National Community Activists Network
Consider global bilateral friendships. Partnerships if you will, between the Have and Have Not countries. It's the neighborhood Big Brother concept applied wholesale to the international community. Here is an initiative that calls for cooperation between cultural equals despite the wide gaps in technology, capital and organization.
The world consists of a hundred and ninety-two countries. Exactly half can be categorized as developing nations. The concept of world partnerships is where each 'developing' nation partners with a ‘developed’ nation for complete economic, educational, cultural, A to Z support. It’s results-oriented participation on a grand scale.
Applaud as young people find spirit and meaning to their life through global involvement with their partner country. Watch as countries 'mentor' and 'support' their global buddy in areas such as health, education, environmental concerns and marketing strategy. Witness the elimination of poverty in one concerted effort, as world health conditions improve. See sovereignties everywhere stabilize as economic and cultural exchanges flourish.
The UN's Millennium Development Goals
The heads of state and government who gathered at the United Nations headquarters from 6 to 8 September 2000 crafted the 8 point Millennium Development Goals. These leaders recognized, and I quote, ‘that we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level’. If that same august body of leaders decided to adopt the principles of bilateral friendship and sponsorship right now, if words could summon deeds, then I guarantee that each and every Millennium Development Goal would not only be met but would exceed its objective!
Goal number one, Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: check!
Goal number two, Achieve universal primary education. What are bilateral friendships for? Double check!
Goal number three, Promote gender equality and empower women, the very basis of bilateral partnerships, yes!
Four! Reduce child mortality. One-to-one international medical partnerships would accomplish that. Yes!
Five! Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five. Partners have the medicine and the motivation, yes!
Six! Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases. Can you count on your befriending nation and its medical resources? Yes!
Seven! Ensure environmental sustainability. Given that we are all working together we can accomplish this, but only if we break with business as usual!
Eight. A global partnership for development. Mission accomplished!
Finally, here's an alternative to ODA or conditional financial aid.
We support countries everyday with foreign aid. Yet we know that international aid covers a multitude of sins. At best, foreign aid puts out the most serious humanitarian fires, yet it never actually extinguishes the source of these conflagrations. It’s reactive rather than proactive. Besides, it’s drying up.
At worst, financial ODA assistance is a form of indenture. Rich countries that buy votes for support at world treaty debates, for control at the UN, for access to foreign natural resources, to maintain unpopular leaders, the list goes on.
World partnerships trumps AID for a lot of good reasons. For the fellowship of man and treating others as equal in our eyes. For the sake of people who are no better or no worse than ourselves, and whose love is worth the same as our love. Why is global decency so unattainable? Why must we always think like heroes, as May Sarton wrote, in order to behave like merely decent human beings? Humanitarianism, that cruel, pejorative term. Must we live forever with the guilt and resentment over what we have so cruelly wrought?
Global decency aside, why not settle for world peace and across the board abundance. Let’s face it, who’s not in line for a friend these days?
It's our world and our responsibility. Assuming the blame means winning the game, by connecting with our personal responsibility. And our need for commitment. All of us understand that the future of our children depends on exercising our right, and especially our responsibility, to participate in the decisions that shape our future. We will all benefit in more ways than we can imagine from a renewed sense of pride and meaning to our lives, for having improved the welfare and dignity of our fellow world citizens. Let us all work together to do unto others less fortunate than us as we would have them do unto us if our situations were reversed.
Read more on World Partnerships at www.worldpartnerships.wordpress.com
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