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SDGs and sustainable peace conundrum

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It is encouraging to note that global leaders and policy dreamers have moved on from Millennium Development Goals to a higher level of imagining a world that will have inclusive, peaceful and integrated goals driving the global vision for development.

Locally, the dreams as enshrined in Vision 2020, the Malawi Growth Development Strategy II, the Economic Recovery Plan, and the Malawi Trade Investors Plan are part of this broader vision.

But on the global scene just like at our own national level, there are forces that are militating against the actualisation and realisation of these noble ideals and visions.

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Until the world deals with peace and justice issues, our efforts for sustainable development will not be achieved. Similarly, sustainable development cannot be achieved until unjust systems, unjust relationships, unjust policies and unjust structures and values that will make us not know peace are dealt with.

Global leaders have tended to look at the secular world as dominated by technological and scientific advancements as a panacea for social and global development. In their hopes and dreams, they overlook the glaring human and purely man made factors such as greed, hoarding, exploitation, deliberate marginalisation.

The global trade systems and structures, instead of becoming just and fair for all, are being used by well crafted schemers to keep on making others hopeless and find life meaningless.

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While others are celebrating at making surplus profits, others have their prices of commodities they produce through their toils reduced to nothing. Reference here can be made to locally produced coffee, tobacco, cotton and tea whose prices are determined by the buyers than the producers.

Using large poor countries’ land to grow crops such as coffee, tea, tobacco and sugar that are used by the rich in developed countries is contributing to the loss of livelihoods among many poor people in poor countries across the globe.

It is a reality that must be deconstructed to ensure fair trade and agriculture production that is tailor-made to respond to ever-increasing national food demands for most poor countries.

It is therefore a confusion of values dominated by the worship and over-praising of greed that is put up high by the dominant global media houses that is sustaining injustice and global marginalisation that is responsible for creating confusion of values proportionate to the biblical tower of Babylon confusion.

Therefore, the greedy profiteering multinational cooperation, the larger business conglomerates that define the global business environment whose effects are to their benefits and are harmful to local people do not share at all in the Sustainable Development Goals dreams and anticipations.

At their heart is purely a selfish anthropocentric agenda that is narrow that defines who is human and who must benefit from their human development agenda.

Such business empires are bullies of local governments of poor countries as they demand cheaper labour, cheaper natural resources with sinful tax holidays that deny much needed revenue for poor countries development.

Paying a blind eye to these pervasive business practices and paying a deaf ear to these dangerous forces in our global dynamics is to ignore core elements that are robbing this globe off peace and justice.

It becomes therefore very imperative that poor nations must wake up and ask themselves whether all the wars fought on earth are really in the name of justice.

It is high time therefore to ask unquestioned assumptions whether identifying fanatic religious leaders, militant religious groups, overzealous national leaders, schizophrenic nationalists across the globe as the source of lack of peace and global injustice does not only fulfill the greedy leaders’ desire for global conquest and control.

The world no longer has Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Benito Mussolini, Muamar Gadaffi and Osama Bin Laden and other lesser publicised “global enemies” or “axes of evil” to be blamed for the continued lack of peace.

It is either we know what we are fighting for or we do not know whom we are fighting for. We must face the stark reality that inclusive development that is sustainable remains a dream as so many societies are reduced from the normal survival mechanisms into a greater dependency syndrome that is propelling wretchedness. Such wretchedness is creating a fertile ground for militant response to domination and exploitation.

Until when we deal with real issues behind people’s poverty and correctly deal with the underlying assumptions and definitions of reasons for poverty, no matter how many leaders we kill across the globe, the developed world will not know peace!

Sustainable Development Goals will remain like the preceding visions, another set of hopes and dreams never to be realised!

Just my thoughts!

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