International EnvironmentalNegotiation: The Case for a South Secretariat (M-6)

International EnvironmentalNegotiation: The Case for a South Secretariat (M-6)

Publication details

  • Monday | 12 Jan, 1998
  • Adil Najam
  • Monographs
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Adil Najam Monograph Series # 6 1998 Introduction Towards A New North-South Dialogue Ours is a time of redefinition of the established world order. On the one hand, the ‘end of history’ is being proclaimed (Fukuyama, 1989, 1992).1 On the other, a ‘clash of civilizations’ is being predicted (Huntington, 1993).2 In the midst, the issues, the alliances, the coalitions, and the institutions that had dominated international dialogue in the last half-century are undergoing fundamental change. The collapse of cold war tensions has allowed other issues to take center-stage; issues such as international trade, economic development, and environmental quality. The upheaval in the geo-strategic landscape has rendered alliances from another era defunct; all across Africa, Latin America, and Asia regimes that never had real support at home find themselves deserted by the superpowers that had long sponsored and perpetuated their rule. Coalitions whose very rationale had been the ideological divide between East and West, toil to adjust to a world whose fault-lines have shifted; some like the Warsaw Pact have crumbled, others like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) struggle to seek a new mandate and even new partners, while yet others like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) turn their attention inwards as the battles move from being ideological to economic and the tensions are not as much with foes outside as between friends within. International institutions—no longer required to serve as sparring grounds for cold war politics—seek an expanded mandate, demand new powers; the World Bank with its gospel of structural adjustment, the United Nations in its role as global policeman