(Berlin, Sunday): Globalisation is an ineluctable fact of international life in the 21st century. However, it has threatened to become the single most divisive issue on earth, creating a global polarisation between the proponents and opponents of globalisation with the majority of nations and peoples perceiving themselves as the losers rather than the winners in the process.
Globalisation has accelerated the greater disparity in income, wealth and opportunities, as evidenced by the fact that the income gap between the fifth of the world's people living in the richest countries and the fifth in the poorest is in the region of 80 to 1, up from 60 to 1 in 1990 and 30 to 1 in 1960.
As globalisation is technology-driven especially as the result of the explosion of information technology, the disparities between nations and peoples are likely to be even more inequitable with the yawning digital divide which has developed in the world.
The greatest challenge of the international community is how to ensure
that the process of globalisation does not mean the globalisation of the
law of the jungle, but has a human face which works for people and not
just for profits and corporations, that there is an equitable distribution
of the opportunities and rewards of globalisation and not concentrate power
wealth in a select group of people, nations and corporations while marginalising others.
Globalisation, if it is not to become a force for global division, disparity and polarisation must have as its inherent attributes the qualities of democracy, transparency, equity and developmdent.
The very real and widespread concerns of a significant portion of the global population that global competition and open capital markets will result in increased disparities of wealth, higher job insecurity and reduced social services must be addressed.
Just like economic growth, technology-driven globalisation per se is not sufficient to ensure equity, social progress and the eradication of povertz.
The Socialist International, as an international organisation of social democratic political movements, should take the lead to provide a new vision of sustainable globalisation which rejects the pure market basis of globalisation and put the people and not markets at the centre of the globalisation process.
Sustainable globalisation will reform the international financial architecture
as the ills and destabilising effects of US$1.5 trillion exchanged in the
world's currency markets each day cannot be ignored or
Sustainable globalisation would require good global governance, involving democratisation of both national and international institutions and the promotion of the principles of accountability and transparency as well as an unremitting war against corruption.
More and more countries are trying to keep abreast with the rapid changes and challenges of information technology, talking about the advent of k-economy, but unless these societies are prepared to introduce k-governance with all the changes this entails, it is unlikely that their k-economies can take off successfully.