Jean-Christophe NothiasExactly one year ago, the Global Journal was founded jointly in Geneva and New York, a transatlantic link between two heartlands of the United Nations.

What was unforeseen was that a bridge would also rapidly connect us to Asia, where we now have a strong foothold and a lively, ongoing interest –see our exclusive reports on the designs of the Chinese military outside China. Our approach is both careful and thoughtful; our goal will be to avoid blinkeredness and indifference.

A further bridge is gradually being built in the direction of Africa, and yet another towards Brazil. Our New York outpost is almost becoming the poor relation by comparison. We expected more activity from that side, but it seems that the power of the US is turning back onto itself with an anti-Obama coup from the Democrats, or a Tea-Party witch-hunt. The States are yielding ground on many topics, still reeling from the shockwaves sent out from Lehmann and Madoff, from debt, military spending, a frazzled dollar…

Many American leaders have little taste for global governance or multilateralism. And yet, after a year of walking the corridors of emerging power at world level, a big surprise was waiting for us. At Copenhagen in December 2009 the governor of California announced the launch of the R20. Since then the group of 20 Regions has been flourishing with rare vigor.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a reputation for being a tough guy, and he has stood up no less than three times against his own camp, in order to ensure that the Assembly Bill n°32 (AB 32), The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, was passed in California. An act that has enabled the state to take a lead in the fight to reduce carbon emissions.

Newly freed from political office, he has decided to make himself available to other states and regions of the world, and to accelerate R20’s entry into action. The R20 concept, ‘invented’ in Geneva in the UN Development Program offices, is now thriving, largely thanks to Schwarzenegger, and has set up its headquarters in Geneva with the support of the Swiss authorities.

The idea for the R20 is simple. First of all, a premise: the principle lever for transformation of the world is situated at the level of regions and cities –ministries and parliaments often suffer repeated setbacks or deadlocks, and not just from the electorate. Next, a method: the possibility of uniting a maximum of skills, financial resources and influence, within a region-based entity, whose aim is to realize a Green Sustainable Economic Development Program. Strengthened by governor Schwarzenegger’s success with regard to his Green Economy policy, the R20 can take full advantage to move ahead; to efficiently associate each project with investors, UN agencies, industrial partners and advisors, civil society and public authorities. It is a revolution in itself, a new model of governance, which goes beyond the model based on local or national interests. Add to that premise and method an engine such as the governor of California, and you have a tool of governance that could well hit the bullseye.

Take time too, to read the interview with Jacques Attali, who is making waves with his “Tomorrow, who will govern the world?” It looks like another driving force for ‘la nouvelle gouvernance’. Read about what is going on inside the Icelanders’ heads, as they reinvent Iceland’s constitution, and discover what chemistry is bringing to the field of solar electricity. Both are helping to advance the world.

After a year spent investigating and witnessing ‘la nouvelle gouvernance’, this new political way of acting, The Global Journal is expanding, modestly –given the vast scale of the topics– but with determination. As this issue comes out, our new Internet site is going online, accompanied by a weekly newsletter sent from our new offices in the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The Global Journal iPad application will also be launched soon. We believe in a high standard of journalism, and we are moving forward with confidence in our pioneering work and our attentive observation of political changes on the global scale.


May 2011,

Jean-Christophe Nothias

Editor in Chief



 ©Lisa Souget