Are governments and peoples working together effectively to solve common issues?

Nov 30, 2022

There can no longer be any doubt that we live in a global village. There are more goods, services, people, money and information moving among government borders than at any time in human history. No government alone has the power to regulate all of this activity, and much of it is therefore under-regulated or not regulated at all.

In the global village, the consequences of the actions of individuals, corporations and governments are felt far beyond individual government jurisdictions. In fact, the collective disruptive power of humanity is such that many scientists are calling this epoch the Anthropocene or the “Age of Humans”. This collective human activity has caused climate change and other earth system disruptions, war and conflict among nations and peoples, the inequitable access to basic necessities and human rights, and the propagation of hate and discrimination. No government alone can address the collective negative consequences of human activity.

While there are some examples of successful international collaboration and cooperation, such as the aviation and banking industries, most of the human activity that transcends borders is not as effectively and efficiently regulated as it can and should be! The United Nations and other international organizations have proven to be ineffective at solving many of these challenges because nations inherently put their own interests first. In the global village that we have become this is the nationhood paradox. By putting the health and welfare of their own citizens first, nations jeopardize the health and welfare of all global citizens, including their own, and of the planet on which we all rely.

Consider the example of climate change, one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. The global community, via the United Nations, are attempting resolve it by convening regular Conference of Parties (COP) meetings to come to agreements on commitments and actions that governments can take collectively to address the issue. Today, more than 20 years after the Rio Earth summit, global greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing, and governments have not yet even pledged sufficient reductions, let alone carried them out, to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.

The United Nations model cannot, inherently, overcome the nationhood paradox. A much more collaborative approach is required among governments and peoples to address the reality that we live in a global village. Without some successful form of collaboration, the problems caused by the collective activity of humanity cannot effectively and efficiently be solved.

This may seem daunting, or even impossible, when one considers all of the different types of government structures that are in place around the world, including democracy, autocracy, theocracy and communism; and the deep divisions in opinion and ideology that are often present within and among nations.

Changing the structure of governments and the means that decision-makers come to power would be very difficult, and getting nations to agree to an international governance structure is not a realistic goal at this point in human history.

All governments, however, have a policy-making process to inform decision-makers. In many cases, it is an administrative process that can be changed relatively easily, without structural change. Such governments then can adopt a common process for policy-making, resulting in common advice for their respective policy-makers.

Civonus inc. is providing an online policy-making process that multiple governments can use to arrive at a common set of evidence and advice for consideration by their policy-makers. It is also designed to provide more open, transparent, sustainable, inclusive, equitable, evidence-informed policy making.

To address the challenge of conflicts in opinion and ideology, a mass consensus-building approach is employed to encourage the participants in the process to consider other perspectives and strive for decisions that all can accept.

With the Civonus policy-making process, the structure of the government, or the way that policy-makers came to power, is not important. What is important is that they accept the process and carefully listen to the advice provided. It is only through a new model, a disruption of government policy-making if you will, that better public policy, and effective collaboration among governments for common issues, can truly be achieved.

Robert Hughes, President and CEO, Civonus Inc.

Civonus Inc. offers an online policy-making process to facilitate better government policy-making; and to enable governments to collaborate with other governments on policy-making for issues they have in common. It does so through the meaningful engagement of citizens, government officials, experts and other stakeholders, in a process that is designed to produce more open, transparent, sustainable, inclusive, equitable, evidence-informed policy-making…

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