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The answers to the Dialog of Civilizations survey

English Pages, 19. 4. 2020

Dear Mr. Bas,

I have many problems with participating in your survey. I disagree with the questions in it because they are one-sided and aprioristic. I don’t believe that “institutions such as the United Nations are paramount in developing policies and initiatives that will help move the world forward”. Plus I don’t think we are facing global challenges. Even the coronavirus pandemic – considered a global problem – has been solved exclusively at the national level. The role of the WHO is close to zero, if not negative.

Nevertheless, my three answers:

Q: In terms of the global governance necessary to address the challenges we are facing today, what are the greatest barriers to the United Nations?

A: The question No.1 is based on the wrong assumption that the global governance is necessary, and helpful. It is not. We don’t need the global governance, this is a not-democratic way of solving issues. The smaller the global governance, the better.

Q: If you could make one or two reforms to the UN as it stands now – regardless of political feasibility – what do you think would have the greatest impact?

A: The UN should be smaller, its budget radically cut, its staff fundamentally diminished, its number of agencies curtailed.

The UN must be made strictly intergovernmental, all supranational aspects of its functioning must be eliminated. The UN should not intervene into individual states.

Q: Thinking beyond the UN for a moment and about global governance more broadly, do you have a proposal for a model that may serve humanity more robustly than that which we currently have?

A: My proposal is very simple: to increase to role of nation-states as compared to the role of UN bureaucrats. The global governance doesn’t “serve humanity”, as you put it. To serve humanity is an empty phrase. There are – in economic terminology – public goods at the global level, but not many.

I know that I didn’t please you. The idea of the Dialog of  Civilizations was not built on the activity of the United Nations. On the contrary, as a criticism of it.

With my best regards

Václav Klaus

April 19 2020


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