Global Democracy Deficit
This is the perception, or reality, of an accountability gap between the major international institutions driving globalization and the people and nation states they affect. There are currently efforts to reform the decision-making processes of major international institutions so that the interests of poorer countries are better reflected and individuals and governments are better able to access information and hold accountable these institutions of the new global architecture.
The Human Development Report 2002 published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) focuses on the impact of democracy deficits at a local and global level. The report is concerned about the lack of influence of the world's poorest countries and points out that nearly half of the voting power in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) rests in the hands of seven countries. Although all countries have a vote and a seat in the World Trade Organization (WTO), in practice decisions are made in small group meetings and heavily influenced by the United States, the European Union, Canada, and Japan. In many of the poorer countries state capacity is so low that they cannot afford representation in these institutions; in 2000, 15 African WTO Member States did not have an office in Geneva to represent them at the WTO.
Transparency means that institutional discussions and decisions are open to public view and comment. Much criticism directed at international institutions concerns lack of transparency in decision-making. More recently, some large international nongovernmental organizations have been subject to similar criticism.