Globalisation era realpolitik

THE exchange between His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London lays the framework of what top-level interaction should be like in the modern globalisation era.

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Published: Sun 14 Oct 2007, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:02 AM

For one thing, the two leaders clearly laid more stress on social issues than political concerns, indicating a firm desire to genuinely move towards realising the much trumpetted Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that should improve the lot of the common man, instead of putting prime focus on mutual political concerns.

The UAE and UK have a vibrant working relationship. And the binding thread remains strong even though the latter’s attention has been sidelined of late owing to its overbearing participation in the so-called international war against terrorism. That is why London’s shift to more humanitarian concerns —which were actually sidelined owing to terror-war endeavours — is all the more welcome under its new prime minister. Brown’s appreciation for the Dubai leadership’s Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid foundation and Dubai Cares initiatives is not mere lip service. It is an indication that new-age leaders are beginning to realise the importance of greater commitment to crucial sociological concerns than their predecessors.

From the point of view of this shift, Shaikh Mohammed has picked perhaps the best qualified man in Western leadership circles to indulge with, at least for the moment. Immediately upon taking on the mantle, Gordon’s drive to facilitate debt repayment for economies of the South, particularly Africa, that struggle to assume economic self-sufficiency owing to massive debt burden betrayed streaks of concern that this particular brand of modern day politics will require in large reserves.

In recent decades especially, political concerns of influential capitals have brought about economic and social degradation on a massive scale. Should the old way of doing state-to-state business continue, there ought to be little disagreement that MDG benchmarks will never be met. That they are so far behind schedule already is ample proof of this fact.

Therefore, it is hoped that the soft and humble interaction between Shaikh Mohammed and Gordon Brown will indeed provide for an actionable blueprint, and world leaders will move quickly to this shift, realising that it is really in their hands to engineer the international community towards a more bearable living for all. Of course, the process must be preceded by toning down of present day violence, especially in the Middle East, another important issue that the two took up. Granted, economic and trade interests should continue to dictate political alliances, but when interests of the people are sidelined, sobering intervention ought to be introduced.

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