Entries with content relating to ‘Governance (Global)’, in chronological order.

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Aiglon College Graduation Ceremony (Chesières, Switzerland)

As I look around me, my deep sense is that today the strongest human force, sadly, is fear…. At this time, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees believes that there are some 50 million people who are either refugees or internally displaced persons. Far more than ever before. Practically every one of them — women, men, children, the sick — have been touched by fear and many still live in fear. At no time in human history has a percentage of human population living in fear and who has been uprooted [been] as great as it is today. And this issue is affecting the whole of our world with all the consequences we see …

So you may be asking yourselves, if fear is omnipresent — as I believe it is, what does that mean about the world in which the graduands of l’Aiglon will enter? And you will be asking yourselves how, as nano-players on the global scene, you could cause positive change to happen for yourselves, your families, your peoples. My answer is: hope. Fortunately, just as fear can be infectious, so hope is infectious…. Governments and institutions must create an Enabling Environment in which hope can flourish.

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Opening Remarks, Business Leaders Award to Fight Human Trafficking Award Ceremony (Luxor, Egypt)

I am convinced that, over time, the most effective weapon to combat human trafficking will be civil society’s rejection of these vile activities. It will be essential, therefore, to share the knowledge accumulated by the Award’s activities with civil society organisations around the world — including schools which teach about business, and the leisure industry, and the widest possible range of professional associations, NGOs, and community associations, from the cities and the countryside….

As this process of observation and analysis goes forward, we will also be better able to identify those situations which most readily give rise to human trafficking — including extreme poverty, conflict situations of all sorts, civil disorder, and the collapse of the family — and thus to predict areas where human trafficking is most likely to grow, or will be most difficult to eradicate. Predictability, in turn, will allow us to act more pre-emptively in protecting humankind against this scourge.

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10th Annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture, Institute for Canadian Citizenship, ‘Pluralism’, and apres lecture conversation with John Ralston Saul (Toronto, Canada)

The variety of the world is not only more available, it is nearly inescapable. Human difference is more proximate and more intense. What was once beyond our view is now at our side and, indeed, to use the popular expression, “in our face.” … The challenge of diversity is now a global challenge and how we address it will have global consequences….

I believe that the challenge of pluralism is never completely met. Pluralism is a process and not a product. It is a mentality, a way of looking at a diverse and changing world. A pluralistic environment is a kaleidoscope that history shakes every day. Responding to pluralism is an exercise in constant re-adaptation. Identities are not fixed in stone. What we imagine our communities to be must also evolve with the tides of history. As we think about pluralism, we should be open to the fact that there may be a variety of “best practices,” a “diversity of diversities,” and a “pluralism of pluralisms.”

In sum, what we must seek and share is what I have called “a cosmopolitan ethic,” a readiness to accept the complexity of human society. It is an ethic which balances rights and duties. It is an ethic for all peoples.

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Vancouver Sun Interview, Don Cayo (Vancouver, Canada)

So the risk of failure [of democracy] is that these parts of the world will remain fragile, ill-governed, with weak economies. Internal stresses will become external stresses. They will start gaining a global dimension. … [R]isk management in foreign affairs seems to me to be one of the really necessary attitudes towards global affairs today…. An important thing is looking forward across time, rather than being in a reactive mode. The reactive mode is a tremendous liability. Being in an anticipatory mode changes the whole nature of things, and the longer you have to change things, the better chance you have of making it work….

[We’re also] worried about another form of poverty, which is lack of access. We’re beginning to sense the lack of access in society for the ultra-poor is one of the things that defines poverty from one generation to the next. People simply don’t have access to the social support systems that a normal individual would have. Therefore it’s not only material poverty, it’s actually quality of life poverty, and that is a dramatic situation.

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Opening Remarks, Sixth Seminar, ‘The Changing Rural Habitat’, The Aga Khan Award For Architecture (Beijing, People’s Republic Of China)

Somehow ways have to be found to make the countryside itself a more desirable place to live in, which in turn demands an ability to earn more and to save enough, as individuals or families or communes to begin the process of self-generated economic growth and thus social well-being. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture seeks to identify and premiate all successful efforts in the resolution of man’s built environment, and clearly the fate and future of the rural habitat must be of prime concern to us….

Unless change takes account of rural life in all its aspects, unless it respects the past and the heritage of rural areas and peoples, unless it recognises the intricate ties between the physical and the social environment, it will fail to achieve planning and developing goals for each nation. It will also fail to provide attractive alternatives to migration and thereby fail to stem the tide of people flooding into the cities adding to the already almost insurmountable social problems the urban areas are facing.

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Pakistan TV Interview, Javed Jabber (Karachi, Pakistan)

[W]ould you care to identify one single area in which you think that certain countries need to undertake great effort which could act as a catalyst or a pivot to advance overall programmes?

Very good, a very astute question and a correct question. I think you should look at the Third World countries, and essentially I am talking about Asia and Africa…. [M]any of their economies are dominated by one or two major cash crops. It may be jute, it may be sisal, it may be tea, it may be coffee, and so long as there is no stabilising force, which enables these countries to manage their economies, without continually being subject to fluctuation over which they have not control, these countries simply are never going to be able to plan and develop their economies; and that, perhaps in my view is one of the most central issues that has got to be resolved and quickly.

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‘Can we stop the next war?’ published in The Sunday Post (Kenya), Egyptian Mail (Egypt), The Tanganyika Tribune (Tanzania)

As the first World War drew to its close and Allied victory seemed inevitable, leading thinkers and the governing classes among the victorious powers, led by Wilson, saw that only a world government, overshadowing all states and guarding peace, could prevent future risks of wholesale destruction. For this, many eminent men, headed by Wilson, Smuts, and others, set to work. The chief outcome of their deliberations was the League of Nations …

The League Covenant was a perfect instrument — for angels. Human beings, with their passions and weaknesses, with their loves and hatreds, with the long traditions of autonomy, national sovereignties, of former wars and jealousies, could never have worked the Covenant successfully over long periods….

Now we have the present Charter [of the United Nations]. And once more there is disappointment, for in all real activity it seems to be as powerless as its defunct predecessor. Excellent on paper, ideally perfect in its fine adjustment of regulations, it is impotent the moment it touches the fundamental rights of any State that has the power and energy to challenge its decisions….

It has shown itself to be a wonderful platform for airing opposite views. If it is left as at present, sooner or later we will find the Great Powers settling things among themselves, either at the cost of the small fry, or with such bitterness after each so called pacific settlement of a thorny question as to make future warfare a probability first, a certainty later. So drift will replace the grandiose objectives of the founders of the United Nations, and the disillusions of the League be repeated.

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Lecture to the Dar es Salaam Cultural Society, ‘World Peace and Its Problems’ (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

[Peace and goodwill] were the dreams, the teachings of the outstanding figures of the past. Such have been the yearnings of most ordinary mortals from time immemorial, and yet what is history except on rare occasions one long, long story of war and warfare? In Islam during the greater part of the golden age of Omiyyas [Umayyads] in Syria and Spain [and] my own ancestors in Egypt [were] periods of peace, in all the odds and ends, made up together some hundred years of peace, but not in one extension. With those rare occasions, 30 to 40 years here and 30 to 40 years there, there has never been peace. In Rome there was a glorious period of some 60 years’ peace. But that is about all. The Middle Ages and the age thereafter consisted of minor and constant struggles. The horrors of the Mogul [sic Mongol] invasion of Western Asia of Genghis Khan and Tamerlaine are well-known facts, which leave us with something like the impression of a nightmare. The bloody battles of the Crusades, which in the name of the noblest, led to untold miseries for East and West are glaring fads.

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Adjournment of the Session Speech to the League of Nations, ‘The Task Before the League of Nations’ (Geneva, Switzerland)

Were I asked how I myself conceive the League’s mission in the world I should answer in the words of the great Saadi: “The children of Adam, created of the self-same clay, are members of one body. When one member suffers, all members suffer likewise. O thou who art indifferent to the sufferings of thy fellow, thou art unworthy to be called man.” Or I might borrow the words of a wise Hindu poet-philosopher: “All peoples in the world are to me even as my nearest kin and kith.” Or the final blessing at a Hindu service: “Let there be peace! Let there be prosperity!” The age-long experience of India had, indeed, taught its children that prosperity without peace was an impossibility; that war meant want, peace meant plenty. Even so may it be with the League of Nations.

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A radio broadcast: ‘If I Were Dictator’ (London, United Kingdom)

You will see that the broad general principles of the exercise of my dictatorship would be to secure the prevention of war, to break down the animosities and barriers to goodwill, to provide scope for both national and individual self-expression, and to seek to give each citizen capacity and opportunity to share in the rich heritage which the human race as a whole and not merely some portions of it, should receive, by reason of the toil, the teaching and the sacrifice of the past generations.

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