Global Governance: Towards a better future
Just five days ago, I received this photograph showing Jesus embracing a world covered by a cloth stamped with the flags of the nations. A powerful image for the present moment when the Coronavirus makes us live situations very similar to all of us, whatever our flag or our country. Five days ago, the pandemic was spreading through China, Korea, Japan, continental Europe, and the people in the USA are beginning to be worried about Coronavirus. The United Kingdom, Central and South America, Africa, and the rest of the Asian countries saw the panorama with no big concern that was not exempt from remoteness. Today, five days later, the closure of borders and airports, the confinement of homes, the saturation of the Intensive Care Units (ICU) of hospitals, the suspension of sporting events, and many other things are becoming transcontinental. The same is true of the economic crisis that will follow the pandemic, the environmental crisis, the economic depression of 2008, the migratory crises, and so many other realities.
The Coronavirus, for some strange reason, has wanted to make its “tourist” life starting with China, continuing through Europe and reaching the United States. We were used to diseases and pandemics coming from other places not located in the northern continent; it seemed that here we had everything well controlled. Every illness of this kind is a disaster and causes profound pain to the people affected and to the societies it reaches. One only needs to look at the number of deaths it is leaving wherever it passes through, specifically here in Madrid, from where I am writing. Let us imagine that this pandemic had been generated in some country somewhere in Asia, in the Amazon or any country in sub-Saharan Africa. What would have happened? Perhaps many of the inhabitants of the countries that COVID-19 has decided to visit first would have seen things with a critical distance and, maybe, even with a certain air of superiority: here that cannot happen. By the way, the COVID-19 is already in America and Africa; I am sure that the governments will learn from Europe and not become so confident, or perhaps they think that Africa is not affected? Let us hope that all governments, including those in Europe, will be up to the task when the pandemic spreads to other continents.
No! And thousand times no! This pandemic is not something that God wants. Never can God the Father who sent us his Son Jesus want something like this for his children; small ones, however important we may think we are. The message of the Father through the life of Jesus of Nazareth that we will celebrate soon: “He wanted to become one like us, in everything but sin,” and he suffered, in his flesh, loneliness, injustice, and lack of solidarity. We cannot insult a Jesus who wraps us up, asking him why he sends us, his Father and our Father, this tragedy. Life and history, and all limitations, have enough recurring themes for God to devote himself to imagining specific catastrophes for our many infidelities and unconsciousness. What should we learn, believers, and non-believers, from what we are living through the COVID-19?
If we look at Europe, the only institutions that have worked have been those for which the EU member states had already approved autonomy of operation. But those that depend on the heads of State to agree are not working in a coordinated way to respond to people’s needs. This situation is not new in the European Union. To have left Italy “alone in the face of danger” without any kind of solidarity is reminiscent of other monetary and migration crises, very close in time. Europe must take steps towards the federation. We are in an interconnected world, above all economically, which can no longer play on the particularisms of the State. The states must take steps towards the creation of world governance. The trade war (?) between the USA and China does not make sense; all this goes against the evolution of our world without borders.
Strengthening international collaboration and governance structures are vital for everyone. Climate change and fossil fuels are a warning; COVID-19 is the second. How many more do we need? Curiously, one of the reasons for the impossibility of reaching agreements at COP25 Chile-Madrid was petrodollars, petro-gases, and petro-carbons. Brent oil was in December, the date of the COP25, at $67.31 today it is at $25.40, due to the Coronavirus crisis. The parable of Jesus comes to mind, in which he speaks of a rich man who did not know where to put his harvest, built some vast barns, and, that same night, died. When will we learn to put our hearts into our real treasures?
I end with a quote from Pope Francis, from the encyclical Laudato si. Sorry, it’s a bit long, but it’s not wasted. Francis says on the subject of global governance:“ The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty. A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions. The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.
” (LS 175)
Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf
I finish Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)