Global Agenda Council on Institutional Governance Systems 2012-2014
International organizations are essential yet polarizing actors in today’s multidimensional and multistakeholder world. Their missions range from improving global health to defining trade policies to preventing wars and rebuilding societies. They are called on to solve some of the world’s most entrenched issues – what Kofi Annan called “problems without passports”. Throughout their history, international organizations have been criticized for being ineffective, slow to react and lacking in power. There is some merit to these criticisms. But much of the problem stems from the lack of transparency regarding their strategies, the impact of their work and their methods for self-evaluation. Without sufficient accountability, international organizations risk coming under increased criticism and scrutiny. They could find themselves spending more time defending their existence than focusing on their mission.