Ideas After the Covid-19

It’s time for a global democratic governance

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global health and economic crisis that requires global solutions. However, the national-international structure is unable to offer an adequate response to it. Thought leaders around the world have signed this document demanding to political leaders and international institutions to strengthen the UN system, the World Health Organisation and the international existing weak structure as well, applying the principles of federalism and democracy worldwide.

Published on 23 June 2020 at 09:45

The current coronavirus crisis requires global cooperation and solutions which the existing national/inter-national political system is incapable of delivering. Seven billion human beings are now living in a world globalised by the economy and technology but divided into almost 200 national states which adopt separate measures with scarce coordination and effectiveness. The Covid-19 pandemic shows each of them prioritising their own vision and interests, which causes unnecessary damage to the world economy and the global society, and costs thousands of human lives.

By definition, national states are unable to deal with global issues. Their failures don’t just affect their own citizens but have spill-over effects on all the inhabitants of this small hyper-connected planet, damaging global commons. Global coordination and policies are urgently needed to defend the global ecosystem and world public health, and to protect the economy and employment all over the planet. Of course, national sovereignty must continue to be respected for national affairs, but effective global decision making is also necessary to protect the welfare and survival of humanity as a whole.

To effectively tackle pandemics such as Covid-19, we need concrete binding action at the global level, such as early warning systems, information sharing, delivery and enforcement of norms, management of transmission across borders and vaccine-treatment research. Yet, while the World Health Organization (WHO) is mandated to deliver these functions at the global level, it lacks funds and enforcement mechanisms. Nowadays, 127 UN member states have still not fully complied with them due to a lack of financing and political will, the WHO can’t tackle countries that do not comply with the International Health Regulations and existing global disease control measures -such as PEF, CEF and GHSA- constitute a globally fragmented strategy, with disjointed funding, disintegrated policies and weak authority. The crisis shows that all the current health national/inter-national system is unprepared to tackle global pandemics as Covid-19, as well as world issues such as antimicrobial resistance and global warming related emergencies.

We the signatories of this document, some few of the seven billion world citizens, urgently ask national leaders and inter-national institutions to take lessons from the Coronavirus crisis. Let’s work together to enable a better integrated 21st Century political system, reinforcing regional institutions, reforming the United Nations and making each level of governance more representative and effective; for example, through the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly able to deliver world health norms, the empowerment  of an International Criminal Court capable of sanctioning eventual violations, and the building of a World Health Organisation equipped to respond to global health challenges.

We the signatories don’t propose a world state or government. National states are needed to manage national problems, but an enhanced global governance system is needed to tackle global issues such as this pandemic. Otherwise, the panic generated by insufficient national responses to recurrent global crises will continue growing discontent and anger, eroding national democracies and strengthening nationalism and populism, with their simplistic “sovereigntist” responses to complex global affairs, and their threat to human survival.

Humanity has become a real community of fate. Hopefully, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us how small the Earth is and how close we are to each other. The time of applying the principles of federalism and democracy to the global scale has come. Shared sovereignty, coordination and cooperation at the global level or national populism. A more federal and democratic political structure able to regulate globalization or further crises and chaos. That’s the question we face.

You can join the call and see the complete list of signatories here.

The signatories:

Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

Fernando Savater, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Richard Sennett, OBE FBA – London School of Economics

Susan George, Transnational Institute

Fernando Iglesias, Cátedra Spinelli – World Federalist Movement

Daniel Innerarity, University of the Basque Country – European University Florence

Daniele Archibugi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, University of London

Luigi Ferrajoli, Università di Roma

Michele Fiorillo, Scuola Normale Superiore – CIVICO Europa

Lucio Levi, Universitá di Torino

Guido Montani, Università di Pavia

Nathalie Tocci, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)

Abdullahi A An-Naim, Universidad Emory

Sabrina Ajmechet, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Federico Andahazi, author

Bertrand Badie, Universités à Sciences Po Paris

Manu Bhagavan, Hunter College

Garret Brown, University of Leeds

Andreas Bummel, Democracy Without Borders

Mary Burton, University of Cape Town

Raimondo Cagiano de Azevedo, University of Rome

Juan Campanella, film director

Luis Cabrera, Griffith University

Jorge Castro, journalist

Nando Dalla Chiesa, Universitá degli Studi di Milano

Richard Falk, Princeton University – Queen Mary University

Dena Freeman, London School of Economics and Political Science

Cristian Giménez Corte, professor

Maximiliano Guerra, dancer

Elver Hilal, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food

Gurutz Jáuregui, University of the Basque Country

Santiago Kovadloff, Academia Argentina de Letras

Raffaele Marchetti, Libera Università Guido Carli (Luiss)

Lorenzo Marsili, University of London – European Alternatives

Tim Murithi, University of Cape Town

Nissim Otmazgin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Vicente Palermo, CONICET – Club Político Argentino

Gabriel Palumbo, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Heikki Patomäki, University of Helsinki

Steven Pinker, Harvard University

Clara Riveros, CPLATAM Colombia

Javier Ansuátegui Roig, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Luis Alberto Romero, Academia Argentina de Historia

Juan José Sebreli, author

Sreemathi Seshadrinathan, Hearts for Hearts

Teivo Teivainen, University of Helsinki

Theo van Boven, Maastricht University

Fernando Vilella, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Loris Zanatta, Universitá di Bologna

Civil society organisations supporting the document:

Democracia Global (Argentina)

Asian Youth Center (USA)

Asociación Civil Usina de Justicia (Argentina)

Babel (France)

Center for United Nations Constitutional Research (Belgium)

Centro de Estudios para la Integración Democrática (Argentina)

Citizens for Global Solutions (USA)

Club of Rome – EU Chapter (Belgium)

Coalición Dominicana de Apoyo a la Corte Penal Internacional (Dominican Republic)

Comisión por la Carta Democrática Interamericana (Dominican Republic)

Cultura Democrática (Argentina)

Democracy Without Borders (Germany)

Federalismo y Libertad (Argentina)

Fundación Dominicana para la Alfabetización (Dominican Republic)

Fundación Federalista Dominicana (Dominican Republic)

Fundacion Nacional para la Democracia (Dominican Republic)

Fundación por los Valores Humanos y la Ecología (Dominican Republic)

Fundacion Seguridad y Democracia (Dominican Republic)

Hearts for Hearts (India)

One Shared World (Spain)

One World: Movement for Global Democracy (Israel)

Organización Dominicana de Estudio y Promoción de las Relaciones Internacionales (Dominican Republic)

Red Dominicana por la Democracia (Dominican Republic)

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (Malaysia)

South Asian Federalists (India)

The One World Trust (UK)

UEF France (France)

World Citizens Association of Australia (Australia)

World Federalist Movement Canada (Canada)

World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy 

Young European Federalists

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