May 8, 2009, 6:22 AM
Our world is bedeviled with a lot of crises, enough crises for that matter.
The ongoing UN General Assembly in New York being attended by over 140 world leaders has tabled a slice, but very pertinent issues, of the cake of troubles we have at hand.
The rise of Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, the ongoing civil strife in Ukraine, the deadly Ebola outbreakin Africa, as well as climate change and nuclear disarmament, formed part of the agenda of the summit.
Most of these woes the world is faced with are the result of man’s greed for power, lust for money and injustice.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is today the most powerful and effective jihadi group in the world. It has almost replaced the al-Qa’ida organisation founded by Osama bin Laden.
Led since 2010 by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua, the ISIL now controls a great swathe of territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria, “making it militarily the most successful jihadi movement ever.”
And President Barack Obama is galvanizing support from other world leaders, especially in the Arab states, to combat ISIL and its activity. Would he be able, as we have seen a metamorphosis strategy in recent years in the activities of such movements?
There is also a dark cloud hanging over Ukraine, where rebels and Ukrainian forces are at each other’s throat, with reportedly heavy death toll and other atrocities meted out to the people of that region, whilst Russia is enmeshed in the crisis.
The issue of climate change and its effects on our lives is also on the table. And the US, China, India, France and other big powers and highly industrialised nations are the drivers of this problem.
Although President Obama has been pushing for completion next year of a comprehensive treaty reducing greenhouse gas emissions, warning that the Earth’s climate appears to be “changing faster than our efforts to address it,” other countries like China and India are dragging their feet on the issue, which is a cause for concern.
The death toll of the Ebola outbreak in several West African countries is now at least 2,900, according to the World Health Organization’s latest figure. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are the most hit in this crisis.
There have been 6,242 reported cases of Ebola in total, according to the United Nations health agency. It said while the number of cases has “appeared to stabilize” in Guinea and some parts of Sierra Leone, there have been more than 1,700 new cases reported in Liberia in the last three weeks alone.
These are alarming issues, to say the least, and our leaders are expected to take the right measures and approaches to solve these problems.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is quoted to have said the world seemed like it might be falling apart, as the international community faces unprecedented list of crises.
Our plea to world leaders, therefore, as they are in New York City, is to look at appropriate measures and actions of solving the crises we are battling with, to make this world a better place for mankind to live.
The assassinated leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, Mahatma Ghandi, once said: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary, the evil it does is permanent.”
Patience and time do more than force and rage, we are told; so our leaders would do us more good if they handle matters of the world with more wisdom than anger.
We want a better place to live. “More than an end to war; we want an end to the beginnings of all wars,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States.
“More than an end to war; we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt