Linked with ‘Share The World’s Resources STWR’.
Published on ‘Share the world’s resources’.
Poverty causes the needless deaths of 50,000 people each day, and international aid continues to fail the poorest nations. Even if the Millennium Development Goal for halving extreme poverty is achieved, 900 million people will still be living on less than one dollar a day in 2015.
Basic needs are not being secured for the majority world by neoliberal economics despite a 60 year old commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Climate change, which will have the gravest impact on the developing world, is accelerating as a result of mass commercialisation and the over-consumption of resources by the richest nations. Inequality within and between nations is continually widening as a direct consequence of free market policies.
Despite the inability of unregulated market forces to resolve these issues, the G8 and other wealthy nations continue to prioritise profit and economic growth over the securing of basic human needs. Only the major corporations truly benefit from a global economy organised on the basis of self interest and competition, yet these values have been institutionalised through the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
What is the Principle of Sharing?
Sharing is not an ‘ism’ or an ideology but a natural law of economy, a simple process that, when implemented on a global scale, can transform the way resources are distributed. National systems of welfare provide a practical example of sharing in which governments pool tax revenues and channel them into social services. With the exception of the Marshall Plan after World War II, the principle of sharing has never been implemented at the international level where it is most urgently required.
Basic agricultural produce, clean water, vital medicine, land, energy and the atmosphere are amongst the resources which, if co-managed by the international community, can secure basic human rights across the world. Resources can, however, only be shared effectively if they are cooperatively owned by the global public rather than corporations or individual countries. Without this affirmation of international unity, confrontation between nations over resources will inevitably continue.
Enough food, water and medicine is available for every person on the planet. If the international community is committed to creating a sustainable world without poverty, we must act now to reorganise the economic system in line with the principles of cooperation and sharing.
How Sharing Can Work?
Public pressure must first persuade governments to take immediate and decisive action to end extreme poverty. Once the principle of sharing is accepted as the basis for creating a sustainable economy, international consensus needs to be established on which resources should be shared.
A new United Nations agency can then hold these resources in trust on behalf of the global public and initiate an emergency redistribution program to tackle extreme poverty.
A system of sharing would result in a smaller free market economy and thereby reduce the activity and influence of market forces and multinational corporations. This would consequently lead to less commercial trade and reduce the need for international finance and development funding, allowing the WTO, World Bank and IMF to be progressively decommissioned. Governance of the global economy could then be restored to UN agencies such as ECOSOC and UNCTAD.
Wealthy nations will have to consume less, reduce CO2 emissions, and redistribute surplus resources to where they are most urgently needed. Sharing resources in this way can create rapid bottom-up development and eliminate the need for international aid.
The natural outcome of co-creating an economy which prioritises cooperation and sharing is peaceful international relations.
Further resources on sharing: … (full text).