Global Governance and Information

Ambassador Walther Lichem* of Austria is
President Inter Press Service (IPS).

By Ambassador Walther Lichem
VIENNA, Apr 16 2019 (IPS)

The past seventy years since the end of the second world war
have been marked by profound changes in our international system.
Relations between states have become more horizontally structured
interactions with a rising significance of the common good
articulated and pursued by newly-created international programmes
and organisations.

Walther Lichem

The international agenda increasingly consists of items addressing
internationally and globally-shared challenges of dependencies and

The traditional security and peace focus has been broadened into
areas of concern which require contributions and activities not
only by states but by international organisations and programmes
who jointly with non-state actors such as academic institutions and
associations, civil society organisations, the private sector
including those who joined the Global Compact, have contributed to
a new pattern of leadership in the processes of defining our global
goals and in the implementation of the related programmes of

Another characterizing element in our Global Agenda
related-approach is the inter-sectoral interdependence reflected in
the international community’s agenda marked by “AND” –
“climate change and international security”,
“human rights and societal cohesion” etc.

These agenda—and interrelated-ness—require, however, also
institutional integration cutting across the institutional
development marked by sectoral segregation. There is a rising need
for each agenda sector to be fully up-to-date regarding the entire
pattern of global challenges and the related plans of action, using
this level of information for the development of institutional

There is also a rising need for information flows between
governmental/ intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations

The new global agenda benefits from the work and conclusions of
academic institutions and programmes, a relationship which
regrettably has not yet been fully recognized by the international

Many of our important global agenda items based their policy
approach on research and academic discourse – e.g. the issue of
environmental protection, the concept of sustainability, the
process of climate change, the societal development needs and human
rights etc.

Another dimension of the pluralisation of global governance
affectedness and responsibility is the role of each and every
citizen on the globe to know and understand these challenges and
assume a rising responsibility in addressing them.

Certain agenda areas, such as environmental protection, the
sustainable development and use of our natural resource systems,
human rights and human security have given the citizen an almost
central role in the achievement of the declared objectives.

Today, every citizen can contribute to the recognition of the
dignity of the other and the related human rights. The impact of
citizen-focused human rights programmes is visible in human rights
cities in all regions of the world. The citizen creating conditions
of societal cohesion also essentially contributes to peace and

Private sector decisions can make important contributions to
both the natural resources related and societal cohesion-related
challenges. Academic institutions must adjust their programmes of
research and of university education to the global agenda-related

The cultural sector provides important inputs into the
development of values and related behavioural patterns related to
the challenges of pluri-identity societies and the integration of

All these new patterns of responsibility and contributions to
achievements for our Global Agenda, however, do require qualified
information. It must be recognized that complex academic or
policy-process related studies and reports are not accessible to
the general citizenship including those in positions of
responsibility at local and national levels.

Even governmental institutions and the international diplomatic
community cannot internalize all the documents which are to serve
as a basis for multilateral negotiations.

The development of this new participatory system of global
governance with intergovernmental institutions and processes,
national governments and local authorities has led to the
recognition of an urgent need for qualified patterns of information
which translate challenges, achievements and failures to the
political responsibilities at local, national and also
international levels, to governmental, inter-governmental and
non-governmental institutions who have increasingly shaped our
Global Agenda and articulated the rising need for societal
understanding and information.

Media are the classical providers of such information combining
data with assessments and the vision of our common future. Yet, as
analysis of the current situation underlines, there is an urgent
need to strengthen qualified information systems which would
provide not only governmental, intergovernmental and
non-governmental institutions and the citizens but also the media
with pertinent and needed information.

There is no way into a future of shared global responsibility
without a qualified and also ethically committed system of
information related to our processes of global change.

There is a need to recognize that such highly pertinent
information related to our common future requires recognition and
support from the global society as a contribution to our shared
global public space.

This implies that support is to be provided from governmental,
intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions. A respective
policy discourse with participation from these institutions is to
be envisaged in order to prevent the decay or elimination of
qualified programmes like Inter Press Service.

*Walther Lichem, retired Austrian Ambassador
with studies in law and oriental archaeology (Univ. of Graz,
Austria) and political science (Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel
Hill; Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna) started his
professional career in 1966 at the United Nations Secretariat in
New York in the field of international water resources with
development cooperation missions to Ethiopia (1971), Argentina
(1971-74) and to the Senegal River Development Organisation (1980).
He was also Rapporteur on international river basins at the
International Conference on Water Law (Caracas, 1976) and at the
IVth World Water Conference (Buenos Aires, 1982).
Ambassador Lichem undertook major assignments in the UN system at
the Human Rights Summit in Vienna in 1992 and as Ambassador to
Chile and to Canada, as a member of the UN Committee on the
Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and as an adviser to the 16 countries
sharing the Guinea Current in West and Central Africa on the
creation of a regional organisation.

The post Global
Governance and Information
appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Ambassador Walther Lichem* of Austria is
President Inter Press Service (IPS).

The post Global
Governance and Information
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Global Governance and Information