Things I would like to see in the world in 2024

INDIA, Pakistan, Nigeria, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia are large countries with huge populations. Yet there is no recognised international award from these countries. The world recognises the Booker Prize from the UK as the ultimate prize in literature.

Sweden is a country of 10 million people and does not have the economic strength of India, Brazil or China, yet its Nobel Prize is seen as the most prestigious award in the world. There is no international organisation based in any country outside of Europe whose work is seen as a standard bearer. In Germany, a private organisation named Transparency International (TI) is viewed around the globe as the definitive monitor of governmental behaviour in the world’s countries.

In France, there is Reporters Without Borders. In the UK, there is Amnesty International, and the list goes on. Who gives TI the right to evaluate every country in the world? From which part of the world that authority is derived? The UN, OAS, CARICOM, ECOWAS, Mercosur, Commonwealth and other inter-governmental bodies have not clothed TI with the jurisdiction to judge governance around the world.

So why does the Western press highlight TI’s annual reports? Who are the owners of TI in Germany? Who funds the organisation? Does its administrators travel the world to analyse the culture and sociology of Third World countries? How much longer will this cultural arrogance be accepted by the Global South?

There is no larger caricature in the world than the French veto power in the UN. This is one of the most bizarre things in the world. France played no big role in the defeat of Germany in World War 11; France played no crucial role at Normandy. It was the UK and US that made the difference at Normandy. By what logic after the war, France got the veto in the Security Council? Why India, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria not awarded a veto seat in the Security Council?

In 2024, there has to be an assertion of the Global South in world affairs. Maybe the BRICS grouping is the first sign that 2024 will be different. Countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa and the continent of Africa have to start projecting their presence in a world where the total population of all Western countries does not meet a billion in a world of eight billion.

South Africa needs to offer an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize from Norway. It should be named after one of civilisation’s most unique humans — Nelson Mandela. The Nelson Mandela Peace Prize, backed by a modest sum, should be recognised as the definitive accolade in today’s world. It should be awarded to people who have made substantial efforts to change the world to be a more peaceful planet.

Some of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize do not deserve it and it calls into question just how the award is decided in Norway. Who are these people who make the decision? It is a five-member panel selected by the Norwegian parliament and consists of Norwegian citizens only.

Two of the changes over the past five years that saw a shift away from Western domination are India’s role in cricket and China’s role in world affairs. The administration of global cricket was the exclusive preserve of the English and Australians until India began to flex its muscles about five years ago. Today, India’s presence in global cricket surpasses both the power of the English and Australian boards.

In terms of international political economy, the entry of China into world affairs the last 15 years has been dramatic and its presence in international trading patterns, the world economy and global affairs has altered the balance of power. China is now poised to become perhaps the most influential country in the vast area of the planet we call the Global South. In 2024 and onwards, the developing world has everything to gain and nothing to lose by embracing the world’s newest superpower.

Finally, there must be deep and concrete steps in 2024 to rearrange the shape of the International War Tribunal. The Israeli commission of genocide in Gaza and the immunity its leaders enjoy from prosecution is one of the unbearable tragedies in the world since the 20th century.

There is no greater tragedy since 1945 — the end of the war — of an army without resistance just bombing the residences of people, killing victims, most of whom are women and children. And they have been doing so for four months now and the world has a war-crime court, the very court that issued an arrest warrant for President Putin for forcefully transferring children from Ukraine to Russia. Is this a sad joke?

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