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ActionAid staff and activists attend the Global Climate Strike in New York City, September 2019

Democratising global governance and multilateralism


Despite significant advances in international commitments and national legislation, human
rights are under attack in countries across the world. Dissenting voices are being silenced,
persecuted, jailed, and even killed. The ‘hidden power’ of international and regional financial
institutions and large corporations is growing, and in some cases shaping development and
undermining democratic processes.

New research by ActionAid reveals the extent to which corporate and right-wing threats are
dismantling our democratic systems. The research seeks to:

  • Demonstrate the links between neoliberalism, fundamentalisms, and the capture of open, democratic multilateral spaces;
  • Highlight how violations of the right to civic participation for civil society at the international level undermines the mandate of multilateral institutions and shrinks space for the equitable, democratic participation of governments, especially from the global south and;
  • Offer policy recommendations and alternatives strategies for states and multilateral institutions on how to protect and expand civil society engagement within multilateralism, notably for women and young people advancing progressive, people-centred agendas, both as a right and to ensure effective and sustainable responses to sustainable development including the multiple global crises we face.