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News Release

Rebuild Trust and Improve Leadership for Effective Global Cooperation

Lucy Jay-Kennedy, Senior Media Manager, Tel.: +971 55 968 7791;

Arabic Version

  • To achieve effective global cooperation, efforts are needed to rebuild trust among countries and in leaders
  • National leaders should shun short-term thinking and focus on implementing long-term structural reforms
  • The insights emerging from the Summit on the Global Agenda 2011 will shape the agenda at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2012 and Mexico’s programme as next year’s G20 chair
  • More information about the Summit is available here:

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 11 October 2011 – The world urgently needs to rebuild trust in leaders, in governance systems and among countries if the international community is to shape new models and collaborative approaches to solve global challenges, political leaders and policy experts stressed in the closing session of the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda 2011. The global economic crisis and the financial turmoil in Europe have tested the relationships among nations and the trust of citizens in their governments.

“I see a real breakdown of the sense of trust among countries,” said Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House, United Kingdom. “We need to focus as much on building trust between communities rather than [any new] architecture” of global cooperation. “I would hesitate saying that we have to throw out all institutions,” Bill Richardson III, Chairman of Global Political Strategies Group, APCO Worldwide, USA, agreed. “Building coalitions of the willing and reviving existing institutions are the models that need to be pursued.”

Without trust, vital cooperation to address global problems will be impossible at a time when collaboration is what is most urgently needed. “Coordination and interdependence of markets is very key,” reckoned Linah K. Mohohlo, Governor and Board Chairman of the Bank of Botswana. “Cooperation and collaboration need to be the new norm,” added Lana Nusseibeh, Minister Plenipotentiary and Director, Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates. Concluded Jose Antonio Torre Medina, Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Business Regulation of Mexico: “We need to take collective action where every country, every citizen too, does their part. It is not in the hands of a single country or a single person.”

But rebuilding trust in leaders and among countries depends on improving the quality and competence of national governance. “Politicians need to garner enough courage to overcome “short-termness” and bias to take long-term structural reform measures,” explained He Yafei, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of China to the UN and Other International Organizations, Geneva. “We need action, not hesitation. We need boldness, not cowardice.”

A key factor in building trust is transparency, Mohohlo noted. “The public needs to be very much aware of what is going on.” And people must understand the full consequences of government decisions. Youth in particular have to participate in the decision-making. "Young people need to have ownership of their future,” Ambassador He Yafei advised.

The Summit on the Global Agenda 2011 brought together more than 800 thought leaders and experts on 79 of the most pressing global issues. The insights and new models generated by the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils will help to shape the agenda of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters in January 2012. They will also contribute to the consultations that the Forum is holding with France, the current chair of the G20, and next year’s chair, Mexico.

“This bold and intelligent process is an antidote to conventional thinking,” Torre said. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, congratulated the Council Members for their successful brainstorming: “We all came here engaged in our small world and now we see a pattern of the world of tomorrow with all its challenges.”

Notes to Editors
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