Reflection on todays global issues
Reflection on today’s global issues
When the United Nations became operational, soon after the end of the Second World War, on 24 October 1945, it was meant to ensure that conditions of “well-being” for all people would be created. However, over many years of conflicts, population growth, natural calamities, civil wars, and unsustainable growth, it has become even more likely that humans face more challenges today than it was seven decades ago. Some of the major issues affecting the global economy include environmental pollution, consumption & consumerism, basic & higher education provision, population growth, availability of natural resources, unequal distribution of financial resources, rising power of multinationals, the threat of terrorism, among others.
Two years ago the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon called the ongoing war in Syria “our collective failure.” Even with this having been said and done, two years down the line the war is still ongoing, many people continue to lose their lives, and more groups such as ISIL/ISIS appear to be gaining ground in the war and complicating the problem. In the year 2000, the worlds’ leaders agreed to the achievement of the “Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).” Having agreed to achieve these goals by 2015, it happens that as the year ends this promise seems to have been a big dream, as the MDGs have not been achieved on a global scale and in some of the countries, the challenges have even increased.
The challenge of terrorism has been on the increase and now is one of the biggest issues affecting the world today. As Brian Orend contends in the second edition of “Morality of the way,” the challenge of terrorism has become exceedingly great and there is the need to find a new approach to deal with this developing challenge. Matt Apuzzo and Michael Schmidt (2015) confess that the United States has been forced to change its strategy on how to deal with terrorist threats especially after the ISIS (Islamic State) militants changed their approach towards the ways through which they inspire Americans to commit acts of terrorism.
The United Nations declaration of human rights (UNDHR) sets forth certain rights that all humans should be accorded regardless of their race, sex, color, religion, language, or political status. Unfortunately, most of these rights are under threat as many government actions, the actions of businesses, as well as the actions of people jeopardize these rights. Although the United Nations recognized some global challenges as soon as the end of the second world war, there are some new challenges that have developed ever since. For instance, some of the earlier challenges included protection of human rights, promoting social and economic progress, and safeguarding peace. On the other hand, some of the challenges realized later include HIV/AIDS, climate change, and international terrorism. Whether a challenge has been there for all of the seven decades of the existence of the United Nations, or whether the challenge is new, it is important to find ways of dealing with each challenge.
As a policy, the United Nations, being the biggest intergovernmental institution in the world alongside its specialized agencies has adopted peacekeeping and conflict resolution as the main ways of dealing with most challenges.
Solutions to major global issues
The threat of international terrorism is perhaps the most pertinent global issue of the 21st century. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks of the United States, the global economy and in particular, the United States has had to change its strategies on the war on terror. Many countries have resulted to some mechanisms. For instance, strategic attacks on terrorist cells, open warfare, and drone attacks on selected individuals have all been employed with mixed results. The current war in Syria is not only a war meant to oust President Assad, but it is also a war on one of a terrifying terrorist cells in the world –the Islamic state.
The United States, Russia, France, and Turkey are some of the countries involved in the conflict. Unfortunately, each country is conducting their attacks and supports different militant groups in the country that other countries consider foes. Given such a situation, it becomes, even more, dangerous because by funding such militant groups, the threat of increased terrorist attacks rise as these groups may fund or coordinate terrorist acts in other countries apart from the countries funding or supporting them.
Environmental security and energy
The problem of environmental security and energy also needs to be addressed because it is emerging as a major global issue. Through the United Nations, the consensus is being sought on ways of providing or aiding good technological advances that will result in secure and low-polluting sources of energy. This will eliminate or reduce cases of environmental catastrophes, reduced societal damage, and long-term sustainable economic growth. However, challenges remain on ways through which over-reliance on fossil fuels can be eliminated.
Poverty and social conflicts
Poverty and other social conflicts have also threatened international peace. As a result, governments and international agencies have to find ways of eradicating poverty especially among young adults in order to reduce cases of petty crimes and other related crimes such as drug trafficking and other forms of organized gangs. As the world increasingly globalizes, the distribution of wealth has become very inequitable leading to increased conflicts that need to be dealt with. Because of this, the problem is not just bullets and bombs but also social conflicts and poverty.
The rise of new global powers
Over the course of the last three decades, there has been a significant change in the structure of international trade, production, and politics. This is partly attributable to the rise of new powers especially the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries. The growth in other economies such as Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan has also significantly contributed to this change. Growing at a much faster rate than major economies, these countries have led to changes in the global distribution of power forcing major economies to come to terms with this reality. The new efforts of sharing management of international systems and rules have led to the emergence of certain conflicts, that the United Nations has had trouble in dealing with.
The rise of multinational corporations has also led to the emergence of new ways of reshaping the global development and economic agenda. The private sector has become a dominant force in this fields and this has forced many governments to reconsider ways of dealing with such corporations. With good governance, multinational corporations can significantly help in mitigating some of the known risks of globalization.
Although considerable efforts have been made by international bodies, governments, and other inter-governmental organizations, there is still much that can be done in order to reduce the threat posed by major global issues. The realization of MDGs and other state-specific efforts can go a long way in improving the lives of the international community.
Apuzzo, Matt. and Schmidt, Michael S. F.B.I. Emphasizes Speed as ISIS Exhorts Individuals to Attack. July 27, 2015. The New York Times. Internet resource.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United nations. Internet resource.
Orend, Brian. The Morality of War. Peterborough, Ont: Broadview Press, 2013. Print.
Orend, Brian. Introduction to International Studies. Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
Salas, Rafael M. Reflections on Population. New York: Pergamon Press, 1984. Internet resource.