Featured Image: Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann in New York (2009). Estonian Foreign Ministry, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
“Let us become stewards of the world and its precious life. The United Nations is an ongoing experiment in partnership. Let’s inspire these partnerships with solidarity and compassion. The trigger for this solidarity does not lie with world leaders. Nor government bureaucracies. Nor the corporations. It comes from people, from civil society, from ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things.”
This call for the development of political will for cooperation and solidarity remains valid today. The question we must ask ourselves is why has there been so little progress toward compassion as a motive for action. The United Nations has the structures for mediation, good offices, arbitration, and judicial settlement of disputes. Thus; an important question is why States so seldom resort to these dispute settlement mechanisms. There is a crucial role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can play. Although the term “world public opinion” has been overused; there is a certain reality to the term. NGOs can provide some pressure to resolve international conflicts peacefully.
Currently we see the rise of strong, transnational currents of world public opinion around three related themes: the impact of climate change, the protection of biodiversity, and the dangers of world-wide hunger. Youths are taking an increasing role in these efforts. We will have to see if these efforts continue. My analysis is that there are no quick solutions nor great short-term changes. Thus these three issues will continue and grow in importance. Compassion and respect for Nature are at the heart of these efforts. Father d’Escoto Brockmann’s call may become the symbol of these efforts.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann (2019). Estonian Foreign Ministry, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.