Sharing power with the next generations

Source: This post is based on the article “Sharing power with the next generations” published in The Hindu on 19th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Relevance: About the inter-generational justice.

News: The recent Ukraine crisis highlighted that the institutions of global governance which were supposed to guarantee peace have failed.

A new concept of “inter-generational justice” is gaining traction as a better way of producing a more equitable global order and arresting mankind’s breakneck destruction of the planet.

Why does the standard model of hierarchical organisations fail?

After two world wars, a new breed of global institutions was created to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, rebuild shattered economies, and maintain global peace.

These include the United Nations headquartered in New York and the Bretton Woods institutions — the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — in Washington.

However, power in these institutions was retained by the victors. This shows new ideas for global governance are required because, a) They follow standard “one size” solution, whereas this cannot fit all, b) There is also a trust breakdown between the leaders on top of large international organisations and people on the ground,

c) They are also ineffective and constantly struck between issues between nations. For instance, after the Bretton Woods institutions failed to prevent oil large “oil shocks”, the world created G7. This was later expanded to G8 and G20. But the G20 is facing issues as the G7 wants to throw Russia out.

Read more: UN Reforms
What is the prevailing scientific theory and its drawbacks?

The modern approach to progress is disseminated widely through “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. This is done by extracting resources from the planet to create new products for human benefit. And then to find new technological approaches to repair the damage caused to the planet by those technologies.

But, the climate is heating up. Inequalities are growing. People are losing their patience. New ways must be found to solve complex global problems.

A scientific theory cannot work in socio-ecological systems because, a) Unlike machines designed by engineers, social scientists and economists are situated within the systems, b) Unlike ‘scientific’ design thinkers who try to design systems ‘objectively’, natural systems thinkers learn to live with and within the systems that give them life. For instance, They do not feel the need for rockets to take them to other planets after they have spoiled this one.

Read more: IBSA grouping issue joint statement calling for UNSC reforms
How to achieve inter-generational justice and lasting peace?

To ensure peace and prosperity, the power must shift between generations to create a more equitable global order. In other words, globally, the power must shift from the older, so-called ‘advanced’ countries to younger ‘emerging’ economies.

1) All generations and countries must work together. All must listen to others’ aspirations and must understand others’ wisdom. 2) The world should move away from the so-called ‘white man’s burden’.  So, the G7 and the Security Council must invite the rest to find new solutions to global problems. 3) Native communities’ natural knowledge must be reaped. 4) Local systems solutions should be cooperatively implemented within their communities by old and young persons together.

These are the way to solve these global systemic problems.

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