Larger freedom [Archives:2005/831/Viewpoint]

April 7 2005

“At no time in human history have the fates of every woman, man and child been so intertwined across the globe. We are united both by moral imperatives and by objective interests. We can build a world in larger freedom ) but to do it we must find common ground and sustain collective action. This task can seem daunting, and it is easy to descend into generalities or stray into areas of such deep disagreement that differences are reinforced not overcome.”

This was a part of the “In larger Freedom” report presented by the secretary-general of the United Nations to the general assembly last month. The aim of the report was to assess the situation in the world until the first half of last year. Of the nearly 50 pages report, perhaps the most striking lines I read were the lines I quoted to you above.

It seems that even the simple fact that people of the world depend on each other is not comprehended by many. Today, it feels very natural for someone from Asia to relate to someone in Latin America or Australia or anywhere else in the world. And that the world is a circle of people joining hands, what you give eventually goes back to you.

It's not about deeper freedom, real freedom or even free freedom it is about larger freedom. To understand that the implications of policies goes way beyond the boarder line, and the more powerful the politics are the further the impact goes. This is precisely why, governments of the world must be accountable to their the whole world about their decisions and actions. Mainly because harm can not be undone, and no one can bring thousands of lives that have been taken unfairly in Palestine, Iraq, Yemen or anywhere else in the world.

Larger freedom means more space for mutual grounds, it means standing on the same base as equals. It means that the whole world is responsible for each and every country. There is no excuse for why a child starved to death in Africa, or why citizens from Cuba are imprisoned in USA jails without trial. There is no justification if a curd loses a limp because of not being able to reach the hospital, and no reason why thousands of Indonesians are dead today because of lack of services in emergencies.

What we need now is leaders of the world to feel responsible. And for them to come around and move a little to make space for one another so that we all stand as equals on common ground. The acts of terrorism in anywhere in this globe are not by mere coincidence, and while we engage in our self centered interests we must always keep in mind that what goes around, eventually, comes around.