By Kalinga Seneviratne
SYDNEY (IDN) — Welcome to our 13th issue of Sustainable Development Observer, which focuses on warmongering and sustainable development goals, prompted by an event I covered for IDN-InDepthNews from Kazakhstan—the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions—a gathering of over 300 religious leaders representing the Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish faiths.
Kazakhstan was once the meeting place of traders and travellers from the East to the West, known as the Silk Route. As Pope Francis noted in his keynote address to the Congress: “We are meeting in a country traversed down the centuries by great caravans. In these lands, not least through the ancient silk route, many histories, ideas, faiths and hopes have intersected. May Kazakhstan be once more a land of the encounter between those who come from afar.” Please read my report in this issue for more perspectives on the issue.
I would like to draw your attention to the comments in the first article where Joseph Gerson, President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, says, “one wants to weep, to scream, at the contradiction between the vision, hopes and ceremonies embedded in the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the reality that humanity is now hostage to the most dangerous nuclear confrontation since Cuban Missile Crisis”.
The need of the hour is for millions of people to come out to the streets of capitals around the world to demand from politicians that the warmongering need to stop. In the 1980s, when Europe was threatened with nuclear annihilation, that did happen, but there are no signs this mobilisation is happening now.
On a more optimistic note, we bring you two articles on the shaping of a multipolar world with two recent meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eastern Economic Forum. The western global media all but ignored these meetings. The only newsworthy item they could extract from the SCO meeting was Indian Prime Minister Modi’s comments that “this is not the time for war”, which was interpreted as his warning to Putin. Still, one may also interpret it as a warning to other warmongers as well who are arming the Ukrainians to continue the war.
“We need to ensure implementation of the roadmap for SCO member states to expand shares of local currency settlement, better develop the system for cross-border payment and settlement in local currencies, work for the establishment of an SCO development bank, and thus speed up regional economic integration,” China’s President Xi Jinping said in his address to the summit.
But these important developments in shaping a global financial architecture were not news for the western media. In his address to the summit, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the task is transforming the SCO into a global economic platform, noting the huge economic potential of the SCO member states that account for nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP or more than $23 trillion. These are important developments that SDO brings to you in this issue. [IDN-InDepthNews — 09 October 2022]
The PDF copy of Sustainable Development Observer Issue 13 can be downloaded from https://kalingasen.wixsite.com/sdomag/magazine.
Image: IDN-INPS | SDO.
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