(而非仅仅依靠少数记者在房间里报道着他们从卧室窗户都能看到的画面),事情的结局恐怕完全不同。2015年,当飞毛腿导弹从也门射往沙特阿拉伯时,民众们在推特上的帖子成为第一手信息来源——而非国有媒体或是联合国的官方发布。关于叙利亚问题,一位化名为Brown Moses的普通网民成为了国际权威,因为他能够运用多重信息来源,如推特或是脸书,证实各方的军事行动。










Can the UN restore international peace? Maybe, but only from the ground up

Speaking in Davos at the start of the year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres laid out a vision of the interconnected nature of today’s conflicts, calling for a “comprehensive approach” by the UN that will bring together all of the organization’s pillars. This is a good move for a deeply fractured organization.

But in aiming big, and in focusing on bringing the major pieces of the UN architecture together, there is a risk that the crucial local dynamics of conflict will continue to be overlooked. Each of the key UN institutions – peace and security, human rights, and development – have a strong tendency to work at the national and state-institutional level. None has adequate mechanisms to link the national with the local. And while recent policy reviews and Guterres himself have called for a people-centred approach, it is less clear how that will be achieved. Here are three direct ways to combat the tendency to focus on the national level and to firmly root the UN’s conflict-management in local soil.

United Nations peacekeeping operations

New technologies as a force multiplier for preventing conflict

In Davos, Guterres underlined that innovation and new technologies can play a critical role in addressing global crises. The risks associated with new technologies are well known: from the imminent threat of drone capabilities in the hands of terrorists, to genetically modified pandemic threats, to ISIS using social media as a recruitment tool. As Anja Kaspersen and Jean-Marc Rickli pointed outin an earlier Agenda article, this has allowed a far greater number of non-state actors access to the tools of conflict.

But modern communications technologies also offer the UN an opportunity to maintain closer links to populations, to understand potential drivers of conflict, and message more effectively against them.

The UN has taken some positive steps to bring local actors’ views into play through technology. This includes, for example, use of social networking in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo to identify where violent incidents are likely to occur, and more systematic monitoring of social media in Kosovo. But these are minor steps where a major one is needed, and initiatives tend to be in relatively obscure parts of the system. Imagine if the UN had been able to systematically process the enormous amount of social media data coming out of Tahrir Square in Cairo in 2012 (rather than relying on a few staff reporting on what they could see from their bedroom windows). When a SCUD missile was launched from Yemen into Saudi Arabia in 2015, the first news of this was from civilians tweeting from the ground, not a state-run source or the UN. On Syria, a civilian nicknamed “Brown Moses” became an international authority because he figured out how to use multiple sources of information on Twitter and Facebook to validate claims of weapons use by the parties on the ground.

The UN has people on the ground in 193 countries in the world, but they tend to be limited by what they can see and who they know. Dedicating meaningful resources to harnessing the enormous power of social media and big data – both to pull in information and also to communicate more effectively with affected populations – would be an immediate force multiplier for the UN that would also bring its work closer to the people.

Locally-grown analysis

When examining conflict, the vast majority of UN-related analyses are focused on either socio-economic data (unemployment rates, rising prices) or national political issues (constitutions, elections). As a result, interventions tend to be focused on building up the institutions of the state, without sufficient regard for how underlying power dynamics might be affected by a new intervention.

Deciding where to build a road, what schools are selected for funding, what groups are included in a political process, whether to support elections – all of these will play out across a social fabric. None of them are neutral. More capable state institutions may in fact raise tensions if they play into predatory state practices or fail to deliver equitably across groups.

The call for a cross-pillar approach to conflict is appropriate, but the secretary-general should also demand more systematic inclusion of local stakeholders – including business leaders – in the development of analysis and planning, and empower UN staff to build the kind of anticipatory relationships that will underpin any effective prevention effort.

This is particularly the case in countries without a UN mission already in place, but where the likelihood of conflict is high. Here, UN development and humanitarian actors are on the whole viewed as “apolitical,” carrying out their programmes without delving into the murky waters of conflict resolution (though the use of peace and development advisers in some countries has helped). These are also the eyes and ears of the UN and often have their finger pressed most directly on the pulse of a country. If Guterres is to realize his vision of a more proactive conflict prevention platform, now is a good time to be bold about reforming the Resident Coordinator system to give it the necessary tools and capacities to be effective at preventing conflict and holding national leaders accountable to their people.

Don’t follow a track, tack with the wind

The UN should also move away from its linear, state-centred approach, which assumes that money + institution = stability. Conflicts arise within complex political systems, where individual interests intersect with communal, national and even transnational ones. The key factor in all of this is political will: what are the incentives for those individuals in power to adopt a peaceful path, and how do the interests of key groups intersect around conflict? Whether President Kabila decides to step down as head of state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, has everything to do with his personal sense of security and the interests he sees for himself and his broader network, including in the local communities. An approach that builds state institutions without accounting for this is equivalent to trying to sail a boat in a straight line against the wind.

Serious thought has gone into how to intervene in complex political systems, including in conflict-prone areas. The secretary-general’s call for a whole new approach to prevention is an excellent time for that thinking to be brought into the heart of the UN: when looking at conflict, the question should be “what is the theory of change and how can we influence the political will of those involved?” Again, this calls for a locally-driven analysis, and a better sense of how money and power flow through a system. The main point is that there is no straight line to peace, no results-based budget with prevention as a deliverable, and the UN’s planning should become more flexible and people-focused in response.

As Guterres tries to knock heads together and make the UN system work more effectively together, there will be a tendency to aim for the big hitters. Framework diplomacy, groups of friends, regional and international partnerships: all of these are necessary elements of a successful prevention platform. But people’s attitudes, behavioural patterns and interests are what drive and sustain conflict, and should therefore be at the core of the UN’s prevention work. The events of 2016 showcase the perils of ignoring people’s fears and wishes. Now is the right time to ground the UN’s work in the people it serves.

准则-全球挑战奖2017(Criteria-THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES PRIZE 2017)













1. 摘要(不超过1500字)


2. 模式叙述(不超过8200字)


3. 论证说明该模式是如何达到评估标准的(不超过4200字)




1. 核心价值观


2. 决策能力


3. 有效性


4. 资源和融资


5. 信任和洞察力


6. 灵活性


7. 防止滥用职权


8. 问责制




Today, mankind lives not only in national societies, but also in a global community. This means that the behavior and decisions of the inhabitants of nation states also impact the vital interests of inhabitants of other countries. Global warming may be the most obvious example: Greenhouse gas emissions in any particular country will have an impact on global climate change.

The world community is facing a number of major global challenges which have to be jointly managed by all countries through increased co-operation and an increased understanding of our interconnectedness. Other than climate change, the major problems and risks are other large-scale environmental damage and politically motivated violence (war, civil war, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction). Other major problems faced are extreme poverty and rapid population growth.

Rapid population growth – the global population has quadrupled over the last 100 years (which is one of the main reasons for the problem we face today), and is expected to increase by another 50 percent by the year 2100 – exacerbates all these problems. Despite this, and despite the knowledge that there are not nearly enough resources on the planet for the entire population of Earth to enjoy the current Western standard of living, the issue is not on the political agenda.

In order to manage these challenges, we need effective ways of making collectively binding, long-term decisions that take into account the interests of all those affected, including future generations. The system currently in place to manage these issues – including the UN and the organizations connected with the UN – are, in their present form, not up to the task. Today, these challenges are responded to using yesterday’s tools – multilateral negotiations which are susceptible to short-term national interests. As a consequence, the necessary action is either not taken or is taken too late, while the problems and risks continue to grow.

The Global Challenges  Foundation wants to challenge participants from all over the world to formulate alternatives to the present state of affairs – either by complementing, strengthening and revising the present UN system, or by proposing completely new forms of governance. The proposals should be drafted with the aim of identifying and, as far as possible, preventing or minimizing challenges of the kind mentioned above.

The Task

The participant must design a governance model able to effectively address the most pressing threats and risks to humanity. In other words, the task is not to come up with direct solutions to specific problems. Rather, it is to design a general model for decision-making, with the aim of generating such solutions and the ability to do so, and possessing the resources to effectively implement them.

The governance model must also be such that it can be implemented within the foreseeable future. This requires that it be acceptable to major states and the wider international community. A significant measure of civic acceptance is also required. This requirement eliminates models that rely on time-consuming and controversial changes in the political system of individual states, e.g. models that postulate that all states should be democracies.

Furthermore, the governance model must involve a minimum of limitations to the sovereignty of nation-states, meaning that it should involve only such limitations as are necessary to ensure that national decisions do not seriously harm the vital interests of inhabitants of other countries, or of humanity as a whole. In other words, decisions within the governance model must not deal with the internal affairs of individual states.

The entries must consist of the following three parts:

1. Abstract (no more than 1000 words)

The abstract must summarize the design of the model, including the institutions, regulations, decision-making paths and control mechanisms it involves, as well as how key individuals and other decision-making bodies are to be appointed.

2. Description of the Model (no more than 5500 words)

The document must be divided into subsections with clear and descriptive headings. The Participant must clearly define the functions of the various components, their areas of responsibility and the extent of their decision-making mandate. Also, describe how the model is meant to manage both current and emerging challenges and risks.

3. Argumentation demonstrating how the model meets the assessment criteria (no more than 2750 words)

For each of the criteria listed below, the participant must provide convincing arguments as to how the proposed model meets the criterion.

Assessment criteria

Entries will be assessed based on how well they can be expected to manage global challenges and meet the criteria listed below:

1. Core Values.

Decisions within the governance model must be guided by the good of all humankind and by respect for the equal value of all human beings.

2. Decision-Making Capacity.

Decision-making within the governance model must generally be possible without crippling delays that prevent the challenges from being adequately addressed (e.g. due to parties exercising powers of veto).

3. Effectiveness.

The governance model must be capable of handling the global challenges and risks and include means to ensure implementation of decisions.

4. Resources and Financing.

The governance model must have sufficient human and material resources at its disposal, and these resources must be financed in an equitable manner.

5. Trust and Insight.

The trust enjoyed by a successful governance model and its institutions relies on transparency and considerable insight into power structures and decision-making.

6. Flexibility.

In order to be able to fulfil its objectives effectively, a successful governance model must contain mechanisms that allow for revisions and improvements to be made to its structure and components.

7. Protection against the Abuse of Power.

A control system must be in place to take action if the organization should overstep its mandate, e.g. by unduly interfering with the internal affairs of nation-states or favouring the special interests of individuals, groups, organizations, states or groups of states.

8. Accountability.

It is a fundamental requirement of a successful governance model that it performs the tasks it has been charged with, and the governance model must include the power to hold the decision-makers accountable for their actions.

Want to solve global crises? $5 million prize seeks fresh ideas

Laurie Goering


LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As the world grapples with potentially catastrophic global problems, including climate change, it needs to find solutions by overcoming short-term thinking, risk analysts say.

To drive that, a Swedish risk specialist and philanthropist is offering a $5 million prize for the best idea to create a new international decision-making system capable of tackling the world’s intractable issues, from extreme poverty to the spread of nuclear weapons and growing environmental damage.

“Today’s risks are so dangerous and so global in their nature that they’ve outrun the international system’s ability to deal with them,” said László Szombatfalvy, who fled from Hungary to Sweden in 1956 as a refugee, and later made a fortune in the stock market.

“We’re trying to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s tools,” said the 89-year-old, who launched the Global Challenges Foundation in 2012. “We believe a new shape of collaboration is needed to address the most critical challenges in our globalized world.”

The New Shape Prize – which will be awarded next November, after entries close in May – aims to spur fresh thinking about innovative means to solve problems that cross borders and are hard to tackle when most political terms of office are short and many businesses and markets remain focused on near-term gains.

“The public and even the private sector are underestimating the risks because we are too short-sighted in our decision-making,” said Mats Andersson, a former CEO of Sweden’s largest pension fund and now head of Szombatfalvy’s foundation.


He points to continued government spending on fossil fuel subsidies, for instance, while many leaders resist efforts to put in place a carbon price and trading system that would drive richer countries to pay for their climate-changing emissions while giving poorer ones funds to develop cleanly.

Such a shift could help drive action against global warming. Instead, “we’re sending the bill to our kids and grandkids, and I think that’s deeply immoral”, said Andersson, who has worked on de-carbonizing pension funds.

A U.N.-brokered deal to tackle climate change, agreed by more than 190 countries in Paris last year, aims to limit global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, by getting countries to deliver voluntary emissions reductions and financial contributions that could be ratcheted up over time.

But their pledges for the accord still leave the world on a path to at least 2.9 degrees Celsius of warming above pre-industrial times – enough to swamp many low-lying island states, kill most coral reefs, drive food shortages and far more extreme weather, and potentially trigger melting of the biggest ice sheets, scientists say.

When it comes to solving global problems, “we have the United Nations, but the United Nations was founded in 1946, with the challenges we had at that time. We’re now some years down the road. We need to remodel and find new ways,” Andersson said.

The prize, he said, is not aimed at finding whole solutions to global threats such as climate change, wars and poverty, but rather “a model or mechanism that could provide the solutions”.

“We don’t have any preconceived views,” Andersson said. “We need to look in every corner, turn every stone.”


Rob Bailey, who directs energy, environment and resources research at London-based think tank Chatham House, said it is likely too late to craft an innovative new framework to limit climate change.

“Even if the politics for grand plans was possible, which we know is not the case at the moment, there isn’t enough time for grand plans anyway,” he said. Within two years, existing power plants will lock the world into more than 2 degrees of global warming if used over their full lifetime, he added.

But fresh approaches could help police and make more effective the Paris climate agreement’s voluntary goals, and verify what is being done by businesses, cities and other major players to curb climate-changing emissions, he said.

They could also offer new ways of dealing with the global problems climate change is set to worsen, from food shortages to migration, he said.

“What kind of global and international institutions will we need to have for a stable and resilient international order?” Bailey asked. “It raises questions for our food system, our humanitarian system, for international laws on refugees and asylum, (and) for social protection mechanisms.”

“These are the things we can be thinking about grand designs for, before things get really hairy from 2030 onward,” he said.

Entries for the New Shape Prize close on May 24, 2017, and the winning idea will be chosen by a panel of academic experts and a high-level international jury.

The Global Challenges Foundation will then back efforts to put that idea into practice, Andersson said.

(Reporting by Laurie Goering editing by Megan Rowling)




作者:Andrew Chakhoyan


上周,Facebook的马克扎克伯格宣布计划把全球社区团结在一起。”几个月前,一个瑞典亿万富翁,László szombatfalvyá,建立了全球转型基金并宣布设立500万美元的奖金以征求重塑全球合作的创意。现在比任何时候都有象征性,正如许多专家被他们所看到的国际体系的瓦解而警醒,例如英国脱欧和反建制运动浪潮。




László Szombatfalvy仍然相信系统需要升级。我同意。以下是一些值得考虑的原则:







首先,联合国应该借鉴László Szombatfalvy 并成为舒适的众包解决方案。克服代理问题的办法是减少代理。联合国,世界银行,和其他类似机构应该利用“绩效工资”的方法论。创业企业提供的解决方案是否可靠是不可知的,直到解决了这个问题。




从文明的黎明开始,人类已经把联盟范围从一个家庭单元,扩大到一个部落,一个国家,一个民族。 伴随建立现代全球治理系统的哲学问题是,它不是以把联盟扩大到全球为建设系统的宏伟目标。这样一个为了实现全球合作的使命和一个明确定义的积极愿景,而不是预防冲突,就是国际体系的起源故事中所缺少的。










为了达成2015年联合国制定的可持续发展目标,公私合作至关重要。彼得森国际经济研究所客座研究员、世界银行前任首席财务官、世界未来委员会国际治理及公私合作联合主席伯特兰·巴德尔(Bertrand Badre)表示,多方利益相关者的合作是解决全球可持续发展挑战的唯一途径。他提醒人们,这一进程并非轻而易举。























2030年前, 您最希望看到的技术或是设备是什么?



作者:Bertrand Badre



编者按:本文作者Kevin Maney是一名科技专栏作者,畅销书作家。今天的区块链可能就像1993年的互联网一样:十年后你会想知道,如果没有它,社会会怎样运转,尽管现在我们大多数人并不知道它到底是什么。



1993年的时候,几乎没人听过互联网这个词。Al Gore等人还在宣讲即将到来的“信息高速路”;一群学生在偏僻的地方(比如伊利诺大学香槟分校)制作最初的不稳定的浏览器。此时离雅虎成立还有两年;没人预见到Facebook、、WikiLeaks或者宠物视频的出现;马克•扎克伯格才9岁。

想想那之后十年发生的科技爆发与瓦解,想想我们的生活方式是怎样被互联网彻底改变的。Don Tapscott从80年代开始写书,向高科技公司提建议。所以设想一下,当他说区块链是下一个互联网时意味着什么?

的确,Tapscott有一本新书待售——他与Alex Tapscott合著的《区块链革命》(Blockchain Revolution),但这种观点如今已经很常见了。Barry Silbert是比特币早期的顶级玩家之一,去年他创办了Digital Currency Group公司,这样就能向他认为会颠覆全球金融体系的公司投资了。2016年第一季度,风险投资公司向区块链创业公司注入了1.6亿美元资金,而前一季度为2600万美元。这一季度,“区块链”一词的谷歌搜索量上涨了32%。很明显,有什么事正在发生。