Featured Image: Photo by Markus Spiske, Unsplash.
In our current globalized world society, there is an increased role for politics without borders. Politics no longer stops at the water’s edge but must play an active role on the world stage.
However, unlike politics at the national level which usually has a parliament at which the actors can recite their lines, the world has no world parliament as such. Thus new and inventive ways must be found so that world public opinion can be heard and acted upon.
Beyond The Borders of Individual Countries.
The United Nations General Assembly is as close to a world parliament that we have today. However, all the official participants are diplomats appointed by their respective States – 195 members. U.N. secretariat members, the secretariat members of U.N. Specialized Agencies such as UNESCO and the ILO are in the hall ways or coffee shops to give advice. Secretariat members of the financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF are also there to give advice on costs and the limits of available funds. The representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in consultative status with the U.N. who can speak at sessions of the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council cannot address the General Assembly directly. However, they are also in the coffee shops and may send documents to the U.N. Missions of governments.
Politics without borders requires finding ways to express views for action beyond the borders of individual countries.
Today, most vital issues that touch the lives of many people go beyond the individual State:
- The consequences of climate change.
- The protection of biodiversity.
- The resolution of armed conflicts.
- The violations of human rights.
- More just world trade pattern.
Thus we need to find ways of looking at the world with a global mind and an open heart. This perspective is an aim of world citizenship.
However, world citizens are not yet so organized as to be able to impact political decisions at the United Nations and in enough individual States so as to have real influence. The policy papers and Appeals of the Association of World Citizens are often read with interest by the government representatives to whom they are sent. However, the Association of World Citizens is an NGO among many and does not have the number of staff as such international NGOs as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Greenpeace.
We still need to find effective ways so that humanity can come together to solve global problems – that is – politics without borders.
René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.