‘Global Governance’ is a victory whose time will come. If we cannot yet imagine a world government or the passing of our current national governments, it is still obvious that global issues are increasingly the responsibility of entities that think ‘Global’.

National entities working in international fora have an obligation to put their nations first. It is hard to blame them for that. But the “every man for himself” philosophy makes it difficult to reach global solutions that are effective, affordable and rapidly deployed even over the long term. We need urgently to design real energy strategies, particularly in terms of the security of energy and food supplies. Without even raising the question of the relevance of global governance, it happens that such a ‘government’ already exists to a degree: the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB).

The CEB is de facto composed of ‘ministers’ who are none other than the current heads of the major UN agencies. Snag No. 1, their constituents are the nation states and not citizens of the world. Snag No. 2, the ‘ministers’ in question have no direct access to a budget funded by citizens but, again, by nation states –certainly funding sources vary from one UN agency, fund or program to another. Can one imagine a UN tax section on our future tax forms? These two obstacles mean that the current governance of the United Nations must remain in the shadow of global policy, which continues to be driven by nations and supported by the G’s, BRICS and other informalities.

In this issue of GLOBAL, we have asked the leaders of a dozen major international organizations, members of the CEB, the following question: “If you could start over, what would you change?” Ten of them agreed to answer; others mentioned busy schedules –as early as last July. Their responses are well worth reading. We are very proud to have brought together, in the same publication, a large part of this ‘global government’. They do not all agree with one another. Jarraud would build a de facto agency that is increasingly focused on climate-environment-economy, whereas Steiner calls for a WEO, ‘World Environmental Organization’. The two sponsors of the IPCC are definitely not on the same wavelength. Gurry dreams of a new WIPO, the ‘World Innovation Promotion Agency’, and has decided not to wait to build it...

We have also had the pleasant surprise of a rare interview with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. All the more valuable as, going into his second term, the man has acquired great experience, travelled the world, met with innumerable leaders and his beliefs have grown stronger and his desire to be a major player visibly solidified. Ban Kimoon dares to say “I believe the United Nations can provide crucial intellectual and operational capacity to informal groupings like the G20 that don’t have implementation capacities of their own.” By highlighting the operational weakness of most of the G’s, the Secretary-General is taking a strong position. By putting the UN on the intellectual side, he dares to tread ‘political’ ground, all while maintaining his pragmatism and neutrality. Here, he shares his views on the functioning of CEB and the growing debate about the fusion of the Security Council and G20... This is a Secretary- General in fine shape to lead.

Which cannot be said about the country of the Orange Revolution. The young people of the next generation that we meet here in Kiev, buzz with ideas and energy. The show trial and sentencing of former Prime Minister Timoshenko to seven years in prison is a disgrace. Even if Yulia no longer embodies the future in the eyes of her countrymen, she remains a symbol of the vengeful nature of the current president and his anti-democratic movement that have crystallized. We must not abandon Ukraine to new fascism.

October 2011, Jean-Christophe Nothias, Editor in Chief