In recent years, the United Nations and other multilateral organizations have joined activists, nongovernmental organizations, human rights treaty committees, national governments, transnational courts, and foundations to form a matrix of networks that use human rights as the basis for global governance. In place of more traditional and widely recognized civil and political rights, this matrix of human rights governance networks promotes the recognition, enforcement, and funding of a wide range of ambiguous economic, social, and cultural rights. This section tracks the continuing development and adaptation of this network and its implications for national sovereignty.
International nongovernmental organizations (“NGOs”) are promoting global governance and, through their cooperation with international organizations and national civil society organizations, are profoundly influencing national and transnational corporate policies. Though many NGOs operate in a non-transparent manner and are not democratically accountable, the United Nations Secretariat is engaging them on many economic, social, and cultural policy issues. This focus area highlights this cooperation and the manner in which NGOs are securing at the international level top-down policy mandates that they have been unable to secure at the national level.