We tend to associate size with power, one of the vicious of Dictators; big architectures that delivers the idea of authority. However, small, delicate items could also play the same role and impose respect. Quality and message is what really matters. Is in this sense that small efforts made by citizens with a strong will to contribute actively to a global peace building process must be taken into account as a driver for change.
Did you ever get the feeling of living in a thumbnail world? In which small leaders through large-scale decisions are wrongly guiding the destinies of millions of citizens within small -or none- accountability and transparency processes?. An entire thumbnail political world of elites and power without a results-driven strategy focused on the people. Leadership is about taken big decisions precisely because there are submitted to big processes of accountability and transparency.
Not as now, in which we are submerged in a global world without global accountability from institutions –as United Nations- that are meant to control the different processes.
The intentionally refuse from UN/Security Council to take real action against all the countries and leaders that commit actions against peace represent a clear sign that the system is not working. This stage of chaos leaves the legal framework of Human Rights guarantees into useless and ineffective. Recent actions from US and Israel against Palestine exposure the need to work with countries that aims to build peace on a sustainable basis and not bilateral agreements coming from “political friendship”. Is this the “new normal”? Political friendship and bilateralism feeding more hate and confrontation; is this the future of international relations? Where is the role of global institutions? Seems not a smart way for creating stability and by sure to resolve in-depth crises.
SDG 16 is not another legal text but a truly goal that must be taken into account in any political process. However, they are trying to sale the idea of a religion war, which is it not true and is not what the rest of the citizens around the world believes and stand for.
The system is failing at global institutional level and a new geopolitical order is needed, under the shape of agreements, associations, institutions or just leaders with a will for a change that gather around a common goal.
The gap that has been created among citizens and institutions is a real burden for a transformational process that leads to a solid peace building process. Is for that reason that citizens would become truly agents of change drawing a new map of politics focused on stability and fulfillment of minimum standards on Human Rights, respect to IHL, protection to civilians, cities and political relations based on common confidence and fulfillment of international agreements. All of the above under a new global perspective of union and trust that if institutions fail, people will not and the system could be re-written. In which the Western forces joint action with Middle East identifying their needs and concerns by working with local leaders and not the other way round.
Paradoxically the Muslim world has shown enough political will to be integrated in a global world –at least part of it- and models as Iran nuclear deal tell us that is possible and that institutions as the European Union could trust that without a “cultural invasion” and within a strong sense of religious respect, a political healthy relationship is possible and achievable in the short term.
A big world within big leaders is based on accountability, an essential element for a peace building process and the achievement of stability -particularly in Middle East-. There is no possibility for national peace if there is not a global counterbalance peace processes. SDG 16 is it not “another goal”, but “the goal” for getting into sustainability for the rest.
*La Caixa Forum, Madrid.