THE GLOBAL MARSHALL PLAN INITIATIVE EMAIL
THE GLOBAL MARSHALL PLAN
Quote:Helge Bork, Global Marshall Plan International, Hamburg Germany
Synergies between Millennium Development Goals and Global Marshall Plan
The Global Marshall Plan Initiative very much appreciates the UN Secretary's Report "In Larger Freedom: Towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All". We appreciate what has been done so far. But for the next ten years we think a much bigger effort is needed: a Global Marshall Plan.
Please find attached some considerations on such a plan and a wording the Secretary General might include into the next updated office report.
We wish you all the best in your important work.
Situation concerning Millennium Development Goals
2005 holds the first review of the progress made towards reaching the UN-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global development targets for 2015 which the states of the world agreed upon in the 2000 UN-Millennium Declaration. These aims are of highest importance if we want to reach sustainable development, overcome poverty, achieve balance between cultures and implement peace. Unfortunately, whilst some progress has been made, the implementation of the MDGs has failed to achieve the level of progress that was hoped for. It is now clear that free and open markets, under the present global order, are insufficient to deliver the promises, so much more has to be done.
The added value of a Global Marshall Plan
The Global Marshall Plan Initiative was conceived by numerous NGOs, such as the Club of Rome, the Eco-Social Forum Europe and the Global Contract Foundation, it has a strong basis both in Europe and abroad. The basic underlying concept of the Initiative is the integration of actors from civil society, politics and the private sector as well as science and the media. The Initiative’s goals are closely linked with the MDGs, focusing on their implementation by 2015. What distinguishes the Global Marshall Plan from other concepts is that it embeds the MDGs into the long term vision of a worldwide Eco-Social Market Economy. Such an economy would be compatible with sustainability and is inspired by the ideas that are part of all European member state constitutions, the European constitution itself and which are central to the EU enlargement processes: The core idea of mutual agreement between partners on certain economical, social, cultural and environmental standards. Co-financing of development processes of weaker partners by the richer partners is essential to reach a consensus on strict standards. This kind of co-financing allows poorer countries not to strive to undermine standards in order to gain a competitive edge. The aim of a Global Marshall Plan is to promote growth in both the rich and the poorer parts of the world – with naturally higher growth rates in poorer countries. This way both partners are becoming richer in a win-win-situation. Because poorer regions can grow faster, more equity is obtained at the same time to the benefit of all.
The following five elements are central to the Global Marshall Plan:
Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, embedded into the long-term perspective of a worldwide Eco-Social Market Economy
Implementing a corresponding global institutional design by coherently linking the WTO, IMF and World Bank regimes with those regimes concerned with social, cultural and environmental issues, namely ILO, UNESCO and UNEP. It is one of the greatest scandals in the global economy of today that it is free-riding on social, cultural and environmental issues by having those issues in separated regimes which are constantly overridden by WTO, IMF and World Bank. It is usually the poor countries that object to an integrated approach suggested because they cannot currently afford economically to agree to meet stricter social, cultural and environmental standards. But offering considerable co-financing of development for the adoption of such standards could make a compromise possible. Going for a new institutional design by integrating the existing global regimes is at the heart of the approach of a Global Marshall Plan and reflects the logic under which the enlargement processes of the European Union are undertaken.
A level of additional co-financing of 100 billion $ a year should be reached. This sum has been identified as lacking from the funds needed to achieve the Millennium Goals. This has been ascertained independently by a range of experts – among them the UN Zedillo Report, the analysis of Gordon Brown, British Chancellor of the Exchequer and the work of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. With this extra amount, official development aid (ODA) would reach the level of interest that is paid annually by the poor countries to the richer countries, around 165 billion $ a year. We would also come quite close to a 0.7% GDP level in ODA by donor countries, as promised repeatedly for more than 30 years, e.g. also at the Rio 1992 world conference.
New methods to generate the 100 billion extra dollars are needed to implement a Global Marshall Plan. The idea is to use global instruments as not to burden national budgets. At the same time global instruments will offer the possibility of reduce the current cannibalization of national governance and the depletion of the environment by global economic actors. For example, reasonable levies on global transactions should be implemented and the income used to finance global development. This would at the same time improve the balance of global and local economic actors. The Global Marshall Plan suggests a mix of components for financing development. Among the elements considered are very modest levies on global trade, levies on global financial transactions, special drawing rights of the International Monetary Fund, a cap-and-trade regime based on equal per-capita pollution rights (e.g. CO2 pollutions), a reasonable scheme of insolvency for states and, the establishment of an International Financial Facility as advocated for by Gordon Brown. Luckily, at the last World Economic Summit in Davos, European leaders for the first time argued in the direction that the Global Marshall Plan Initiative advocates for, too.
New and effective modes of implementation have to be pursued to achieve development in poorer countries. Ensuring that the funds are allocated in an appropriate manner and do not feed corruption is maybe the hardest part of attaining the Global Marshall Plan goals. From experience we have seen that participation, education, and the empowerment, especially of women, is capable of enabling independent, self-motivated and responsible development. Core principles are transparency and strict control over the flow of funds as well as a “bottom-up” approach. Concrete examples of implementation are micro-financing and “partnership aid” (= empowerment of local intermediaries).
(3) Where to start
The general approach of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative is to link environmental and social standards with co-financing in partnerships for development. We hope that this can be successfully argued for in the WTO Doha round. The US has always taken the position that ILO and environmental standards be incorporated into the WTO trade agreements. We believe the EU and other countries should support this, but must concurrently argue for more co-financing of development as a necessary complement to the obligations and costs this would impose on developing countries.
Outside of the WTO, a lot more can be done. Within "Partnerships for Development" with the poorest countries, the EU and other donor countries could co-finance development with progressive adoption of key social and environmental standards - as it has done in the enlargement of the EU itself. In this context, the donor countries might consider raising additional development funds, for example a levy on kerosene could raise these funds whilst simultaneously bring aviation within the carbon-trading regime of the Kyoto protocol.
Furthermore, these countries could support Gordon Brown’s proposal for an International Finance Facility to generate more immediate development funding. In the longer-term additional development funds could be raised on a global level through new environmental or resource-use levies, an idea which still needs to be explored. Again, Europe and other countries like Canada and Japan should take the lead concerning this issue.
(4) Concluding remarks
To summarize, there are many positive links between the UN Millennium Development Goals and the intentions of a Global Marshall Plan. The MDGs are of utmost importance, they are the pledges the rich countries made and that their peoples want to keep. This world can make poverty history. We have the means to make this globe a better and safer place - for all, and in particular for the weakest.
Much has been achieved during the last five years but it is still not enough. We are nowhere near on course to reach the goals. We must do more, we must try harder. The next five years are critical. This is not the time for a piecemeal approach; we need global action, similar to the size and scope of the re-construction efforts that Europe itself benefited from after World War II, when the US Marshall Plan was created. The time has come for a Global Marshall Plan. This plan must again combine huge investments into development with an effective institutional design and targeted modes of implementation. The European Union and all countries willing to join her, acting as a partner to the world, can be an architect and key engine of this a plan.
Let’s work together on this. To demonstrate this common purpose, the supporters of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative would be grateful for a few sentences to enter the position paper for the UN Millennium+5 Summit to be held in New York from 14-16 September 2005. Such sentences could be of the following nature:
“Summarizing, we regard the Millennium Declaration to be of utmost importance. It is the promise the rich countries made. It is what our people ask for. This world can make poverty history. We have the means to make this globe a better and more safe place – for all, in particular for the weakest.
Quite something was achieved during the last five years. Still, it was not enough and in many areas, we have not accomplished what we promised. We have to do more, we have to try harder. The next five years are critical. If the world goes on like we did the last five years, we will fail.
We therefore think this is not the time for a piece-meal approach. We need global action, similar in size to what happened after World War II, when the US Marshall Plan was created. We now need a Global Marshall Plan and we are ready to engage in such a global effort. This plan must again combine huge investments in development with a corresponding institutional design. It must especially focus on effective modes of implementation.
We will work together those who are willing to join us in founding a Global Marshall Plan Initiative and an International Financial Facility, as a way to develop an operational framework for the urgent measures now needed. We invite all nations to join us in this ambitious undertaking".
Global Marshall Plan Initiative
Rissener Landstr. 193
Phone: +49 (0)40 822 90 420
Facsimile: +49 (0)40 822 90 421