Part 8: THE NEED FOR LEADERSHIP
Whatever the dimensions of global governance , however renewed and enlarged its machinery, whatever values give it content, the quality of global governance depends ultimately on leadership. Throughout our work, we have been conscious of the degree to which the realization of our proposals depends on leadership of a high order at all levels.
As the world faces the need for enlightened responses to the challenge that arise on the eve of the new century, we are concerned at the lack of leadership over a wide spectrum of human affairs. At national, regional, and international levels, within communities and in international organizations, in governments and in non-governmental bodies, the world needs credible and sustained leadership.
It needs leadership that is proactive, not simply reactive , that is inspired, not simply functional, that looks to the longer term and future generations for whom the present is held in trust. It needs leaders made strong by vision, sustained by ethics, and revealed by political courage that looks beyond the next election.
This cannot be leadership confined within domestic walls. It must reach beyond country, race, religion, culture, language, life-style. It must embrace a wider human constituency, be infused with a sense of caring for others, a sense of responsibility to the global neighborhood.
To a very particular degree today, the need for leadership is widely felt, and the sense of being bereft of it is the cause of uncertainty and instability. It contributes to a sense of drift and powerlessness. It is at the heart of the tendency everywhere to turn inwards. that is why we have attached so much importance to values, to the substance of leadership and the compulsions of an ethical basis for global governance. A neighborhood without leadership is a neighboorhood endangered.
When we talk of the need for leadership we do not mean only at the highest national and international levels. We mean enlightenment at every level- in local and national groups, in parliaments and in the professions, among scientists and writers, in small community groups and large national NGOs, in international bodies of every description, in religious communities, in political parties and citizens' movements, in the private sector and among transnational corporations, and particularly in the media.
A great challenge to leadership today is to harmonize domestic demands for national actions and the compulsions of international cooperation. It is not a new challenge, but it has a new intensity as globalization diminishes the capacity to deliver at home and enlarges the need to combine efforts abroad. Enlightened leadership calls for a clear vision of solidarity in the true interest of national well-being - and for political courage in articulating the way the world has changed and why a new spirit of global neighborhood must replace old notions of adversarial states in eternal confrontation.
The alternative is too frightening to contemplate. In a final struggle for primacy- in which sees virtue in advancing its national self interest, with states and people pitted against each other-there can be no winners. Everyone will lose; selfishness will make genius the instrument of human self-destruction. But the leadership to advert this is not sufficiently evident. The hope must be people- people demanding enlightenment of their leaders, refusing to accept the alternative of humanity at war with itself. And that hope is balanced by the promise of the leadership that future generations will bring.
In a real sense the global neighborhood is the home of the future generations; global governance is the prospect of making it better than it is today. But the hope would be a pious one were there not signs that future generations come to the task better equipped than their parents. They bring to the next century less of the baggage of old animosities and adversarial systems accumulated in the area of nation-states.
The new generation knows how close they stand to cataclysms unless they respect the limits of the natural order and care for the earth by sustaining its life-giving qualities. They have a deeper sense of solidarity as people of the planet than any generation before them. They are neighbours to a degree no other generation has been.
ON THAT RESTS OUR HOPE FOR OUR GLOBAL NEIGHBORHOOD
QUOTED FROM: A Call To Action, Summary of Our Global Neighbourhood, the report of the Comiision on Global Governance