Policy and Institutional Frameworks
Reforming from the Top: A Leader's 20 Summit
Few scholars and practitioners would agree that the current international system is working well, in areas such as poverty, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Some suggest the answer is to reform institutions – UN, G-8, World Bank. Others prefer to see the emergence of new institutions, better reflecting the political and economic realities.
One option is to create a Leaders Summit Forum (L20) to bring together the leaders of key states. Informal meetings between them might lead to resolutions of issues which continued to be deadlocked. The aim is to consider what a hypothetical Summit of 20 leaders could achieve on current UN reform issues, presented in the Secretary-General Report 'In Larger Freedom'. The project addresses the difficult questions of:
- What should be the composition of the L20 and what issues it would be best to tackle?
- How to attract potentially reluctant participants, such as the USA and Russia?
- What sort of relationship would the L20 have with the existing international organisations?
- Would the L20 have any legitimacy with states left on the outside?
- Would certain members be expected to represent whole regions or continents, and would this be a fair expectation?
The resulting book argues that the L-20 is a feasible, though not easy opportunity for the international community. It offers both thematic and geographical arguments in favour of the establishment of the new structure and its role for the reform of the global economic and financial systems. It provides the first strong case why an L20 would be a worthwhile addition to the international architecture and the first point of reference for future academic and policy-oriented debates.
Page last modified 2011.06.07.