The World Economic Forum (WEF) unveiled a new global public opinion survey that suggests that trust in many key institutions has fallen to critical proportions. Taken in total, the findings from the Voice of the People survey reveal a global public opinion climate that is particularly critical of democratic institutions and companies.
Conducted by Gallup International, the 2002 survey, designed in collaboration with Environics International, included interviews with 36,000 citizens across 47 countries on six continents. With this sample, results are statistically representative of the views of 1.4 billion citizens. Respondents were asked to rate their level of trust in 17 different institutions "to operate in the best interest of society."
The results disclose a dramatic lack of trust in democratic institutions and global and large national companies. Trust is even low when it comes to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions and media organizations around the world. The highest levels of trust worldwide are enjoyed by the armed forces, non-governmental organizations and the UN.
Perhaps one of the most positive findings is the relatively high level of trust that citizens express in the United Nations (UN). While the UN receives strong levels of trust across North America, Western Europe and Africa, it gets the least trust in the Middle East (Turkey and Israel) and in Latin America.
Citizens have as much trust in the media as they have in their national governments, with governments enjoying greater trust than parliament/congress in most countries. Media enjoys the highest trust in the Asia Pacific region and Africa, and the lowest trust in the Middle East (Turkey and Israel) and some European countries.
National governments are most trusted today in North America and some European countries, and least trusted in the Middle East—especially in Turkey—and Latin America.
The World Economic Forum’s 33rd Annual Meeting will be held in Davos (23-28 January) under the theme ‘Building Trust’. The Meeting, which has convened in Davos, Switzerland, since 1971, will take place in an extraordinary climate of global uncertainty and complexity.
The past year has witnessed the breakdown of trust in many sectors of society. “Restoring confidence is one of the most important leadership challenges today,” said Klaus Schwab, President of the World Economic Forum.
“The Forum is a challenger of ideas and a facilitator of action. As such, we will devote this Annual Meeting to discussing the necessary steps to build trust in leaders and institutions in a multistakeholder approach,” he added. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )