A Scan of Critical World Developments
We the Peoples Redux
“We the Peoples,” the voice of the UN Charter, is returning to center stage. The vision of cosmopolitan democracy the Charter enshrined seventy years ago has been lost as the UN became an arena for advancing state interests through the Cold War and beyond. The UN’s multi-stakeholder approach has given official standing to multilateral organizations, NGOs, and corporations, but not to democratic representation of the citizens of the world. However, recent pronouncements by the UN Secretary General and other officials suggest the tide may be turning toward an ethic of global citizenship. The emergent post-2015 development agenda offers a new opportunity to reassert global citizenry as a core change agent in our interdependent century. Indeed, it may take a global citizens movement to effectively challenge the status quo and bring new forms of accountability as governments, corporations, and civil society jockey for influence and resources. In the longer term, such a movement is the best hope for redesigning existing institutions and fashioning new ones that truly advance the common interests of we the people of Earth.