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Another world is possible

By Fernando de La Vieter Nobre
MD, PHD, Founder and President of AMI Foundation (Portuguese NGO)

I am among those who believe that another world is possible. This other world more humanized, more ethical, with more rules, more tolerance and openness, with more acceptance, it is possible, as long as the citizens want it. As a traveler that I am, I strive effectively for a new worldview and a new mentality of the human being. I am among those who dream of the existence of a supportive global citizenship for all inhabitants of the earth and even the universe.

AMI Image Niger by Alferdo CunhaNevertheless, I am also among those who believe that misery, and consequently hunger are our collective shame, that climate change, mass migration, religious wars and conflicts that multiply are the great challenges of humanity and that only the junction of an organized, convinced, active and nonconformist civil society, and ethical and with human responsibility companies and governments, will be able to face these obstacles with will, sensitivity, determination and responsibility.

The Hunger and Food Waste persistent in the world today form an absurd and intolerable nonsense.

According to the World Food Programme, there are currently 842 million people who do not have enough to eat, that is, 1 in 9 people in the world is starving.

Hunger and malnutrition are the main risk to global health, a greater risk than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined, because hunger, when it doesn’t kill, weakens and leaves serious consequences on physical and mental development.

And I can assure you it is intolerable to see someone die of hunger because we have arrived too late, and look into their eyes. I say this knowingly.
And it is much or more in a time when we have never produced so much and never wasted so much as well, throwing daily many tons of food to waste. It is an absurd crime.

Soon, 2030 will be here and the world may have to face a deep global food crisis.
With climate change as a scary background, whatever we may do today, the effects of global warming due to massive CO2 emissions and destruction of the ozone layer are already inevitable for the next 20 or 30 years.
The essential positive decisions that might be taken today, such as the significant reduction of emission of gases with greenhouse effect (and I fear that the incompetent and weak global governance still remains a prisoner or subservient of very powerful interests and lobbies for oil companies and other polluting energy sources – coal, shale, bituminous …), shall only be effective in 20, 30 or even 40 years!

AMI Image Bangladesh image by Alferdo CunhaIf we want to have a sustainable world with a viable future for all, we the rich have to accept to tighten our belts so that the less wealthy or poor, can loosen theirs a little! We cannot demand the BRIC and others not to develop more on the pretext that they will pollute more… and exhaust the resources of the planet! What moral authority do we have to ask, for example, to China to stop its energy consumption and its development, when we (USA + Canada + EU) have been the major polluters (less
than 1/6 of the population and 36% of CO2 emissions) and the great predators of the planet’s resources?

It is, therefore of a new civilizational paradigm that our world urgently needs!

In the new paradigms, that will eventually impose themselves, one way or another, Humanism, Sensitivity, Knowledge, Intelligence and Common Sense must prevail. This is about assuring Global Survival and preventing genocide with Dantesque dimensions. One thing is certain: our planet cannot stand that all its inhabitants live in the standard of living and consumption of the West! In short, our ecological footprint is unsustainable. If everyone on the planet lived like the Portuguese it would be necessary two planets Earth. And living as the Nordic or the Americans would take three or four planets Earth…

The COP21, to be held in Paris in late 2015, will provide an excellent and perhaps last chance in order to obtain a long lasting agreement concerning this subject.

Each year that passes without a determined global action and if possible, decisive, decreases the chance of success to reverse the current and negative trends, continuing underdevelopment as a huge challenge/threat to peace, to which also contributes the drama of illegal migration south/north and east/west across the Sahara and the Mediterranean that culminates in real tragedies day after day, as the one of August this year when dozens of refugees were found dead, probably suffocated, in a truck in Austria.

This calamity was not the first and will not, unfortunately, be the last as long as the international community does not show a real will to deal with this problem and there is no political courage, vision and determination to stop the conflicts in Africa and in the Middle East and to conduct a real development plan in these regions to ensure urgently to its inhabitants a sustainable future and a renewed hope.

Migration is a basic human right. People only emigrate from their country, leaving everything behind, when they don’t have an alternative, either for economic, security and, very soon, climate reasons.

Ami Image Iraqi Kurdistan by Alferdo CunhaWith about 50 million refugees and displaced persons in the world, and with the aforementioned climate change, which will cause many more tens of millions of refugees and displaced persons, the migration movement will take a breadth never seen before. Therefore, it is imperative to create the necessary conditions (educational, legislative, urban …) to cope with this situation closely and avoid violent cultural shocks.

The milkshake, the mixing, the miscegenation of the world’s population is ongoing, accelerating. There is no way around it.

Let us make migration a huge opportunity for world peace and for the fight against poverty, a dramatic global threat, along with the religious wars and conflicts that multiply and become a real scourge of humanity.

The worsening of the conflicts and the actions of terror of radical groups in the Middle East and in Africa, north of the Ecuador, is a real weapon of mass destruction,
which systematically violates all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is urgent to establish an effective intercultural and religious dialogue, to create bridges of dialogue that lead to knowledge and acceptance of others in their legitimate diversity.

The Future of Mankind belongs to us. It is up to us, citizens, if we are determined and perhaps motivated, to print a decisive qualitative leap in our collective destiny, making our utopias of today the realities of tomorrow.

As a pillar of organized citizenship, civil society is essential for exercising a strong and sustained pressure on the other two pillars of human society (State and Market), in order to control the murderous speculation, eradicate bad governance and develop a genuine democratic Diplomacy. The Global Partnership for Citizenship is probably the last bulwark against the Apocalypse (Jacques Attali) and surely is the new human paradigm, long-awaited and indispensable for the next unsettling times that many of us have already glimpsed. It is necessary to obtain a satisfactory balance for all between representative democracy and participatory democracy by allowing citizens to express themselves, and their views to be taken into account when national, European and global relief subjects are at stake!

Photo Dr Fernando NobreTherefore, and that is my option, we can only struggle for the rapid strengthening of the hopeful Global Partnership for Citizenship, the last chance against a trapped Global Dependence.
Civil society can, should and must demand and obtain as soon as possible, an end to poverty, the great wars and corruption and an effective and most urgent fight against climate change and its already frightening consequences! It is urgent and necessary that the next 15 years may consolidate and complete the work begun with the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. This is the last opportunity to stop the despair and conflict and ipso facto, the massive migration flows that may jeopardize the already endangered democracies in the West, the Middle East and Asia. And we, responsible and participatory civil society, have the duty to do everything in our power to make our voice heard and to make this wish come true by and for human beings like us! And this requires that we define 3 or 4 common goals for all the institutions of civil society, whether from the environmental area, human rights or other. It was, in my view, the lack of a common vision to all that led to the failure of the World Social Forum as a counterpoint to the one in Davos!

If we don’t do so, it is the future of humanity which will soon be in question, 100 to 200 years from now, and we may and should all be accused of not paying assistance to Humanity in imminent danger.


Fernando de La Vieter Nobre, MD, PHD
Founder and President of AMI Foundation (Portuguese NGO)
Regent Professor of Humanitarian Medicine at the Medical School of the University of Lisbon
General Surgeon and Urologist
Has conducted over 250 humanitarian missions in over 180 countries

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