Perhaps it is too simplistic to write this, but I see an unusual 'structural problem' in international society at the moment:-
There is a division into
- an internationalist movement, composed of the various international organisations, NGO's, charities, groups and committees, etc., with a service orientation (including most national governments)
- a globalisation movement, composed mostly of commercial multi-national companies, bankers, and traders (and the USA ?) These companies, and thus indirectly their shareholders, hold or control nearly all the world's assets, and all the debts of the national governments, and act with a profit orientation.
This can be summarised as the International against the Commercial, and it seems to be a major rift in the world. In particular, from my limited perspective, there may be two sides of one 'Planetarisation' movement, or "Global Brain". The 'actions' of globalisation do not seem to have long-term rationality in terms of damage to the environment - globalisation seems to be out of control. Are the relevant international 'governing bodies' able or willing to provide direction and an overview of the planet that globalisation seems to lack. Thought the "international" could be criticised by 'globalisation' on many grounds, this always seems like an excuse, and an evasion of responsibility.
Strangely, there is no forum for this division into "Globalism and Internationalism" to be resolved or worked on. Perhaps the UN is attempting to do this with some of its recent initiatives, but these have provoked bitter criticism from some of the 'Internationalists'. How deep is this split ? Is it important ? Should there be a forum and an effort to try to resolve it ? Where and how can this be convened ?
I spent a short time helping at the UIA in Brussels (http://www.uia.org), and the UIA's founding charter allows the possibility for it to play a role in a situation such as this, if the UN is unable to help, and at the moment it does not seem to in a position to do so. Could the UIA play a role in beginning such a forum ? Who else could validly do this ?
I think this is worth further study, and I am interested in it, but I have little idea of how to proceed (and I am certainly not qualified or experienced in this field).
Sectoral Inefficiency in Internationalism
How can anyone take effective action in this field ? Who is in a position to do anything ?
This is again derived from my time at the UIA. The UIA seems to me to have generally fulfilled the initial goals of its founders, and my thoughts here are a response to that unusual situation :- what further goals would be suitable for UIA, and what is feasible for it or a similar organsiation to attempt ?
The UIA has a clear remit "the Union intends to contribute to the progress of pacific international and the organisation of international life". There is now a lot of international activity, but it is currently not well co-ordinated and not efficiently organised, and it is characterized by competition for resources and 'status'.
If one accepts that there is inefficiency and inappropriate competition in the international sector, then what can one do about it ? Does something really need to be done, or is it basically OK as it is, a fact of life ? Should the UIA, the UN or someone else do something ?
If none of these can do anything, then should we consider beginning this ourselves ? Perhaps using private message boards to begin with, later with conferences, so that eventually a system can be set up to encourage and moderate the better co-operation of international bodies, perhaps by clarifying the world need, and then establishing the tasks, and then evaluating the resources and organisations available in each sector, eventually reaching a more rational situation than at present. There are clearly areas such as Emergency Aid where things seem to work well, but there are many others .......