In case you missed it Vol 20, No. 11 - November 2016

“This is not your grandmother’s globalization”

Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and New York Times Op-Ed columnist, delivered a keynote address at a joint meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the General Assembly’s Second (Economic and Financial) Committee on 7 October 2016 on the challenges and opportunities presented by recent trends in globalization.In his address, Mr. Friedman stressed that “this is not your grandmother’s globalization.” “If you want to make something, you’re living in the greatest period in history, but if you want to break something, you’re also living in the greatest period in history,” he said. The challenge for countries is to successfully tap into the increasing flow of ideas and innovations, while devising effective policies that provide opportunities and reduce inequalities brought about by rapid change.

In his presentation, Mr. Friedman identified three broad trends in globalization that need stronger, concerted action from countries and the multilateral system: the market, Mother Nature and Moore’s law. In his conception, markets represent globalization; Mother Nature denotes climate change and biodiversity loss; and Moore’s law is a proxy for technological acceleration. These three phenomena are re-shaping the world as we know it, and leaving deep marks on our ethics, local communities, politics and international relations.

In the interactive panel discussion that followed, participants discussed options for addressing the shortcomings of the current approaches to globalization. From varied perspectives and with reference to each of the dimensions of sustainable development, it was agreed that there needs to be a push for a kind of globalization that is people-centred and rooted in solidarity.

This will require policy space at the national level that empowers countries to address the needs of its citizens. In particular, improved development cooperation and global frameworks for equitable globalization and sustainable development will ensure that the benefits of globalization are distributed more evenly among countries.

For more information:

Joint Meeting of ECOSOC and the Second Committee – “The changing political economy of globalization: Multilateral institutions and the 2030 Agenda”

UN Web TV coverage from the joint meeting

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