What are the Solutions to New Challenges?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In this moment of very somber horizons, to learn once more from President Mikahil Serguéyevich Gorbachev, the “man who changed the world”,… and from Roberto Savio, who keeps a firm and visionary position in face of the immense media power, driven by the “markets”, promoters of fanatic and unbelievable behaviors, that represent today one of the most relevant threats to overcame, in order to be able to redress the present trends…

And from Martin Lees, in favor of a “systemic” approach, when the present strictly economic approach does not take into account the social and environmental dimensions… Yes, dear colleagues, to learn a lot from many of your excellent interventions….

As a scientist, who has been working in neonatal prevention of irreversible neuronal diseases, I must warn on the risk of reaching points of no return if timely treatments are not applied! Timely treatments!: we have many, too many, diagnosis… many “think tanks”… many brilliant ideas… but only very seldom we have treatments before is too late…

In social and environmental matters, we are now facing global problems that must be addressed without any further delay: yes, we are in the anthropocene… and, if not timely addressed, the habitability of the Earth could be deteriorated and the legacy to future generations would reflect an inadmissible intergenerational irresponsibility!

As it is rightly stated in the title of this meeting, “…what are the solutions to new challenges?”. “New” challenges, as emphasized yesterday by President Gorbachev.

New challenges in a new era:
·        Digital era: is the first opportunity for change of the humanity’s history in which the 95% of human beings were being born, living and dying in 50 square kilometers… They were invisible, obedient, fearful, silent… submitted to an absolute male power based always in the reason of force and not in the force of the reason… Based always in “si vis pacem, para bellum”… (if you wish peace, prepare war”…).

And, suddenly, in the new era of information and communication, the human beings are progressively aware of what happens in the world, they can express freely and raise their voices… and, particularly important, the women, always marginalized, can start, not in a mimetic way but with their inherent faculties, to take part in the decision making… This is extremely important, because I will never forget what President Mandela told me in Pretoria in 1996: “Women will be the “corner stone” of the new era… because they only exceptionally use force, when the man only exceptionally doesn’t use force”…

Yes: we are entering a new era in which the starting phrase of the UN Charter (1945) will become a reality: “We, the peoples… have resolved to save the succeeding generations from the horror of the war”…

But, immediately after, only States… and after, weakening the Nation-State, the markets… and after, the great neoliberal “domain” (military, financial, mediatic, energetic…) that not only substituted the UN by plutocratic groups (G6, G7, G8, G20…) but the “democratic values” (that must “guide” humanity, as enshrined in the UNESCO’s Constitution) by “marketing rules” worldwide.

Why western countries have accepted to put the reins of world governance, of 193 countries, in the hands of 6, 7, 8… 20 countries?
Why Europe –only a monetary union- has accepted that “the markets” appoint governments without elections in Italy and Greece, the cradle of democracy?  Why the European countries have not take into account the wonderful Charter of Fundamental Rights of the year 2000? Article number one: dignity… Please, leaders of Europe, take into account the Charter to be true democracies and not market-driven shortsighted nations. It has been, instead of an important increase in the aid to development, a sharp reduction. I remember when in the United Nations the keyword was to share… and now, all the countries not only the most developed countries, do not assist the less developed ones, and exploitation –as in the shameful case of coltan- has substituted international cooperation.

Yes, “all human beings equal in dignity”, this is the newest oldest solution.

New challenges”… But, at this moment, we must face global challenges without global institutions, without prospective and systemic analytical capacity.

New challenges without young actors? The cooperation of youth is indispensable.

New challenges with only answers to the old questions. We must change not only the answers but the questions…

And the first new challenge to overcome is be wise enough to change the concept of security: we are always talking about the “military security” related with frontiers and territories. But what about the people living inside these frontiers? What about the security of their food, water, health, environment, education?...

These are the issues of a new concept of security that from now on must be taken into account.

“There is no any challenge beyond the human distinctive creative capacity”, told John F. Kennedy in June 1963. The future is to be invented! Every human being able to create: this is our hope.

We can think otherwise, we can anticipate, we can imagine new ways of action!

We have excellent references to inspire us:
-         The UN Charter (1945).
-         The UNESCO’s Constitution (1945).
-         The Human Rights Universal Declaration (1948).
-         The 1993 Montreal World Plan of Action on Education in Human Rights and Democracy.
-         The 1993 Vienne Conference on Human Rights.
-         The 1994 Religions and a Culture of Peace Declaration.
-         The 1995 Declaration on Tolerance.
-         The 1999 Declaration and Programe of Action on a Culture of Peace.
-         The 2000 Earth Charter…

Yes, we must address the new challenges in a new way: it’s time for action. It’s time to urgently apply a new concept of security…social and environmental security, security to face natural and man-made catastrophes…

Now we have 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In 2000 we had only 8… and were scarcely addressed.

Now we have agreed in Paris the measures to control climate change. We have good diagnosis and prescriptions… but no treatment. The IPB (International Peace Bureau) of Geneva has started  a very important campaign: “Disarmament for Development”: with only 10% per year and country of the immense amount invested in armament and military expenditures, the environmental and extremely poverty challenges could be dealt with, without affecting the “military” security!

It is inadmissible –I repeat this to myself every dawn- that everyday die of hunger at least 20.000 persons, most of them children of 1-5 years, while 4 billion are invested in weapons and military security…

At present, the markets, particularly those related with the media, are leading the world governance. But before long, “We, the peoples”… will raise their voices… and the scientific, academic, artistic, intellectual communities will be at the forefront of the peoples mobilization!

As a biochemist, I wrote many years ago in the blackboard: evolution (as in nature) or revolution. The difference is de “r” of responsibility!

To be responsible we must have without delay new answers to new challenges… and we must be aware that “the peoples” will not remain obedient and silent anymore. They are becoming citizens of the world and they can express freely and request tolerance zero with intolerance; no fanaticism, racism, phobias; solidarity with those that are in need: “intellectual and moral solidarity” as enshrined in the UNESCO’ Constitution, taking into account the social aspects and not only the economical growth…

It is indispensable to know the roots  of fascism and fanaticism. If you plant hate you will collect terrorism. If you sow seeds of insolidarity,  you will collect violence… Those who decided to invade Iraq based on lies and without the UN agreement, are responsible of many insurgences and violences today.

What is need are multilateral democratic institutions –that the republican party of US has also under minded- with the refoundation of the United Nations System.  Genuine democracy is the solution: an Universal Declaration of Democracy (ethical, social, political, economical, cultural and environmental) has been drafted…

OXFAM has reported that less than 100 persons have more wealth that half of humanity (3.5 billion of human beings!). The “peoples” will not accept this anymore.

We live in a new context, we live in a new global framework where the  absolute power, the profound social gaps, the inequalities… will not be tolerated anymore. Now, the global citizens can raise their voice…

Yes: a new concept of security, with the reins of the common destiny in the hands of “We, the peoples”…

Yes, at least, from force to word, from a culture of imposition and domination to a culture of encounter, dialogue, conciliation and peace.

Yes: instead of “si vis pacem para bellum”, “si vis pacem, para verbum » !

From force to word : this is the solution, the answer, the dream.