The village is still threatened by natural and human-made disasters. The United Nations, bound by bureaucracy and red tape, stood helplessly aside during genocide in Rwanda and then in the Congo. Crisis management of the international community in the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster was inadequate and many question the adequacy of the risk management with respect to a potential pandemic of bird flu. Despite dire warnings about climate issues like global warming, the international community can not meet ever the modest belt-tightening advocated in the Kyoto Accord.

      Kimon Valaskakis has founded the Global Governance Group, with branches in Montreal, Paris, and Athens, to consider what can be done. After a preliminary organizing meeting in 2004, the group convened a conference in Athens on 9-11 March 2006. The conference was called New School of Athens 2006 and was viewed as the resurrection of Plato's Academy. Focus was on four issues:

  • Are Present Global Institutions Still Relevant?
  • Democracy, Development, Governance
  • Can Corporations be Good Citizens?
  • The Threat of Insecurity

Another conference is scheduled for 2-5 April 2008 in Athens, focusing on three issues:

  • Policy and Institutional Reform
  • Role of Non-state Actors
  • Human Security and Sustainable Development

      Working on any problem other than global governance seems like rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic. The options are one world or no world. Such issues of global governance are usually analyzed at the sociological level. All the other participants at the 2006 conference were sociologists, economists, political scientists, lawyers and others whose expertise is at this lofty level of analysis. This is indeed appropriate. Those are large issues and they must be seen within the large framework.

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