7 July 2019 | The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to intensify their cooperation. The UN seems embarrassed – for good reason. It is another step in its self-disempowerment of the UN and another milestone for the club of multinationals on the way to its declared goal – world domination. Sounds exagerated? Read for yourself what the World Economic Forum is writing on the subject.
In order to be able to classify the most recent declaration of cooperation between the World Economic Forum and the United Nations, you have to go back 10 years to 2009. At that time, a “Global Redesign Initiative” (GRI) of the World Economic Forum published a report after 18 months of work by many working groups and advisory groupsvon how it envisages the future world governance.
The World Economic Forum is a lobby of the 1000 largest multinational corporations calling itself “THE international organization for public-private cooperation”. According to the WEF, the most important political business and other leaders of society are involved in determining global, regional and industry agendas. The agenda is set by the 100 largest and most influential who contribute the most money. In all major countries, the forum has “hubs” in the largest cities, where the “global shapers” are networked with one another.
The final GRI report was called “Everybody’s Business: Strengthening International Cooperation in a More Interdependent World” and was 600 pages long. The forum seems to have removed it from its website in the meantime. The link to download the report on the relevant page of the forum no longer works. There is a short version in the form of a Readers’ Guide on the website of the University of Massachusetts Boston, from which I will cite below.
In the section titled “An Overview of the WEF’s Perspective” it says clearly that the goal is to replace the UN- and nations-based system of global governance by one that the corporations like better:
In its view, the World Economic Forum is the body best suited to develop a new framework for a post-United Nations-based system of international governance.
They think that de facto they have already grown in the role of leaders of world governance. This role just needs to be formalized:
In WEF’s view, multinational corporations, international civil society organizations, and larger developing countries have entered the space formerly held by the major Northern nation-states and the UN system.
Note that multinationals are mentioned first as the new most powerful group. This is no accident, as the WEF thinks:
In the case of the MNCs, their effective reach as de facto global governance institutions has long surpassed the functioning of the UN system. (…) MNCs and international CSOs need to be recognized in their own right as full Actors in the global governance system, not just as lobbyists to nation-states or international proponents of specific positions or solutions.
Corporations have become more powerful not only that international organizations, but also more powerful than national governments is the message, as expressed bluntly in a different chapter with examples like this:
Departments of food and ministries of agriculture act as if they can provide food and support farmers when effective control of food politics was usurped by agribusiness decades ago.
The World Economic Forum calls on the leaders of the multinationals to stand up and demand a leading role in ruling the world:
Corporate executives and international CSO leaders need to be self-conscious of their new global Actor role and not try to pretend or minimize, as they have done in the past, their leadership role in global governance.
True, they keep mentioning CSOs, or Civil Society Organisations, too. But the only powerful ones of these that come to mind are the like of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which are better thought of as extensions of the multinationals.
In the sub-chapter “The United Nations and the Private Non-State World” it is explicitly acknowledged that what the WEF envisages is not covered by the charter of the UN:
The United Nation system has a role – albeit one not envisaged in the UN Charter – in WEF’s redesign of global governance.
Does that mean we are having a discussion about changes to the charter of the UN? Far from it. Instead we are having Memorandums of Understanding between the US and the WEF, which the UN is too ashamed of to even publish.
What is the role of the UN, according to the WEF and the multinational corporations for which it speaks. This role is to “give de facto recognition to the multi-stakeholder process” and decisions under the leadership of the corporations, a process that is characterized by informal “multi-stakeholder groups”, “public-private-partnerships” and “coalitions of the willing and capable” or, to put it more bluntly, by the end of democracy as we know it.
This is the agenda, which is being promoted by the Memorandum of Understanding between the WEF and the UN. the UN is participating in this of course, because is is being starved of cash, mostly by the US-government, which prefers to have money channelled to the UN through large US-based multinational corporations under their terms and conditions.
[written July 7, 2019, translated into English by the Author on January 25, 2020.]