What is the relationship between "Global" and "Local" agendas and responsibilities?
Relevant chapters in this handbook
⇒ Defining Cooperation
"We are all interdependent" is the common answer we received when we asked why should a nation support the development of other nations. There is an economic aspect in this statement: as we all stand to benefit from a world trade environment where each nations is put in the condition to deliver to others what is best capable to produce. But there is more than this in the statement "we are all interdependent". It is an awareness that we now live in a world that is so interconnected that there is no longer the possibility of isolating us from global policies, global economy and global ecology. But there is even more to this: and is the consciousness that the cultural identity of our own community is based on a value system that has been in constant exchange with the value system of other cultures. And that this exchange process is now much more articulated, because the new media and the globalized communication context. So the capacity to preserve our own value system is based on the capacity to be aware of the ongoing process of cultural exchanges. What is now characterizing different communities is rather their capacity to be in dialogue with others. Closure is a sign of weakness and fear (and therefore an indicator of lethargy). Preservation of each cultural identity has never been achieved in isolation; and now more than ever we can only preserve our value system if we are able to value and understand the others. When we are in dialogue we really know what we are and what is our value; then we will be able to contribute to foster a fairer world cooperation climate and contribute to face the global challenges affecting all of us.
We asked different stakeholders to share with us their views about he relationship between "global" and "local" agendas and responsibilities. We also want to compare the aptitudes of the peoples of different nations in assuming responsibility for global development and inter-cultural dialogue.
Below are the answers we collected. The work is in progress and you are welcomed to contribute.
Click on the name of the contributor to go to the page with the full interview.
Olivier Consolo Director of CONCORDEdit
Development Cooperation Handbook/Interviews/David Sassoli
India is both a donor and an aid receiving country. We have always felt that we have some capacity to help people. Globally we are among the poorest country so we accept aid... but we also want to show that we can use some of our resources in other to help other countries where possible.
When good NGOs get involved they improve the quality of implementation and we encourage people to involve good NGOs. But the central government cannot interfere: it is the local authority that chooses the NGOs at local level. The problem is that if local authorities don't want change, they will surely not choose the NGOs that can make a difference.
The concept of an identity that is static is a huge mistake. Any effort to preserve identity is backward looking, static and frozen. The global environment is increasing the possibilities for countries and cultures to interact and i would strongly in favor of anything which increases that interaction.
But I'm not a supporter of the idea of all cultures merging into a some pre-digested - homogenized mush. I would like to see an interaction of cultures where cultures absorb things from outside, contribute things to the outside but yet remain distinctly different.
We need to explain to the taxpayer, because after all it the donor is the taxpayer: Italian taxpayer the British taxpayer the German and French taxpayer, twenty-seven member states taxpayers .... We are not only trying to be good people, charitable: actually this is not charity: it is in our interest, it is in our interest of every single citizen of Europe, and of European Nations, to help people in our neighborhood (I mean the different parts of the world) to be better off, less poor, less ill because we live in a interdependent world. Our purpose is not to give a handout, but to give a hand up; not to give the fish, but to give the fishing nets. So they can catch the fish. And that should be the rationale of our development policy
Skype - 07 Sept 2010
I think it is important to have a strong cultural identity. However, it is also important that one does not confuse a strong cultural identity as meaning a strong geographical identity or a strong religious or community identity. Many of us have strong cultural identities that are formed or based on the interactions we have had with people in different communities, people of different religions, people living across the world; maybe even tourists who come to our countries.
So, if our identity is based on this and I believe that our identity is not static. It is always in flux. So, we are continuously evolving our identities. So, if this is what we mean by strong cultural identities, I do not think it has any negative impact on our capacity to understand it has a positive will help us share the value of others.
But the moment the identity gets confused with religion, language, community, village and narrow restrictive categories of what identity means, the more difficult it will be for us to share the values of others, the less open we will be and the less capacity we will have to understand and dialogue about it.
Shiva Kumar development economist, Adviser to UNICEFEdit
P. Krishna - Director of Krishnamurti FoundationEdit
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