Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble
Rede auf der 45. Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz - 07.02.2009
|Redner:||Schäuble, Dr. Wolfgang|
|Funktion:||Bundesminister des Innern, Berlin|
|Land / Organisation:||Deutschland|
Although the term "governance" as it is used today has not been around for very long, it describes an old social reality and an old phenomenon: that policy decisions are made not by government bodies alone, but are always also influenced by non-state, civil society actors.
The term "governance" expresses the fact that state structures, whose legitimacy and authority are governed by a constitution, are assisted in their decision-making by informal structures. What is new is our unfinished search for a "global governance".
Globalization: Altered challenges
In 1989, hardly anyone was talking about globalization. Europe and Germany were still divided by the Iron Curtain, although globalization, like governance, had already been around for a long time, of course. But the world and the perception threat have fundamentally changed since then.
Borders between nation-states are growing less and less important, as is the distinction between internal and external security. Policy-makers are forced to react appropriately to the shrinking significance of borders as well as to their active removal.
There is no longer a confrontation between the Eastern Bloc and the West, no more "balance of terror". These have been replaced by countless asymmetries, the "simultaneity of the non-simultaneous" (Ernst Bloch).
Such asymmetries can shake the foundations of our world order, for example the global economic imbalances between the US, Europe and Asia that have contributed to the ongoing global financial and economic crisis. But in the field of security politics we also have asymmetric conflicts, failing states and ever more powerful non-state actors – such as international terrorism.
We are therefore facing altered security challenges: organized cross-border crime, global migration flows, cyber crime and cyber warfare against the information infrastructures of private companies or governments, just to mention a few of the threats.
The Internet and other media permeated national borders long ago. After all, globalization means first of all an increase in information, communication and mutual dependence.
International terrorism as a phenomenon of globalization
One of the greatest challenges for security authorities around the world is international terrorism. In fact, the structure and activities of international terrorism depend on globalization, without which terrorism could not be so efficient or brutal.
Terrorists take advantage of media networks with their global coverage and rapid response times to spread their inhuman messages made available on video or the Internet. The Internet serves as a communications platform, advertising medium, distance university and think-tank all rolled into one.
The strategy of international terrorism is to undermine the legitimacy of government authority by demonstrating any government's impotence in the face of cruel attacks. For this demonstration to succeed, media are needed to transmit the message.
At the same time, terrorist networks exploit regional or religious conflicts for their own inhuman aims, as demonstrated most recently by the horrific attacks in Mumbai. Here too, those who planned and organized the attacks placed the media impact of terrorism at the top of their agenda.
International terrorism needs globalization. To put it in the language of criminology: Globalization provides motives and promotes opportunities.
Importance of international cooperation
No nation can face these immense new challenges alone. This is why the entire global community depends on effective cooperation today more than ever.
We need close, trusting cooperation in bilateral partnerships and supra-national organizations such as the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.
We still have plenty of options in this regard. I am convinced there is still room for improvement in key areas of intra-governmental and supra-national cooperation.
Now that almost everyone agrees that unilateral measures hardly yield satisfying results today, we must come to multilateral decisions within the framework of our existing partnerships and alliances, and then carry out these decisions multilaterally as well - by military means, if absolutely necessary, or increasingly by using police.
Up to now, the tendency has been for others to decide multilaterally what the United States is then supposed to do unilaterally. That can't be right.
Anyone who thinks we have nothing to do with Afghanistan and that everything would be fine if we just stayed within our own national borders does not understand how globalization works. Globalization means that no one is an island; instead, every country must do its utmost so that international terrorism does not reach it too one day.
We Europeans must learn how to speak with one voice -preferably on the single telephone number for Europe that Henry Kissinger looked for in vain. And we must learn to see the European Union not as a rival to the United States, but as a stable pillar within the transatlantic alliance.
We need the cooperation of NGOs, private companies, welfare organizations, churches and religious groups, citizens' initiatives, charitable foundations and aid organizations. If we want to strive for the lofty ideal of global governance, we must work together with such non-state actors in a mostly informal but cooperative and productive network.
How realistic is global governance?
Admittedly, global governance today is more a guiding star than political reality. And as attractive as the concept of global governance is, there are still some unanswered questions.
These are above all questions of transparency, efficiency and democratic legitimacy. Even powerful, globally active NGOs play only an advocacy role and often have no mandate, not even from those they claim to represent.
Global governance depends on a willingness to engage in dialogue, on the sincerity and trustworthiness of all actors. It requires a certain amount of consensus and rules which all participants agree to abide by. And we know that the reliability of international agreements and conventions can sometimes be a problem.
Making it easier at least for state actors to take part in global governance would require urgent changes to international law, which is still largely based on realities that have long ceased to exist.
To give you one example: We must ask ourselves whether existing international law is still adequate to deal with the new threats posed by international terrorism. This is why I launched the "Schwielowsee dialogue", named for a beautiful lake south-west of Berlin. In this dialogue, we are talking with our counterparts in the U.S. and key European partner states about possible new instruments of international law to counter the terrorist threat. This dialogue also addresses issues of extra-territorial self-defence in counter-terrorism and preventive measures which are in full compliance with the international legal framework to protect human rights.
By the way, I do not view global governance as a step towards a global state or a world government. Global cooperation is the only way to master the new, asymmetric global challenges of the twenty-first century. No nation can manage these tasks on its own, nor can the entire international community do so without the help of non-state, civil society actors. We must work together to find appropriate security policy responses to the realities of the twenty-first century.
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