Today, more than ever before, the world we live in faces a lot of challenges. More than ever before, there are social, political, economic and environmental issues among others which are creating insecurity for large parts of our world, and requiring urgent attention. Complex problems of the nature that had never been seen before are, today, tasking the available resources, capacities and capabilities of our leaders.
As the world becomes progressively more globalised, as new information and communication technologies open new opportunities and new ways to interact, the world has been turned into one global village. The possibilities afforded by round-the-clock live broadcast of news on events round the world have meant that actions taken on both domestic and world issues and their impacts are now available and can be monitored real-time by anyone who takes any interest in them.
Political leaders, at local, regional, national and international levels are tasked with the functions of making policies, monitoring them and ensuring that we all have the benefits resulting from these policies. Most of these leaders perform their functions efficiently and judiciously and to the best of their abilities. Yet, serving the direct interest of those who elected them might not necessarily mean serving the interest of the global village. For example, embarking on large deforestation in order to create industrial centres might bring good reward to a local area. Its elected leader might actively pursue this goal. The environmental impact of such actions would no doubt be felt beyond the borders of the local area.
Acting locally in the overall interest of the global village is important. Acting globally in the interest of the people at the local and grass-root levels is important. Being able to find the balance between these objectives, often tasks the political capital of most of our elected leaders.
Recent events have shown the difficulties faced by leaders who attempt to please their local or national electors, while at the same time, trying to please a world with a diverse range of demands.
In the current difficult financial and economic climate in most parts of the Western world, how does a leader balance being a local hero with being a world player at the same time especially when the interest of both do differ? In the current political climate around the world, how does a leader rise above national sentiments to engage in transparently honest peace-making efforts? On the issue of the common good for the global village, how does a leader persuade his constituency that making sacrifices is not only good for the region, but also for the world as a whole?
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