Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Time to Unite

As the UN General Assembly begins its sixty-ninth session, as the world looks beyond the Millennium Development Goals of 2015 and sets about laying the foundations for lasting sustainable development, as we discover that we need one billion USD to combat the spread of the Ebola virus, we have an unnecessary polarization of East and West. Does it make sense?

Many were those, myself included, who at the turn of the century and the beginning of the Third Millennium, had high hopes for a fresh start, a reset, as the world came together to discuss serious issues around the theme of environmental measures and packages to implement sustainable development. The Millennium Development Goals were drawn up at the Millennium Summit at the United Nations building in New York in September 2000. The international community set eight goals with clear targets to be reached by the year 2015, aiming at (Goal 1) halving the number of undernourished persons, (2) achieving universal primary education, (3) promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, (4) reducing child mortality, (5) improving maternal health, (6) combating AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases, (7) ensuring environmental sustainability and (8) developing a global partnership for the development of these goals.

So, where is the partnership? Since 2000, the West in general, NATO in particular and the FUKUS Axis (France-UK-US) especially, have followed on from their illegal attack against Yugoslavia and their scandalous disregard for international law, trying to carve the heart of Kosovo out of the Serbian nation, with over a decade of chaos in Afghanistan. They followed on with an illegal attack destroying the State of Iraq and breaking every law in the book in the process, another illegal attack against Libya, rendering a peaceful nation dangerous to live in and wholly dysfunctional, then interfering in Syria by cavorting with terrorists. Finally, in 2014, financing the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine and sponsoring an illegal coup, which saw a self-styled Government impose itself without respecting Ukrainian law, then issuing anti-Russian edicts amid calls for the death of Russians and Jews on the streets of Kiev, after protesters fired on their own supporters in the crowds to blame the police and create a cause.

This is hardly what the Millennium Summit had in mind. The idea was to forge a global partnership of development, in which countries pooled resources to help one another, spent 0.7 per cent of their GDP on overseas development projects and not 2 per cent on NATO (with its annual budget of 1.2 trillion USD). The idea was to work together, to respect sovereign states, to use the United Nations Organization as the proper forum for discussion of issues and resolution of crises, the idea was not to engage in skullduggery, subversion and suppression, it was not to meddle in complex societies thousands of years old, empowering groups which did not have power and upsetting the status quo, it was not to arm terrorists to overthrow Governments unwanted by the West but by no means unpopular in their own countries.

And now, precisely at the time when Russia was trying to persuade the Ukrainian freedom fighters in Novorossiya to proceed with a peace plan (after Kiev had twice refused to accept one) and at a time when Kiev is offering special status to the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk (after it had refused even to speak to the rebels and after Poroshenko had promised to crush them within one day), what does the West do? Why, it imposes a third round of sanctions against Russia.

Moscow deserves a medal for patience. It still refers to the West as its "partners" and still follows a measured and deferential approach to international relations with those that Moscow knows would stab Russia in the back if they could, and those that are today planning the break-up of Russia into a series of micro States whose energy resources the West will build a one-way highway for - outwards.

But this is always Russia's response. It is measured, it is stable, it follows the precepts of international law...the Russian Federation, along with the BRICS, most of Latin America, most of South-East Asia, most of Africa, behave as nations are supposed to do, while the pariahs today in the international community are the West and its disgusting bedboy, Israel.

It is not the international community that has to change, it is the West in general, NATO in particular and the FUKUS Axis especially. Instead of imposing a third round of sanctions against Russia (which will be replied to in kind...and let the West be warned that Latin America and others are queueing up to fill any gaps and shut the West out of its markets just because of a fit of pique and because its leaders/lobbies threw the toys out of the pram), the West could have used the ceasefire in Novorossiya to build bridges and mend fences which the West itself had broken.

After all, we live in a world in which the global health authorities have yet again watched Ebola Virus Disease spin out of control in West Africa, instead of acting right at the beginning of the outbreak in the Republic of Guinea, months ago, imposing a travel ban (internally and externally) and a curfew of three weeks to attack the virus in the bud. Now with around 2,500 deaths (plus the unreported ones), the disease has become a threat to global security: imagine if something like that broke out in South-East Asia? Or São Paulo? Or Johannesburg? Or New York for that matter...

We live in a world in which half of the global population is at risk of Malaria, and the number will increase as the disease moves back into areas in which it was once endemic, such as Southern Europe, a world in which annually some 630,000 people die of the disease. We live in a world in which one million children do not live to see the end of their first day, in which 6.6 million children die before they have celebrated their fifth birthday. We live in a world in which one point five million people continue to die from complications related to HIV/AIDS every year, in a world in which diarrhea is still among the ten most common causes of death.

We live in a world in which up to one third of all women have suffered some form of abuse or harassment, in which extremism and intolerance are rising, in which violent groups, despite all the technological advances we have made, still have access to deadly weapons and in which acts of barbarity are increasing.

We live in societies which are sick to the core, in which children come out of schools unable to read or count in many cases, in which education and healthcare have become a business, in which people have forgotten how to eat a healthy diet, in which families are breaking down, in which morals have ceased to exist, in which people no longer communicate to the point when you want to solve a problem you get some halfwit reading from a screen on the other end of the line, or else get answered by a machine before the line goes dead.

And here we are with the West imposing sanctions on Russia exactly when Russia did everything possible to sponsor dialogue in Novorossiya, at a time when Russia is trying to foster friendly relations, when Russia's initiative avoided another imperialist adventure in Syria, when it was Russia that spoke out against Iraq, when it was Russia that spoke out against the Kosovo outrage, when it was Russia that spoke against the intervention in Libya.

The international community, it appears, needs more Russia's and a totally different approach from a belligerent and confused West. After all, we are supposed to be pulling together to face challenges, pooling resources to make the world a better place, not hiding behind walls with six pebbles in one hand and a dagger in the other.

Sometimes it gives me no pleasure at all to live in today's world, believe me. What is holding the West back from becoming a global player synchronized with the hearts and minds of the global community? A war?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru

(timothy.hinchey@gmail.com)

 

 

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