The „global village“

Veröffentlicht: Oktober 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ein Teil des Kapitels „Globalization and Governance“ aus der Broschüre „We, the people“ von Kofi Annan

Let us imagine, for a moment, that the world really is a “global village”—taking seri- ously the metaphor that is often invoked to depict global interdependence. Say this vil- lage has 1,000 individuals, with all the characteristics of today’s human race distributed in exactly the same propor tions. What would it look like? What would we see as its

main challenges? Some 150 of the inhabitants live in an affluent area of the village, about 780 in poorer

districts. Another 70 or so live in a neighbourhood that is in transition. The average income per person is $6,000 a year, and there are more middle income families than in the past. But just 200 people dispose of 86 per cent of all the wealth, while nearly half of the villagers are eking out an existence on less than $2 per day.Men outnumber women by a small margin, but women make up a majority of those who live in poverty. Adult literacy has been increasing. Still, some 220 vil- lagers—two thirds of them women—are illiterate. Of the 390 inhabitants under 20 years of age, three fourths live in the poorer districts, and many are looking des- perately for jobs that do not exist. Fewer than 60 people own a computer and only 24 have access to the Internet. More than half have never made or received a tele- phone call.

Life expectancy in the affluent district is nearly 78 years, in the poorer areas 64 years—and in the very poorest neighbourhoods a mere 52 years. Each marks an improvement over previous generations, but why do the poorest lag so far behind? Because in their neighbourhoods there is a far higher incidence of infectious diseases and malnutrition, combined with an acute lack of access to safe water, sanitation, health care, adequate housing, education and work.

There is no predictable way to keep the peace in this village. Some districts are rel- atively safe while others are wracked by organized violence.The village has suffered a growing number of weather-related natural disasters in recent years, including unex- pected and severe storms, as well as sudden swings from floods to droughts, while the average temperature is perceptibly warmer. More and more evidence suggests that there is a connection between these two trends, and that warming is related to the kind of fuel, and the quantities of it, that the people and businesses are using. Carbon emissions, the major cause of warming, have quadrupled in the last 50 years.The vil- lage’s water table is falling precipitously, and the livelihood of one sixth of the inhabi- tants is threatened by soil degradation in the surrounding countryside.

Who among us would not wonder how long a village in this state can survive with- out taking steps to ensure that all its inhabitants can live free from hunger and safe from violence, drinking clean water, breathing clean air, and knowing that their children….


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