What Does Globalization Have to Do With Regionalism?
Every movement has contingents, people who emphasize one or another aspect of the movement. Therefore, people and organizations deeply concerned about the growth of regionalism frame their objections differently. Most voters are familiar with the concerns of taxpayer advocates (taxation that results in hardships), individual liberties advocates (central planning), strict Constitutionalists (destruction of representative government), and social justice activists (inequitable taxation and inequitable accrual of benefits).
However, voters may not be as familiar with concerns over globalization of governments. Those who oppose this type of globalization, oppose regionalism as representing a first step towards a global government. From this perspective, the United Nations is viewed as the principal incubator of agendas that obliterate local self determination.
The 8 Millennium Development Goals
The agenda that significantly expanded the U.N.’s influence on participating countries was Agenda 21, the central document of which was the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an uncomplicated cheerful list of eight poverty-fighting targets that member countries needed to adopt and meet. The MDGs were implemented in 2000, with targets to be met in 2015.
The United Nations considers the 8 Millennium Development Goals achieved, although it admits improvement was uneven among countries and results were affected by the success of China and India, both very large populous countries.
However, in spite of the MDGs achievements, a significant downside noted by those opposed to globalism is the expansion of global reach into sovereign countries, without direct input from residents and voters of the countries.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Bureaucracies have a tendency to grow. Therefore it is not surprising that the successor to the 8 Millennium Development Goals are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs differ from the MDGs not only in number but also in scope and ambition. The MDGs focused primarily on developing countries; the SDGs targets changes in all countries. The MDGs called primarily for decreasing poverty in developing countries by half. The SDGs calls for complete eradication of poverty worldwide, and additionally sets goals relating to the stability, human rights and good governance of individual countries.
Global Goals and Country Legislation
The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and President Barack Obama committed the U.S. to the cause during his U.N. speech on sustainability in 2015.
“And so, today, we commit ourselves to new Sustainable Development Goals, including our goal of ending extreme poverty in our world. We do so understanding how difficult the task may be. We suffer no illusions of the challenges ahead. But we understand this is something that we must commit ourselves to.”
We note that in order to “commit ourselves to” the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, every state, county, and city must implement legislation, rules, regulations, and funding sources that help meet the goals’ targets. This commitment derived from a global mandate is what those concerned with globalization of sovereign governments oppose.