Liberia: COOPERATION NOT FRAGMENTATION
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is holding its Annual Forum in Davos, Switzerland from January 16-20, 2023. The theme of the Forum is Cooperation in a Fragmented World. This Commentary is directed at pointing out the problem of fragmentation and bringing in the solution to the fragmentation problem.
By Togba-Nah Tipoteh, [email protected], Contributing Writer
In 2015, nearly 200 Countries met in Paris, France at the United Nations-sponsored Conference of the Parties (COPs) 21. At that COP21, the Landmark Decision was made to reduce gas emissions to -1.5 degrees centigrade by 2030. At COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt in 2022, the Conference realized that progress had not been made towards the realization of the COP21 Decision.
In the same year, 2015, another Landmark Decision was made at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Conference in Paris, France. But under the Trump regime, the United States of America (USA) withdrew from the Accord. Now the Biden regime has come in, making former Secretary of State of the USA John Kerry, the Leader in the surge to get the USA back into the Climate Change Accord of 2015.
But the USA and Russia are at odds on the Russia-Ukraine war and the USA and the People’s Republic of China are in confrontation over Taiwan. The European Union and the United Kingdom are also working on the side of Ukraine in the Russia-Ukraine war.
In all of this fragmentation. one remains mindful of the great recession of 2008. In that recession. the global economy saw drawbacks never seen since the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Despite the bailouts of nearly two trillion United States dollars by the Bush and Obama Administrations, respectively, economic recovery is still is in the clouds, hard to find, especially with inflationary threats.
From the global to the local, we can look at the fragmentation in Liberia. Since the 1950s, it has been known that Liberia lies within the Economic Growth Without Economic Development corridor. This corridor is seen in the Liberian economy exhibiting the second highest economic growth rate per capita in the world but with less than one per cent of the people of Liberia having access to more than sixty per cent of the income and wealth of Liberia (Robert Clower, et al, Growth Without Development, Northwestern University Press, 1966). This income inequality in Liberia persists, as seen in National Legislators having access to at least LD150,000 day and their foreign partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least LD300,000,000 a day while nearly all of the people of Liberia have access to at most less than LD300 a day (Annual Reports of CBL, LISGIS, MFDP, MCI, WB, IMF, ADB and UNDP).
This income inequality, locally and globally, is well pointed out by the Economist Piketty (Thomas Piketty, Capital and Ideology, Harvard University Press, 2020). This income inequality is seen in the greed of the powers that be locally and globally. This greed has led to the longstanding and widespread poverty that has become the pretext to violence in Liberia and other Countries. This violence, at times, takes on the forms of coup d’etat and civil war. It is essentially on account of this pretext that the people of Liberi are saying that they prefer Peace to War, as heard in their chant: We Want Peace! No More War!
The people of Liberia and people elsewhere want this violence-oriented fragmentation to come to an end sooner than later. The end to this fragmentation will come when the people who love Liberia and the other countries continue working together to transform the UNFAIR electoral system into the FAIR electoral system. It is only through this transformation under the Rule of Law that the respective National Election Commissions (NECs), which supervise elections, can be changed for the better to follow The Constitutional Mandate and have only persons with good records to be elected to bring in the system of Justice, the indispensable ingredient for Peace and Progress in Liberia and in any other Country.