Globalization is irreversible and not an option – Kofi Annan

  • 1 October 1999

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan describes globalization as "an irreversible process, not an option". He says it is a positive force, but it is also blind and therefore needs to be carefully harnessed.

His report says that national efforts to meet the challenges of globalization, in particular institution-building, are necessary but not sufficient. Action on a global scale, involving multilateral institutions as well as the world’s leading economies, is imperative.

Globalization demands greater responsibilities from all countries, according to the UN Secretary General’s report. It says that for developing countries, integration into a globalized and highly competitive world economy entails many new challenges.

The report lists these as:

“In a globally integrated market place, both developing and developed countries need to accept greater responsibility, transparency and accountability in policy-making”, the report to the General Assembly adds.

“Globalization of the economy implies globalization of responsibility and response capacity. But governments alone or even together cannot deliver without the cooperation of such key actors in the global economy as the private sector and the civil society.”