Global Governance and Global Civil Society Debate in Amsterdam

On December 7, 2009 Global Governance and Global Civil Society debate took place in Amsterdam. The debate was organized by the Earth Charter in Belarus in partnership with the colleagues in the Netherlands and the Free University in Amsterdam.

The event gathered an international audience of 20 young people willing to discuss the ways of dealing with globalization, planetary threats and the increasing role of civil initiatives.

The debate was aimed at uncovering the basic ideas behind the concept of Global Governance with a special focus on global civil society. What is global civil society? What does it mean in the context of global governance ideas? What is the general purpose of global governance and how can civil society organizations contribute to it? Why do we need new actors and do individual voices matter? Finally, what are the main challenges, hopes, achievements and future prospects for global civil governance?

Unlike the debates about international cooperation, the discussion on global governance generally includes a much broader perspective: firstly, in terms of the values it is grounded in and secondly – in terms of the management process itself.

Therefore, in order to answer all the posted questions and discuss the ways how all the actors involved in governance can make an effective contribution, the Earth Charter was presented.

As Dmitry Savelau, a youth representative of the EC network in Belarus, suggested in his presentation: apart of being a unique document representing the global ethics of sustainable development, the Earth Charter Initiative is the example of an emerging platform for global governance, where simultaneous interaction of the state, business, religion, civil sector and young people is taking place at all levels. Thus it is a very important to consider the Earth Charter as the potential model of such stakeholders’ integration and collaboration.

The discussion was supported by the professors of the VU University and the two guest experts – Rindert de Groot, one of the members of the WorldConnectors initiative and Daniel van Middelkoop, a representative of the Windows to the World Project, aimed on educating young people about global citizenship.

Presentations were followed by an informal discussion and drinks organized by the Department of Political Science of the Free University in Amsterdam.

For more information about the event, feel free to contact Dmitry Savelau: dsavelau [a] gmail.com