The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Liberation of Humanity
Globalization and the Four Freedoms
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Good evening, Friends. Thank you for your participation in this initiative to help externalize the Soul qualities of light, love and the will-to-good.
This most important theme of globalization that we are going to focus on tonight has been very much on people's minds over the past few years. It is a polarizing issue that is especially related to freedom from want, but it encompasses all the other freedoms as well. We're aware, for example, of the demonstrations last month around the World Economic Forum here in NYC as well as the thousands that met at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Also, many of us here lent our meditative support to the International Conference on Financing for Development that met this past week (3/18-3/22) in Monterrey, Mexico.
Of the many future conferences, seminars and meetings that are being planned around this most important subject, I would like to mention just two: One is a series of meetings sponsored by the International Labor Organization and convened by a newly created 25-member "World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization." This Commission which will hold a series of meetings around the world will hopefully help humanize economic development by seeking ways to balance it with social concerns.
The other meeting I would like to mention may be of special interest. The Conference is entitled "A Soul for Globalization" and it will take place in Morocco this summer. The theme of the first morning is "Spirituality and Globalization." Both Amartya Sen who received the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics and James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank are scheduled to address this theme. Perhaps you will be interested in tracking and supporting these two endeavours.
Turning to our work here tonight, we're most fortunate and delighted to have Dorothy Tilson address the topic, "Our Globalization Plateau." Dorothy has a list of credits and accomplishments to her name, but for tonight she only wanted us to recognize that she is a long-time member of the United Nations Asoociation (USA) and a long-time student of the Ageless Wisdom.
OUR GLOBALIZATION PLATEAU
March 27, 2002
Dorothy R. Tilson
Globalization is not a new occurrence on the planet-it seems to have been a cyclic phenomenon, perhaps not generally recognized consciously as globalization, because to be consciously global one must have an outlook which is worldwide in scope and includes the whole earth. As Thomas Friedman of the New York Times says "globalization is the integration of everything with everything else. With the right leadership, globalization will be a force for more openness, more rule of law, and more opportunities for people to enjoy personal freedoms and challenge authorities." Global integration in the past was "driven primarily by monetary expansions" and grew out of the innovations of the time. These cyclic innovative credit booms "sparked periods of economic integration, but were followed by economic downturns."[Michael Pettis, Foreign Policy, Sep/Oct 01]
Let us go back to the period of "1822-1837. Here we find an expansion of canal building, the first railway boom, steam power applied to manufacturing, advances in machine tool design, invention of McCormicks' reaper, the first gas-lighting enterprises and development of the telegraph."[Ibid.] So we see a period of monetary expansion with fingers reaching throughout the world-but then came the period of monetary contraction until "1851-1873 when a surge in advancement in mining, a second railway boom, developments in shipping, and a rapid growth in the number of corporations in continental Europe"[Ibid.] stimulated a new economic and monetary expansion. However, following this came the "Vienna market crashes leading to the New York Stock Exchange closing and the American railway securities nearly collapsing."[Ibid.]
The next upward movement came in "1881-1914 with the explosive productivity growth in Europe and the United States, improvement in steel production and heavy manufacturing, the first power station, spread of electricity, the combustion engine, another railway boom, innovation in newspaper practice and technology, and developments in canning and refrigeration."[Ibid.] We know how this period ended in the first World War (1914-1918).
Then came the period of 1922-1930 with the "commercialization of automobiles and aircraft, new forms of mass media, rising popularity of cinema and radio broadcasting, spread of artificial fibers and plastics, a widespread use of electricity in U.S. factories, the creation and sale of a variety of electric appliances, and expanded telephone ownership."[Ibid.] After a period of enjoyment during the roaring 20's came the near-breakdown of the U.S. banking system in 1930-1931. Then came World War II, and our struggle to overcome this until another upward move came in "1960-1973 with the development and application of transistor technology, advances in commercial flying and shipping, and the spread of telecommunication and software."[Ibid.] So what happens after this-this cycle broke down altogether when "rising interest rates and contracting money engineered by the Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker helped precipitate the Third World debt crisis of the 1980's."
"When capital inflows no longer suffice to cover the short-term costs to the local elites and middle classes of increased international integration-including psychic costs such as feelings of wounded national pride-support for globalization quickly wanes. Populist movements, never completely dormant, become reinvigorated. Countries turn inward. Arguments in favor of protectionism suddenly start sounding appealing. Investment flows quickly become capital flight."[Ibid.]
From "1985 to the present we have a wealth of information processing, an explosion in computer memory, advances in biotechnology and medical technologies, and personal and commercial application of the Internet."[Ibid.] And space exploration. But at present we seem to be located on a plateau looking out at the pluses and minuses of the future. We see the Populists trying to come to the forefront-we see a downturn in the global economy. We see the states and nations coping with the ultra-complexity of situations arising from multinational corporate integration, world travel and communication. States and nations are concentrating their spending of money in trying to establish their place in this world grid, therefore there isn't much money left for the poor, and the result is 'the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.' These are a few of the minuses that we have at present.
Now for some pluses, and our status today. In the World Values Survey of Ann Arbor, Institute for Social Research, in 1996, an Index was made of a study of 62 countries. This "Globalization Index brings globalization into sharper focus by assessing changes in its most important components, whether engagement in international relations and policymaking, trade and financial flows, or the movement of people, ideas, and information across borders. The index tracks these changes across 62 advanced economies and key emerging markets (up from 50 last year) to draw a picture of globalization across all the world's regions. The index quantifies economic integration by combining data on trade, foreign direct investment and portfolio capital flows. The focus is on the causes of globalization rather than effects. It charts personal contact via levels of international travel and tourism, international telephone traffic, and cross-border transfers, including remittances. The index also gauges technological connectedness by counting Internet users and the Internet hosts and secure servers through which they communicate and conduct business transactions. Political engagement figures are treated differently, with participation in U.N. Security Council remaining as absolute numbers. This process produces panels of data that enable comparisons between countries of all sizes." In studying this chart we find a rather surprising outcome-Ireland seems to be at the top in many categories.
However, there and many positive forces driving planetary transformation at present. Along the way, since 1822, and even earlier periods, humanity has become increasingly conscious of the term globalization. There was a glimmer of consciousness exhibited when the League of Nations was formed, but it wasn't until after World War II that the term globalization became generally used as a result of the "conscious development of the underdeveloped countries, and the post-Cold War ideology of humanitarian intervention".[New Internationalist, March 2002] Globalization became more stabilized with the creation of the United Nations in 1945-since then a general universal awareness of people in all countries has been increasing and deepening. The United Nations has become a forum for discussion of globalization and seeks to free humanity from all kinds of tyrannies. This is the great plus that we have at present until some greater scientific, space or technological development, or perhaps something altogether unknown sparks a new surge. The term globalization in the future may become something else undreamed of at present-maybe, let's try "galaxalization"-but undoubtedly there will be the next surge according to history.
The forces driving globalization today has become much more complex, and requires many more factors other than financial implementation to drive it in our 21st century. Some of these factors have already been outlined. For instance, The Earth Charter, which was discussed last month, has been created by the Earth Charter Commission in 1997. This Charter is a "declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century." [Brochure]. Universities are accepting it and some countries are adopting it. Going to the Internet we find several sites where globalization issues are being discussed and implemented-Network 2012 "is an international hub for linking up Light Workers around the world." Planetary Awakening Network is a "free Internet based network of over 700 consciousness networks from more than 50 countries." Doctors Without Borders "is an international humanitarian aid organisation that provides emergency medical assistance to populations in danger in more than 80 countries." Indigenous people are seeking membership status at the U.N. African Centres For Peace Education & Training "aims at developing a comparative curriculum which will encourage a preventive policy that takes into account socio-political, economic, cultural and technological issues." Planetary Citizenship-"the founders of this site are committed to A World That Works for Every Person on The Planet, no later than the year 2040." [Internet]
Other happenings include: New Delhi, 14 February - "Major rethinking is needed on globalisation in South Asia for social costs to be minimised and economic benefits to be maximised. This is the principal message of the new Human Development in south Asia 2001 Report that was launched in India, today. The Report, prepared by the Islamabad (Pakistan)-based Human Development Centre addresses the theme of Globalisation and Human Development. The India launch was jointly organised by the Parliamentarians Forum for Human development and the United Nations Development Programme." [Sergio Tripi's "Good News Agency"].
The Coalition for a Democratic World Government includes several organizations working on the problem of governing a globalized world. And from the Global Dimensions Web site -"Developing the political response to globalization. The world's economies and societies are becoming more and more integrated, but the rules and institutions for managing them are being left behind. Centred at the London School of Economics' Centre for the Study of Global Governance, Global Dimensions is a research programme for developing policy responses to issues raised by globalization. The programme comprises a research team led by Professor Lord Desai, and a series of seminars held around the world to bring together global strategists from business, academe, the media, civil society, governments and international organizations." And these are some of the Web sites that you can access regarding the status of globalization.
And then today we have the plus of the many millions of people who are working in Non-Governmental Organizations who act as positive catalysts between the United Nations, state and national governments and humanity in general. Problems are being solved through conferencing. Of course today we also have the negative Al Qaeda NGO types who throw up roadblocks.
As you know "Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the United Nations staff have won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but it is not enough, as Mr. Annan remarked, for the Organization to rest on its laurels. It also needs to continue to look at how to create a shared future. In a report published on 19 September 2001, the Secretary-General does just that. The report-"Road Map towards the Implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration"-examines in detail how Member States, United Nations bodies, international organizations and civil society are putting into practice the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration, adopted by all 189 Member States at the Millennium Summit in September 2000.
"The "Road Map" reviews progress, suggests paths to follow and presents 'strategies for moving forward' for each goal of the Declaration. 'The heads of State and Government at last year's Summit charted a cooperative path to meet the challenges ahead", says the Secretary-General. "This road map has attempted to carry forward their vision, identify the areas in which we need to work and offer suggestions for the future.'"
The "Millennium Summit Road Map" consists of 8 goals and 18 targets". They are:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Target 1 Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day.
Target 2 Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education.
Target 3 Ensure that by 2015 children everywhere-boys and girls alike-will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
Target 4 Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education no later than 2015.
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality.
Target 5 Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.
Goal 5: Improve maternal health.
Target 6 Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Target 7 Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Target 8 Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
Goal 7: Ensure univironmental sustainability.
Target 9 Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes, and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
Target 10 Halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
Target 11 To have achieved by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development.
Target 12 Develop an open, rule-based, non-discriminatory trading and financial system.
Target 13 Address the special needs of the least developed countries.
Target 14 Address the special needs of landlocked and small island developing States.
Target 15 Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries.
Target 16 Develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth in developing countries.
Target 17 Provide access, in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
Target 18 Make available, in cooperation with the private sector, the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.
This "road map draws on the work of Governments, the entire United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, and the World Trade Organization, intergovernmental organizations, international and regional organizations, and civil society. Accordingly, 'the entire United Nations family of Member States, international organizations, funds, agencies, programmes, the private sector and civil society must join together to meet the lofty commitments that are embodied in the Millennium Declaration', says the Secretary-General. 'Success requires solidarity.'"
Therefore, you now have in general some of the multiplicity of challenges facing us today on our plateau as we seek globalization of our planet.. We have an energetic United Nations working hard for all of us-we have been given the writings of H.P.Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and many other outstanding writers to guide us along the way. And let's not forget the Internet. Humanity is challenged as never before in our history, so how we move off this plateau and into the next surge of globalization depends upon all of us. Thank you.
Foreign Policy, Sep/Oct 2001; Jan/Feb 2002.
United Nations Chronicle, Volume XXXVIII, No. 4, December 2001-February 2002.
Some globalization Web sites:
http://www.aworldthatworks.com/ Planetary Citizenship
http://www.highden.org/ Light Centers
http://www.msf.org/ Doctors without Borders
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/56/a56326.pdf pages 55-58 of Millennium Report
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