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Michael Møller

Promote just governance everywhere, says UN leader

Tuesday, 23. February 2016

Promoting just governance everywhere

Michael MøllerEarlier this month, a Dialogue on Just Governance brought 130 people to Asia Plateau, the Initiatives of Change conference centre in India. They came from 32 countries, many of them places of tension and conflict, such as South Sudan, Ukraine, North-East India, Sri Lanka, Mali.

Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, sent a video message wishing the participants 'a stimulating and successful conference'.

'The promotion of just governance is at the heart of the United Nations work for peace, rights and wellbeing,' he said. ‘Initiatives of Change is a strong partner in these endeavours. I have personally benefited from the inspiring exchanges at the annual Caux conference.' (See photos)

In his view, Mr Møller continued, 'current governance structures do not properly address today’s challenges. The Westphalian system with states as exclusive actors in international relations is outdated.... The humanitarian needs of more than 60 million refugees are putting the solidarity of the international community under strain. The fragmentation of governance continues to progress.'

He called for a ‘holistic approach to governance’, which enables all sectors to contribute – civil society, governments, parliaments, the private sector, think-tanks, academia. 'It is essential to restore mutual trust between people and their institutions at local, national and global levels.' For this to happen, 'justice and fairness need to be guiding principles.’

Progress is possible, he concluded, pointing to Asian countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka as examples. ‘But the path is a long one and I am glad that we can count on you to promote just governance everywhere.'

Read the full message here.