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With greater power comes greater responsibility


The decisions made by world leaders and great powers in the past have a great influence on the way billions of people who live in this world today. Thoughts and mind sets of our leaders in pre and post-Independence era and henceforth policy decisions made by them, touch upon our lives one way or the other. Be it the issue of East or West Germany, troubled relations of Palestine-Israel, or wars of the recent times, all have one thing in common and that is, the decisions of the great powers of that time which impact the lives of future generations even centuries down the line. Therefore, as it is said "With great power comes great responsibility", leaders have to be cautious and careful while exercising powers to provide responsible solutions, responsible not only for self-interests or national interest but to the world as a whole.

In recent times, the world has witnessed the fall of Iraq in tatters in the last thirteen years since US declared war on Iraq. Some parts of the region have been taken over by the Islamic state, and country's economy is shattered. Western powers had given good enough reasons to declare war on Iraq which resulted in loss of millions of lives, households destroyed and children became orphan. Not only the Iraqis lost so much but so did US soldiers and their families. But the recently released Chilcot report has given its observation that the war declared by western powers was based on wrong assumptions. However, the report is just a Band-Aid on a deep wound that has already happened and may take years and years to heal. These events reinforce the need of more international cooperation among world leaders that could help in eluding the unnecessary wars. Power leads to taking decision which looks good for short term but may change the way of life for many others. Therefore, there is great need for global consensus among world leaders to avoid one sided decisions which may lead to suffering for humanity.

On the economic front too, there is a need for deeper global consensus as rightly pointed out by our ex RBI Governor Mr. Raghuram Rajan. The world is more integrated now than we could ever think of. Policy decisions made by one country impact the health of economy of other countries. We have seen policies adopted by world powers post global financial crisis led to spill over and spill back effects in smaller countries. There is a need for rewriting the rules of the monetary policy game and labeling policies adopted by countries as red, amber, or green depending on the negative impact they are going to give outside the host country. Again, it all boils down to one question. The question is, Will the global powers come forward and make a decision to have an equitable world or would they keep maintaining the status quo to presume responsibilities towards self-interests. As these economic policies have major impact on the lives of people, there is a great need for world leaders to bring globally sustainable economic policies.

Another issue which is really driving the world together is the problem of climate change. Many countries moved very fast towards industrialization, which resulted in huge rise in their GDP and thus made them global powers. But, during that process they caused a higher degree of harm to the environment. Now those countries are occupying topmost ranking in world polluters' list but are they occupying similar position in contribution towards green economy or funding towards reducing pollution? That doesn't seem to be the case. With major polluters like US not ratifying the Kyoto protocol and gradually countries like Canada, Japan, Australia walking out of it, and the some criticism faced by Paris summit for not having binding timelines, the issue of handling global warming and climate change strictly is not visible on the ground. There is a dire need for world leaders to take the collective responsibility of having polluted the earth in the last 100 years and thus collectively plan and execute measures to solve the problem.

In the end, it is not only about us but the future generations who will inherit this earth from us. It is the responsibility of those in power to act responsibly, not only for own self or national interests but for the betterment of the whole world. Despite technological advances and innovation, the world still suffers from malnutrition, inequality, violence and war. We need to make sure that those in power exercise their power with full responsibility towards the welfare and empowerment of the society.

-Neha Goyal