Re: Where are we?

The major big idea for me which I would want the world to understand – in particular the west . . . the western powers – is the notion of interconnectedness of global challenges. Climate change, stem cell research, globalization, nuclear weapons, terrorism, poverty . . . all these global challenges are interconnected. You can’t solve the issues of our climate change without addressing global poverty. You can’t solve the issues around terrorism without addressing the issue of human rights. It is imperative for all global players to understand that we must be seeking a global victory. We must be seeking global success. Yes, maybe you can’t concentrate on all the challenges. But as you address climate change as a problem, realize that climate change is linked to poverty. It’s linked to human rights. It’s linked to nuclear weapons as a challenge. And so we need more holistic models; more encompassing, unified approaches in terms of addressing global challenges. So that’s my major concern; because when I listen to my friends in America and my friends in Europe, they seem to have this atomic approach to challenges where they are so concerned about global warming and climate change. And they do not, in the same breath, discuss about a starving peasant in Somalia. A starving peasant in Somalia cannot have a green agenda; cannot think about global warming. They will eat grass. They will cause deforestation because they have to survive. So if you are serious about addressing climate change, you must at the same time address issues around poverty. So in summary, all global challenges are interconnected. You can’t solve one challenge without addressing the other. Terrorism, for example. You can’t have a war on terror without addressing the grievances that those people who are involved in terrorism have. We will never endorse and support terrorism as a philosophy. But it would be naïve and simplistic to think that we can fight terrorism without asking ourselves why just this week, seven doctors were involved in terrorist attacks in England. Seven doctors who are successful people who are doing well in the world. We must ask ourselves what would cause a medical doctor who is at the top of his class to decide to turn in their life in pursuit of a cause. What is the cause? And the reason we say this is when we address some of the issues that create fertile grounds for terrorism, then we can solve the issue around terrorism. So which means political grievances, economic grievances that Africans have, Asians, Arabs, Europeans, Americans must be addressed. So this is what we seek – a holistic and unified approach to all global challenges. And more importantly, within countries, less also look in all sectors of society. In America for example – America is a good country – but what’s happening in the ghettos of America? The poor white people in America? The poor black people in America? As we speak right now, one-third of young, black males in America are in prison, on parole or probation in this great nation. Why? How can a super power – the greatest nation on planet earth – have a third of an ethnic group . . . A third of the young black males in America are in prison, on parole or probation. Why? Why can’t we come up with a sociological and societal solution? So we are pushing for solutions ________ that cover all classes, all races, male, female so that our populations, our people are happy. And that same philosophy is our plight in the globe. You can’t have success in Japan when there’s failure in Somalia and Zimbabwe. You can’t have success in America when there’s chaos in Iraq and Cuba. We must pursue global success. We must pursue global victory. Climate change affects all countries, so you can’t fix climate change in America without fixing climate change in Sudan. And also poverty, human rights and other issues.There are some countries in Africa that are doing fairly well. Just to name a few: Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana and Senegal. Those are good examples. They’re having challenges, but they’re moving. South Africa has done well in terms of institution building. Mandela came and went. Mbeki is leaving in 2009. So at least that’s an achievement. Leaders are coming and going in Africa through democratic systems. Kofuor came to power through a democratic process. ________ economic reforms in Ghana. Things are moving. Mauritius. These are some very interesting examples of economic transformation. Africa has so much potential. Three drivers in Africa. One, natural resources. We have so many natural resources. We are the richest continent on planet earth. The problem is in terms of extracting those resources, refining those resources, and using those resources for the benefit of Africa. Secondly, human capital. There are so many well educated Africans who are in Europe, who are in America, who are in Africa. We have the potential in terms of human capital – excellent human capital. And that human capital can be used to drive African economies. Our infrastructure – not so great in some parts, but potentially it can be fixed. So using our natural resources, using our human capital, and using effective infrastructure and building new infrastructure, Africa can do well. And those examples I’ve indicated are an illustration that it’s possible for African countries to rise up and be players under globalization. Recorded On: 7/5/07

Every global challenge is connected.

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