Fostering Sustainable Human Development

Managing the Macro-risks of Vulnerability

Kaul 2014
By Kaul, Inge

The purpose of this paper is to trace and characterize the factors that contribute to today’s multiplying signs and incidences of vulnerability, and, based on this analysis, to suggest possible corrective policy steps. The findings show that the risks of vulnerability emerging during recent decades tend to be of a systemic or macro nature. Their root cause appears to lie in the persisting gap between the transnational reach that marks more and more policy issues, and the still essentially national focus of public policy-making. The policy recommendations flowing from this analysis include: introducing global issues management into governance systems, nationally and internationally; promoting a notion of mutually respectful and ‘smart’ sovereignty; and establishing, within the United Nations, a Global Stewardship Council, i.e., a standing high-level body of independent eminent personalities mandated to advise intergovernmental bodies on policy options aimed at fostering global equity and longer term sustainability.