Coming to terms with the realities of our new global environment, an environment in which human relationships span the globe and interdendencies and interconnections are multiplying exponentially, will be the greatest challenge of the coming century. Our Global Neighborhood takes the first step in tackling the crucial issues standing in the way of the world community's progress on the eve of the twenty-first century. Its far-reaching recommendations stand as the most thorough attempt to ensure peace and progress around the world since the formation of the United Nations.
Conceived by the Commission on Global Governance, this vastly important book represents the collective thinking of twenty-eight eminent international figures from a variety of professional and public affairs backgrounds. Established in 1992 to analyze global changes in recent decades and to suggest ways in which the international community can better cooperate on global issues, the Commission works to capitalize on the myriad opportunities afforded the world community in the wake of the Cold War. Beginning with an analysis of the complex and contradictory effects of globalization and the end of the Cold War, this extensive report outlines the major transformations that have transpired over the last fifty years including the political, economic, military, technological, intellectual, and institutional changes that have so powerfully marked the second half of the twentieth century. In turn, it surveys the major problems, such as ethnic conflict, unemployment, environmental degradation, and extensive population growth, that have emerged from these transformations to confront world leaders.
In itself, the end of the Cold War has far from ended the world's problems. While the threat of nuclear superpower war has receded, the spread of nuclear capability and of biological and chemical weapons poses great dangers. Wars, between states and even more within states (such as the ongoing tragedy of both Yugoslavia and Rwanda), have continued to destroy lives. With this in mind, Our Global Neighborhood addresses the two principle norms that have guided relations among states, both before and after the Cold War: sovereignty and self-determination. It explains why these norms are still important and how they must be adapted to meet the new realities of the emerging global community. Discussing the importance of shared values in a time of transition, it identifies the values that the Commission believes most important, including justice, equity, tolerance, liberty, and nonviolence. And it goes on to call for a new global ethic based on a set of responsibilities and rights that would encourage cooperation and collaboration in a global neighborhood.
As the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations approaches in 1995, the adequacy of our institutions of global governance and the need to strengthen them will increasingly claim the attention of world leaders and citizens alike. The debates prompted by this anniversary lend a poignant timeliness to Our Global Neighborhood as it makes recommendations for changes in international organizations--especially those that are part of the United Nations system--such as revitalizing the General Assembly and reforming the Security Council.