Global Governance in the Era of Globalization
Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Former President of Haiti

The people in the Third World very well know what they need. But their needs are not the needs of the market. In order to respond to the wishes and aspirations of the needy and the disadvantaged, Globalization needs be moulded by instruments of Global Governance, without which it will bypass an overwhelming majority of humankind, opines Aristide. He expressed this view chairing a panel on The Need for Global Governance in the era of Globalization. Following some extracts from his remarks.

A teacher was teaching a group of kids of my country English and asked them to say "give me some water" when you need water and they were saying "give me some water". When they said it the right way they got chocolate or something else. At a certain point the teacher asked a kid who was six years old to repeat the phrase "give me some water" and the kid said "give me chocolate instead of water". And the teacher told him: Why don't you say "give me some water" instead of give me chocolate? And the kid answered: "Who told you that I was thirsty?"

I think as these kids many of us know what we want and ask for what we want. When we look at the world where one billion people are living with less than one dollar a day, they are suffering from a kind of governance crisis. But I think most of them or all of them they know that they need food. They know that they need more than one dollar a day...

We know that the market measures profit not the people. By its very nature, it has nothing to say about human rights, about meeting the basic needs of all people, about social equity, about human security. The market has nothing to say about human values. Many people consider the poor and the deprived as too small to participate in any government or in some democratic government.. Many poor people are considered as not knowing enough to be respected and participated. Precisely for that reason, addressing the need for global governance tantamount to addressing the need of global democratic governance in the age of globalization.

We also have to ask what about the new channels of communication? Between the teacher and the pupil, I think, there was a good channel of communication, at least he could feel free to ask for chocolate instead of water. And the teacher didn't suppress him because he asked for chocolate.

© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition fes-library | Dezember 1998

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