ARTICLE FROM PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR
There is universal
agreement now that that the characteristic of the modern world is
interdependence. But we haven’t yet had time to think through
its consequences or understood that the international rule book
has been ripped up.
Interdependence - the fact of a crisis somewhere becoming a crisis
everywhere - makes a mockery of traditional views of national interest.
Nations, even as large and powerful as the USA, are now affected
profoundly and at breakneck speed by events beyond their borders.
Why is immigration now the top domestic policy issue in much of
Europe and in the US? Because globalisation is making mass migration
a reality – and only global development will make it a manageable
Why has energy policy, too, rocketed up national agendas? Because
of the need for countries like China and India to fuel their rapid
development and the threat of climate change. The solution lies
in an internationally agreed framework through which the developing
nations can grow, the wealthy countries maintain their standard
of living and the environment be protected from disaster.
So you can't have a coherent view of national interest today without
a coherent view of the international community. These challenges
affect us all and can only be effectively tackled together. And
we can’t wait around to see how these global challenges may
develop as we could it the past. They require a pre-emptive and
not simply a re-active response, on the basis of precaution not
just certainty and often outside our own territory.
For the terrorism we are fighting in Britain, wasn't born in Britain,
though on 7th July last year it was British born terrorists that
killed people. The solution lies in schools and training camps and
indoctrination thousands of miles away, as well as in the towns
and cities of modern Britain. The solution to mass migration lies
at its source not in the nations feeling its consequence.
But common action will not be agreed unless it is founded on common
values – of liberty, democracy, tolerance, justice. These
are the values universally accepted across all nations, faiths and
races, though not by all people within them. These are values that
can inspire and unify. We need an international community that both
embodies and acts in pursuit of these global values.
The scale of the agenda in front of us is enormous. And increasingly,
there is a hopeless mismatch between the global challenges we face
and the global institutions to confront them. After the Second World
War, people realised that there needed to be a new international
institutional architecture. In this new era, in the early 21st century,
we need to renew it.
In a speech in the United States on Friday, I made some tentative
suggestions for change. First, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan,
has done an extraordinary job in often near impossible circumstances
and deserves backing for his reform programme. But a Security Council
which has France as a permanent member but not Germany, Britain
but not Japan, China but not India to say nothing of the absence
of any representation from Latin America or Africa, cannot be legitimate
in the modern world. If necessary let us agree some form of interim
change that can be a bridge to a future settlement.
We should strengthen the UN Secretary General’s powers to
propose action to the Security Council for the resolution of long-standing
disputes and encourage him to do so.
Second, the World Bank and IMF. There is a case, as has been argued
before, for merger but, in any event, there is certainly a powerful
case for reform including a radically improved relationship with
developing nations and more representation for the emerging economies.
Third, there is a strong argument for establishing a multilateral
system for "safe enrichment" for nuclear energy. The IAEA
would oversee an international bank of uranium to ensure a reliable
fuel supply for countries utilising nuclear power without the need
for everyone to own their own fuel cycle.
Fourth, the G8 now regularly meets as the G8 +5. That should be
the norm. Finally, we need UN Environment Organisation to match
the importance the issue now has on the international agenda.
I do not under-estimate the hazardous task of achieving these
changes. But I also know the main obstacle. It is that in creating
more effective multilateral institutions, individual nations have
to yield up some of their own independence.
Powerful nations want more effective multilateral institutions
but only when they think those institutions will do their will.
What they fear is effective multilateral institutions that do their
But if there is a common basis for working - agreed aims and purposes
- then no matter how powerful, countries gain from being able to
sub-contract problems that on their own they cannot solve. Their
national self-interest becomes delivered through effective communal
Today, after all the turmoil and disagreement of the past few years,
there is a real opportunity to bring us together – to tackle
global terrorism, to ensure a healthy global financial system, provide
secure and clean energy and to heal long-running disputes including,
crucially, progress towards a two-state solution to the Israeli
/ Palestinian conflict. We all have an interest in stability and
a fear of chaos. That's the impact of interdependence.
I believe, too, we all have a strong common interest in supporting
democracy in Iraq. I don't want here to justify the original decision
or reopen past arguments. I do want to advocate a new concord to
displace the old contention.
It is three years since Saddam left office, three years of strife
and bloodshed. But despite all the terror, a democratic political
process has grown. Last week, I visited the new Government in Baghdad,
chosen freely by the Iraqi people, Sunni, Shia, Kurds and non-aligned.
I heard from these leaders not the jarring messages of warring factions
but one simple, clear and united discourse. They want Iraq to be
democratic, its people to be free. They want to tolerate difference
and celebrate diversity and the rule of law not violence to determine
The war split the world. The struggle of Iraqis for democracy should
You may not agree with original decision. You may believe mistakes
have been made. But if Iraqis can show their faith in democracy
by voting for it, shouldn't we show ours by supporting them in it.
This should be a moment of reconciliation not only in Iraq but
in the international community. For their struggle is a wider struggle.
The purpose of terrorism in Iraq is to defeat not just Iraqi democracy
but democratic values everywhere.
From the moment the Afghans came out and voted in their first ever
election, the myth that democracy was a Western concept was exploded.
The Governments of the world do not all believe in freedom. But
the people of the world do.
In my nine years as Prime Minister I have not become more cynical
about idealism. I have simply become more persuaded that the distinction
between a foreign policy driven by values and one driven by interests,
is obviously wrong. Globalisation begets interdependence. Interdependence
begets the necessity of a common value system to make it work. In
other words, the idealism becomes the real politik.
Our values are our guide. To make it so, however, we have to be
prepared to think sooner and act quicker in defence of those values
- progressive pre-emption, if you will. There is an agenda for it,
waiting to be gathered and capable of uniting a world once divided.
There wouldn't be a better moment for it.
None of that will eliminate the setbacks, fallings short, inconsistencies
and hypocrisies that come with practical decision-making in a harsh
world. But it does mean that the best of the human spirit which,
throughout the ages, has pushed the progress of humanity is also
the best hope for the world's future.
Fuente: Embajada Británica