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Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and External Lecturer in refugee law at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Ninna Nyberg Sørensen is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies in.
Table of contents

The ministerial meeting in Cancun ended in deadlock, but it was useful in that it identified the trade-offs and launched a new process of negotiations involving new organised actors, such as the G The SI stresses that there is no alternative to a fundamental reform of the agricultural market, including cotton. Long-term challenges for the WTO are to tackle concerns about the environment, core labour standards, the preservation of national cultures, rules regarding investment and gender-sensitiveness.

Within a coherent global mechanism there must be cooperation between the WTO, the IFIs and IOs, which are responsible for tackling environmental, social, labour and cultural issues. Shaping these markets in accordance with global sustainable development means reforming the Bretton Woods institutions and the regional banks as well as global taxation in order to fund global public goods and global development. There is a need to reform the IMF and the World Bank, including a modification of the quota system so that developing countries are better represented, to adopt better regulations on speculative funds and to combat money laundering more effectively.

The present basis of global economic policy is the so-called "Washington Consensus" of the G7 and the IFIs, whose strategy has been unable to resolve problems and bring about rapid sustainable development, as can be seen in many countries. The reforms of the World Bank should be deepened to include a rethinking of the fundamental development concept, a breaking free from neo-liberal market orthodoxy and an acceptance of the relevance of human development and sustainability.

The regional development banks should work more effectively to promote regional integration, because they are perceived as being closer to their regional clients than the IFIs.

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New global resources are needed to achieve these aims. A new International Financial Facility and some form of global taxation have to be introduced. An inclusive and equitable labour market is the filter through which wealth is redistributed and poverty can be tackled at the global level. Global development policy has to stay focussed on the impact of globalisation on labour markets. It is time to make sustainable and decent employment a central macroeconomic aim for the IFIs, to combine macroeconomic with structural policy and to link economic and social policies.

In almost all the countries of the world the participation of women in the labour market still remains below that of men.

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Rethinking employment policies and integrating the gender perspective is essential to address the negative gender implications of current patterns of work and employment. Over the next ten years about one billion young people will reach working age. But there is a fundamental divide in their skills and knowledge.

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A part of them belongs to the best educated generation ever, while others lack educational opportunities. A global employment strategy for the 21st century must focus on creating jobs that are both more viable and sustainable so that these young people will have decent employment and thus be fully integrated into society. The world economy must be more social. Unregulated globalisation has had a high social cost in the past 20 years; global inequality between poor and rich countries has increased and is reaching historically unprecedented levels.

In , the United Nations agreed on the Millennium Development Goals as an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives. This is positive, but it is not enough. The debt cancellation programme for Highly Indebted Poor Countries must be continued and reformed in conjunction with the conditions for improving good governance. A new debt workout mechanism should be set up. Regionalisation has to be promoted.

Developed countries should reduce and ultimately eliminate protection and gradually lower the subsidising of key markets, particularly of agriculture. Alliances for more and better jobs must be forged. They could be better controlled if international regulations in the field of global competition and consumer rights were introduced. TNCs are at the core of the taxation gap in present societies; due to deregulation policies, capital is avoiding taxation, thus putting the burden of state finances on consumption and labour.

Joint international efforts are needed to reverse this trend. Human rights form part of the foundations of the international legal order. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lent enormous momentum to the international legal protection of such rights. Working to put into practice the principles of human rights remains a permanent task.

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The human rights of women throughout their life-cycle are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. The world community should put greater emphasis on the implementation of human rights agreements and on ensuring that all states ratify the core body of human rights agreements. States have an obligation to support each other in ensuring observance of human rights; this requires that help be given to developing countries.

The sovereignty of states is beyond dispute, but consideration must also be given to the sovereignty of individuals, which is violated by state terrorism. In such instances there is a case for intervention on humanitarian grounds within a multilateral framework. The role of human rights includes empowering communities.

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Protecting their rights must be considered a contribution to preventing conflicts resulting from poverty, discrimination and exclusion. Ensuring human rights is a task for states and for civil society. Support should be given to committees charged with the implementation of human rights agreements.

For the vast majority of people around the world security is not a question of inter-state relations; it tends to have a more individual character. Most people see security as being protection from harm, either from violent human beings, famine or drought. The fight against violence inflicted on individuals is the foundation of human security. In , UNDP introduced the concept of human security as a fusion of policy concerns related to trans-national and domestic security, political and economic development and the environment. More and more people are living in social environments where physical integrity is less and less secure.

People react by organising self-help.


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Social democratic political forces underestimated the importance of the issue of human security. They are ready to pay closer attention to it.

Their activities are based on the material resources of the territories they hold as well as on drugs and diamonds. The conflicts are fed by the illegal trade in small arms and light weapons and a vast number of landmines.

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The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration

In many situations irrationality is triumphing over the values of enlightenment. Racism, xenophobia, chauvinism and religious fundamentalism, in the form of violent ideologies, are becoming major threats to peace and democracy. There are no excuses for terrorism. It must be condemned. Terrorism cannot be justified by poverty or by regional or religious conflict. The instruments to fight against terrorism should be improved in a multilateral framework. If terrorism merely inspires the USA to display its military might, the future looks very bleak.

It would be tragic if combating terrorism were to become a crusade against Islam. Terror cannot be used to fight terrorism. Global security depends on a new commitment to stand beside the peoples of the world and on extending the concept of human rights to each and every one of them. It must not be forgotten that justice and social cohesion are factors of peace and stability on the local, state and global level. They make it more difficult for terrorist organisations to find revolted and desperate recruits. That will also be the case if double political and moral standards in modern states of Europe, North America and Australia are overcome.

What is needed is a set of instruments relating to crime prevention and the build-up of social, economic and political structures, including food security and working health and education systems. An integrated plan of crime prevention is needed, running from the local to the international or global level, including a set of measures.

Application of these measures requires money and the appropriate political will. In some of the developing countries, especially in Africa, the reconstruction of statehood and regional integration are key aspects of a policy aimed at reducing the high levels of violence. For that a concept of structural stability is needed, with international efforts to stop the disintegration of states.

Cultural identity is a human right. Cultural differences must be recognised. The world is witnessing the evolution of patchwork societies, in which common national identities are losing their significance and a growing variety of cultural and social groups coexist. This coexistence is not always peaceful.

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Poorer countries, in particular, are facing a growing number of conflicts inside their borders. The global community of states has to accept that all societies can be multicultural. No state can impose only one particular culture, language or faith on its population. However, it should be borne in mind that nearly all conflicts have their origins in a struggle to assert economic interests.

Various kinds of fundamentalism have flourished around the world. This return of fundamentalism can be accompanied by political militancy. Countries that have remained under the boot of authoritarian regimes have become breeding grounds for fundamentalists. The answer to fundamentalism given by social democrats is persistent assertion of the values of human dignity, freedom, social justice, solidarity and gender equality, of the values of tolerance, the coexistence of religions and dialogue between them and of the ideas of the enlightenment.

The very communications technology that has made the global village possible has at the same time stimulated an increased awareness of cultural differences. Societies should cultivate their distinct cultural characteristics and use them for the resolution of social and political problems. But the human right to cultural identity and global democracy are interdependent. Democracy respects diversity and in doing so it assumes the reciprocity of this respect. Different cultures have different types of democracy, but they adhere to the same principles.


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  5. No culture is incapable of democracy, as the defeat of fascism in World War II and the failure of communism at the end of the 20th century in Europe show. The same principle applies to all states in which totalitarian, authoritarian or undemocratic regimes are in power at present.