One was aghast at seeing Libyan diplomats defect the Gaddafi Government. Diplomats are usually very circumspect folks and this brings up the idea of private initiatives to Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) democracies in entire parts of he world.
Seems like an unusual business idea but by the time official folks in the UN and member nations are able to get going ,countless lives will be ruined in different parts of the Arab world. This will cause more damage than disease because they are caused by not being able to get democratic governments organized and functioning peacefully and quickly.
Typically, global Government consulting firms look for a) first a functioning Government and then b) For some project that asks for help in improving systems,processes etc. Now they need to move more upstream, that is help in setting up Governments that are elected and perhaps help with elections.
Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, the awakening in the Arab world throws up enormous opportunity for private involvement in getting democracies to function.The skills and know-how exist among serving and retired personnel in the UN,NATO forces etc. to advise,guide and hand-hold on issues like holding proper elections, helping with writing constitutions,getting security forces trained, getting businesses and employment opportunities going, improving status of women,literacy education and health. In fact, a lot of folks need urgent help with devising playbooks for getting their societies on track ASAP.
In other words firms in the Government advising space need to move more upstream to offer help and advise in quickly getting functioning governments going. With gas expected to reach $5 a gallon there is not much time to loose, whether you live in the developed or developing countries. Libyan diplomats seem to have done the right thing in speaking up, it’s up to the rest of the world including private organizations to now step up.To begin with, the UN should start reaching out to Government consulting firms that already have some footprint in the middle east.