September 11th: Its Impact on Effective Civil Society Engagement in Issues of Global Concern

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Faculty Tower
Wednesday, October 17, 2001 - 12:00pm
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Wednesday, October 17, 2001 - 12:00pm to 6:00pm

The tragic events of September 11 understandably changed the focus of the world's attention away from the inequities and challenges of globalization to the military, political and economic implications of a worldwide "war on terrorism". Yet, the voices of civil society that emphasize the need for reforms in our global governance system and the necessity to constrain the impact of globalization must not be sidelined by the louder calls for revenge and national security.

The Commission on Globalization was convening this day of discussions, in light of recent events, as an opportunity for the globalization dialogue to continue among civil society activists and thoughtful commentators from throughout Europe. The gathering focused on the challenge of navigating through the shifting public policy terrain in a way that allowed us to continue to convene dialogues and catalyze actions concerning the fundamental global issues confronting the human community.

The Commission on Globalization is an international network of leaders from business, government, and civil society committed to a multi-stakeholder inquiry into the nature and character of globalization. The mission of the Commission is to discern the values, policies, and actions essential to creating a more equitable and sustainable future. A variety of Commissioners were coming to the Central European University to join with colleagues in a deeper analysis of certain globalization issues. This one-day event preceded two days of a more rigorous exploration of specific issues. Participants were invited to attend the entire three days of discussions.

The impact of the rhetoric of war on the public debate on globalization was unclear. Equally unclear was its impact on the nature and momentum of the protests as well as on the viability of multi-stakeholder deliberations. It was important, therefore, that during that time of uncertainty we constantly monitored and readjusted our positions and strategy. We asked the audience to join us to assist with an assessment of the situation and the development of a politically sophisticated way forward.