Global Coup d’État: Mapping the Corporate Takeover of Global Governance (TNI)

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LYNN FRIES: Hello and welcome. I’m Lynn Fries, producer of Global Political Economy or GPEnewsdocs. Today I’m joined by Nick Buxton. He’s going to be giving us some big picture of context on The Great Reset, a World Economic Forum initiative to reset the world system of global governance.

A worldwide movement crossing not only borders but all walks of life from peasant farmers to techies is fighting against this initiative on the grounds that it represents a major threat to democracy. Key voices from the health, food, education, indigenous peoples and high tech movements explained why in The Great Take Over: How we fight the Davos capture of global governance , a recent webinar hosted by the Transnational Institute.

Today’s guest, Nick Buxton is a publications editor and future labs coordinator at the Transnational Institute. He is the founder and chief editor of TNI’s flagship State of Power report. Welcome. Nick.

NICK BUXTON: Thank you very much, Lynn.

FRIES : The Transnational Institute was co-organizer of The Great Takeover webinar. So what is it that you’re mobilizing against by opposing this Great Reset Initiative.

BUXTON: What we’re really concerned about is really that this initiative by the World Economic Forum actually looks to entrench the power of those most responsible for the crises we’re facing. In many ways, it’s a trick. It’s a sleight of hand to make sure that things continue as they are; to continue the same.

That will create more of these crises, more of these pandemics, will deepen the climate crisis, which will deepen inequality. It’s not a Great Reset at all. It’s a Great Corporate Takeover. And that’s what we were trying to draw attention to.

What we’ve been finding in recent years is that really there is something I would call it a kind of a global, silent coup d’état going on in terms of global governance. Most people don’t see it.

And people have become familiar with the way that corporations have far more influence and are being integrated into policymaking at a national level. They see that more in front of them. People see their services being privatized. They see the influence of the oil companies or the banking sector that has stopped actions such as regulation of banks or of dealing with a climate crisis.

What people don’t realize is a global level there has been something much more silent going on. Which is that their governance, which used to be by nations, is now increasingly being done by unaccountable bodies dominated by corporations . And part of the problem is that that has been happening in lots of different sectors but people haven’t been connecting the dots.

So what we’ve been trying to do in the last year is to talk with people in the health movement, for example; people involved in public education; people involved in the food sector; to say what is happening in your sector?

And what we found is that in each of these sectors, global decisions that used to be discussed by bodies such as the WHO or such as the Food and Agriculture Organization were increasingly done by these unaccountable bodies.

Just to give an example, we have now the global pandemic and one of the key bodies that is now making the decisions is a facility called COVAX [COVID-19 Vaccines Global Alliance]. You’d have thought global health should be run by the World Health Organization. It is accountable to the United Nations. It has a system of accountability.

Well, what’s actually happening is that the World Health Organization is just one of a few partners but really [COVAX] it’s being controlled by corporations and corporate interests. In this case it is GAVI [The Vaccine Alliance formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization] and CEPI [The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations].

And they are both bodies, which don’t have a system of accountability. Where it’s not clear who chose them; who they’re accountable to; or how they can be held to account. And what we do see is that there’s a lot of corporate influence in each of these bodies.

What this webinar was about was about bringing all these sectors together who have seen this silent coup d’état going on in their own sector to map it out. And so one of the things that you’ll see in the webinar is this mapping of the different sectors who are seeing this going on.

And the idea is just to give a global picture that this is something happening. We’ve had more than a hundred of these, they are called multi-stakeholder bodies come into the fore in the last 20 years.

And there’s been very little kind of taking note of that and taking stock of what’s emerging. And what’s emerging is this silent global coup d’état.

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