What are the function and problems within the globalization process?
"Globalization creates new challenges and opportunities for those people who are of greatest
concern to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement - that is, the Disadvantaged. The
humanitarian players - that is, the UN system and its organisations, the Red Cross Red Crescent,
NGOs - have several roles to play in relation to globalization. We should monitor the impact of
globalization and help governments to strengthen safety nets and provide basic social services.
We must reinforce our efforts to address the needs of vulnerable people and we must adapt our
methods of assistance and do all we can to prevent additional, or new, groups from becoming
vulnerable. We need a stronger commitment to co-operation and co-ordination among ourselves,
with governments and local civil society.
" We must also contribute to the global policy agenda to ensure that globalisation
moves in the right direction and supports efforts to reduce poverty and vulnerability. The
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is particularly well-placed to
support this endeavour through its network of 176 National Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies who are in a special position to inform their governments as to the needs of vulnerable
people. This morning, I would like us - participants, fellow panellists - to examine together how
globalization can reduce vulnerability. We need to ask ourselves some key questions. Firstly:
How can we ensure participation in the globalization process? It is true that globalization can
enable poorer countries to participate more effectively in the multilateral trading system.
However, it is not true that these opportunities are within the reach of all countries. In fact, only
a handful of developing countries are really in a position to participate in the process and benefit
from the new opportunities. 12 developing countries account for some 70% of exports from the
developing world and they receive more than 90% of the investment flowing from developed to
developing countries. These countries are mainly located in Latin America and Asia - none of
them in Africa. There is a real risk of exclusion and further marginalization of countries and
people. This is cause for real concern within the humanitarian agencies and this particular topic
will be addressed at the forthcoming UN Conference on Least Developed Countries to be held in
Brussels next month. Humanitarian players need to to advocate forcefully in favour of inclusion
for these least developed countries. The International Federation believes that more countries
can take advantage of globalization if the international trading system is based on equitable trade
rules, transparency and reduced trade barriers. The new WTO Round planned to start later this
year will address the further development of the international trade regime. I do hope it earns its
nickname - "the development round". It is vital that all countries have a say in setting the agenda
for the new Round and its implementation. The poorer countries should seize that opportunity to
influence the terms of international trade. And we must be ready to facilitate their participation,
to enable them to make necessary adaptations and take advantage of new trade opportunities.We
need to place increased emphasis on capacity building and the transfer of "know-how" to poorer
countries. It is not only the countries which need better access. Vulnerable people need a
stronger voice within the international system in order to make their concerns heard by
governments and the institutions that manage the multilateral economic system. Over the last
years, we have often seen vulnerable people and their advocates show their resistance to
economic globalisation. This debate is legitimate but our objective should be to get it off the
streets and into the boardrooms and assembly halls where it belongs. Civil society should be
included more consistently in the globalization processes. Humanitarian Agencies can - and
should - contribute to the strengthening of local civil society. For the Red Cross Red Crescent
Movement the strengthening of local capacities and local civil society is a necessary and
important feature of our operations. Here is another question which I would like us to examine
together: How can we encourage a better balance between economic growth and social progress?
Increased export income does not necessarily improve the situation of vulnerable people. The
distribution of new wealth and opportunities is often less then equitable, and can create new
vulnerability and exclusion. We need to seek an improved balance between economic efficiency
and economic equity. I am glad that global consensus has been reached on the internationally
agreed development targets. The UN Millennium Summit