On 20 November 2014, at an event hosted at The Stimson Center and co-sponsored by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s New York office as part of the launch of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, Commissioner Professor Ocampo gave a presentation on reforming the international monetary and financial architecture.

Prof. Ocampo presented three basic objectives of global economic governance, security and justice: 1) providing global public goods to manage interdependence; 2) promoting universal social norms and service standards (“equality of citizens”); and 3) reducing international inequalities (“equality of nations”). All three relate to security; the latter two also address justice.


 Global Public Goods  Universal Social Goods  Development Cooperation
 Objective  Managing  interdependence  Promoting common social  norms and standards  Reducing international inequalities
 Basic aim  Efficiency  Equality of citizens  Equality of nations
 Demand for  cooperation  Collective action to  manage  interdependence  Adopting and monitoring  common norms and  standards  Asymmetric rules, transfer of financial  resources, enhance  policy space
 Relation to  national    sovereignty  Responsible sovereignty  Traditional sovereignty,  embedded in universal  values  Traditional sovereignty, within the limits  of  interdependence

(Source: Prof. Ocampo’s presentation)

According to Prof. Ocampo, interdependence can only be managed efficiently if each national actor concedes a bit of national autonomy, i.e., it exercises “responsible sovereignty.” Major management gaps remain in climate change, global financial stability, economic migration, and tax cooperation, especially with a view to enabling host states to deliver social goods. Universal social norms and standards derive from concepts of human rights, from international conventions, principles embedded through broad agreement in the UN development agenda, and strong partnership with civil society. Development cooperation shapes international rules in trade, finance and other areas that recognize different levels of development, e.g., “common but differentiated responsibilities” in the UN’s approach to climate change.

The institutions tasked with managing international cooperation vary widely in the powers of their secretariats (full-time implementing staff) and in the degree to which states are willing to relinquish some autonomy or increase the “voice and participation” of developing states in an emerging multipolar world. The nation-state remains the “space of political citizenship,” but as the state weakens relative to a growing global economy, it is essential to “build democratic spaces of an international/ global character” that are “strongly respectful of diversity, within the limits of interdependence,” including the responsibility to protect.

Prof. Ocampo concluded by issuing six criteria for better global governance in this crucial domain:

  1. Adopt strong subsidiarity principles in building global governance structures.
  2. Build a dense network of global, regional and national institutions: more effective and more balanced in terms of power relations.
  3. Need to overcome the tension between inclusiveness/legitimacy and existing power relations (not “effectiveness”), not least with regard to the veto in the UN Security Council.
  4. Equitable participation of developing countries in decision-making, in particular by avoiding any attempts to sideline the UN, where the voice of developing countries is strongest.
  5. Effective systems of surveillance and accountability for international commitments.
  6. Coherence (but not centralized coordination), both between the UN and the Bretton Woods Institutions/WTO and among the UN Secretariat and agencies.