„… people, that meet under the umbrella of the Forum 2000 attempt to cross boundaries of profession, geographic location and religion. “
Václav Havel, Former President of the Czech Republic, 2003
HomepageProjectsForum 2000 Conferences1999TranscriptsAfternoon Session, Oct. 11

Afternoon Session, Oct. 11

Jiří Pehe
I would like to start by briefly recapitulating what happened this morning. We heard very interesting contributions, speeches, and actually quite a lot about various calamities the developing world has suffered. Perhaps the question that we should tr y to answer, or tr y to analyse, is to what extent the process of globalisation itself is accountable or responsible for these calamities, and perhaps to answer the question as to whether the process of globalisation cannot help to solve some of those calamities. I think I heard suggestions along these lines in some of this morning's speeches, and maybe we could try to look for more answers from this afternoon's panel.

It is my privilege to welcome Frederik Willem de Klerk, the former President of South Africa and Nobel prize winner, who played a crucial role in ending apartheid in South Africa. Frederik Willem de Klerk is our keynote speaker for this afternoon's panel.

Frederik Willem De Klerk
Mr Chairman, it is a great honour to be able to address this distinguished forum in the final days of the old millennium. As we approach the end of the century and the beginning of the new millennium, there are three realities that I think will continue to influence global affairs until deep into the next century. The first is globalisation, the second is the scourge of destitution - destitution arising from the failure of some parts of the world to join in the global march to prosperity -and the third is the persistence of devastating ethnic and religious conflicts.

The millennium is not just a nice round number: it, in fact, coincides with one of the most profound developments in human history, the process that we have come to call globalisation - or world integration.

During the past decades, we have begun to lay the foundations of a new supranational global community. One of the central implications of this new community is that none of us - and particularly not the leading powers - can any longer ignore problems and grievances in distant countries. Non-performing economies cannot be ignored or relegated to a basket-case category outside of the mainstream of global commerce - and bloody crises and conflicts in distant societies deserve much more than mere thirty-second segments on the evening news.

In the new millennium, it will be less and less possible to ignore the stark reality that a large part of the human population still lives in unacceptable poverty, misery and repression. Some will argue that there has been progress and that the portion of the world's population living in absolute poverty has declined from two-thirds to one-third in the past 40 years. It is true. However, the fact is that the total number of people living below the poverty line has stayed about the same - because the world's population has doubled since 1960. Even more serious is the fact that the disparity per capita between the poorest one-fifth and the richest one-fifth of the world's nations has widened from 30: 1 in 1960 to 78: 1 in 1994.

In this regard, Mr Chairman, allow me, as an African, to put the case for Africa. But what I have to say about Africa, to a great extent, applies also to many other regions of the world. Most of the poorest one-fifth of the world's nations live in Africa. In the race for peace and prosperity, many African countries are falling further and further behind not only the first world countries, but also behind many other former developing economies. AIDS is having a devastating effect on our continent. Hunger and poverty thrives. Civil wars are racking many countries. Ethnic cleansing is persisting. This gives rise to the question: what is the rest of the world doing? And if we underline doing, not talking, the reply is a very unfortunate, more or less, "nothing". Here and there, band-aid strips are applied, but there is no overall plan to systematically address the problems of Africa. I want to latch on to what Mr Soros had to say last night, when he called for something like a Marshall Plan for the Balkans. I realise that the Balkans is a more immediate problem for the first world, maybe more than Africa, but we need a few Marshall plans for the world - and we definitely need something like a Marshall Plan for Africa.

I want to issue a stern warning today. It will not be possible to marginalise an entire continent. Europe and the world cannot accept a new de facto apartheid between a rich white north and an impoverished and unstable black south in the continent of Africa. The populations of Europe and Africa are now about the same, at around 750 million people. But, within 50 years, the population of Africa will have soared to 2 billion, while that of Europe will have shrunk to fewer than 640 million people.

I also want to warn that in a shrinking world the problems of one region will inevitably become the problems of other regions and ultimately of the whole global society:

Diseases like AIDS - which first appeared in Africa - do not observe international borders.

Instability and poverty in one region will lead to problems for others. Already, we see this with the attempts of boat people from Haiti, Albania and Vietnam to penetrate the first world defences of the United States, Western Europe and Hong Kong.

This year, Western leaders have proclaimed a new doctrine concerning the morality of their intervention to protect the people of Kosovo from repression. But will the same moral principles be applied when intervention is urgently required to save Africans from repression, massacre or famine? If not, there will come a time of reckoning in respect of double standards.

Whether we live in the first world or the third world, we all share the same global environment. The decimation of tropical forests and the extinction of animal and plant species will have long-term consequences for the whole planet. Mr Chairman, in our globalised society such problems and conflicts will sooner or later breach international borders and affect the interests of us all. It is, I believe, therefore essential for us to develop the policies, the resources, the structures and the will to ensure that a sizeable proportion of the human population does not fall further behind in the global race for prosperity, peace and democracy - and I strongly support what Professor Sachs said this morning, when he pleaded for more structures in other fields apart from the well-developed structures we already have, such as the International Monetary Fund.

How, then, should we deal with these problems? In the time allowed, I can only highlight a few guidelines. The solution to many of these problems lies first in rapid and sustained economic growth. Secondly, it lies in the promotion of democracy and the role of civil society. And thirdly, it lies in recognising the symbiosis that is required between these challenges. Economic prosperity creates an environment in which democracy and free institutions can grow, but it is also true the other way around, because such free institutions, in turn, help to promote the stability that is essential for economic growth.

There is an undeniable link between peace, development, growth and democracy. Only three of the countries in the world with per capita incomes of less than USD 1, 000 are full democracies, while nearly all of the 20 richest countries - those with per capita incomes above USD 13 000 - are democracies (the exceptions being a number of oil-rich states). This should not come as a surprise: it is difficult for democracy to take root in countries with low levels of education, inadequate social services and poor communications. This is not good breeding ground for democracy. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to develop a successful consumer economy without a well educated population, without free institutions, without the liberty of action and choice that free markets require, and without effective mass communications.

There is also a link between levels of development and peace. Eleven of the 30 poorest countries - including Rwanda, Burundi, Afghanistan, Sudan, Liberia, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo - have in recent years been racked by devastating civil wars. On the other hand, none of the 20 richest countries have experienced serious internal conflict - with the exception of Northern Ireland.

Again, there is a reason for this. The poorest countries have not yet developed the constitutional mechanisms to manage and resolve conflicts. Those involved in such conflicts have little ability to choose or control their destinies, but are simply swept along by the tide of war. The philosophies we expound around this table do not reach their ears. They do not hear them and, living as they do, they would not easily understand. We must move towards a system, and action plans, that can bring about visible improvement in their situation.

Citizens of rich first world societies are, by contrast, well informed about current issues. They are protected by the law and, through their political representatives, they are able to choose whether they wish to become involved in conflict or not. Only in the most extreme cases will they accept the necessity for war. Moreover, every aspect of modern conflict is covered on a minute-to-minute basis by the media. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to romanticise war. It is perhaps for such reasons that there is no case where one true democracy has ever gone to war against another true democracy. Democracy is thus a strong force for peace.

How, then, can we achieve this necessary symbiosis between economic development, stability, democracy and a vibrant civil society? Once again, I only have time for a few guidelines. In the sphere of the economy, I believe that the developed countries can help to promote economic growth in Africa and other less developed societies by removing some of the obstacles that currently hobble their economies. In particular, further attention should be given to the alleviation of the debt burden of the world's 41 most highly indebted poor countries - 34 of which are in Africa. The cost to Africa of servicing its foreign debt of USD 349 billion in 1997 amounted to 21.3 per cent of its earnings from the export of goods and services. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel on this issue. Significant steps are now being taken by the IMF to begin to address this problem. So far four countries, including Uganda and Mozambique, have received about USD 5. 5 billion in debt service relief, and six more are in the pipeline to qualify for another USD 3. 4 billion.

I believe that steps should also be taken to increase Africa's diminishing share in global trade, which is less than 2 per cent of the total. African exports need more favourable access to first world markets, and consideration should be given to counter the increasingly negative terms of trade most African countries experience. Once again, I think we can look at the practical solutions suggested last night by Mr Soros, which can form the basis for simultaneous solutions for other troubled parts of the world.

Africa also requires higher levels of foreign and domestic investment to achieve the 5 per cent per annum growth levels that are necessary to break out of the grip of poverty. Maybe, in this regard, consideration should be given to rewarding countries where there is real, effective movement towards democracy: to reward countries where there is a will and a commitment to adopt well balanced economic policies, and thus to create islands or centres of stability in Africa - within the southern region, the eastern region, central Africa, west Africa;to identify vehicles for growth;and for the leading countries of the world, and the leading multinationals of the world, to provide concerted action, not giving money away but becoming involved on a well planned basis in projects that will underpin development, which will create a foundation on which growth can be achieved.

Furthermore, I believe that, at the root of this failure to attract investment, lies the sad reality of conflict: 20 of the 45 countries of sub-Saharan Africa are presently - or have recently - been involved in wars. Some of the conflicts in Africa have been characterised by unspeakable and meaningless brutality, such as the deliberate mutilation of more than 5, 000 people in Sierra Leone. After decades of fighting, others - such as the conflicts in Angola, Sudan and Somalia - continue to defy all attempts to find solutions. If we are to find solutions, we will have to go to the root of the problem of these conflicts.

The simple truth, Mr Chairman, is that one of the main causes of conflict in Africa -and elsewhere in the world - is the inability of different ethnic and cultural groups to co-exist peacefully within the same societies. History has, rightly or wrongly, thrown peoples, nations and ethnic groups together who do not really want to be together. Borders have been drawn arbitrarily, and the result, here on the threshold of a new millennium, is widespread intercommunal conflict - not only in Africa but throughout the world. The present or recent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, southern Asia, Rwanda, Burundi, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Kashmir all bear bloody testimony to this fact.

This, therefore -apart from the need for economic development - is the great challenge of the new millennium: how to defuse the conflict potential inherent in multicultural and multiethnic societies. n a shrinking world, the international community will have to pay far greater attention to this question than has thus far been the case. It is a sensitive question because some 90 per cent of all states include some or other significant cultural or ethnic minority, and few of them would welcome international scrutiny of such relationships. I want to come out in support of what this morning His Royal Highness called the need for the recognition that not only individuals have rights, but also societies and communities. I would like to call it a concept of "collective rights". I do not think that any one has the wisdom as to what to do, and how to do it, but I think we need a great debate about this. We need the world to focus on the fact that the co-existence of different cultural communities within one society is the ideal, an ideal that has not been achieved in many countries, if we analyse the situation as it is on the ground today.

The fact that we are dealing with sensitive questions does not, however, detract from the urgency of the problem. We cannot turn away from them because they are sensitive, and the fact that they are sensitive does not detract from the need for more intense international debate.

For example, we need to address the question of the point at which communities that constitute clear majorities in definable geographic areas have the right to secede. Is there such a right? Evidently, it was accepted by the international community in the case of Slovakia, and more recently in the case of Kosovo. It probably would be accepted in the case of Quebec, but what would the position be if the Inuit - the native inhabitants of much of the north of Canada - wished to establish their own state? Or if the Navajo were to decide to do so in their homeland in the south west of the United States? What of Chechnya and Dagestan? What of Tibet? Or is all this more a question of realpolitik than principle? We need to develop guidelines. When can it be done? And when is it inadvisable?

And what of those different cultural and ethnic communities that remain within the same state? What cultural, linguistic and educational rights should they enjoy? How should they be represented in the processes by which they are governed, and what mechanisms should be created to ensure cordial relations between communities? These are also uncomfortable questions, but they are questions that must be debated.

My country, South Africa, has a great deal of experience in dealing with intractable ethnic disputes. Until ten years ago, we were involved in a seemingly hopeless downward spiral of conflict and repression. Yet, to the surprise of the world - and sometimes to our own surprise - we managed to pull back from the abyss and resolve our long-standing differences through peace- ful negotiations. How did we achieve this? And can our experience help other divided societies to solve their problems peacefully? While I believe that each situation of conflict is unique, I do believe that an experience such as ours can provide some framework and some direction towards the resolu - tion of conflicts in other societies. So, what are the lessons we have learned? We accepted that in complex societies all cultural communities should be given maximum "breathing space"to promote their identities and to cherish their traditions, to adhere to that which is dear to them.

We learnt that to cultivate tolerance and pride in diversity. Once again, I want to latch on to what His Royal Highness had to say. Diversity is not a scourge. If you approach it the right way, diversity can be an asset. It can be enriching. In multicultural societies, mutual respect and pride in the diversity of national cultures should be fostered through the education system, through the teaching of national languages and through the media.

Furthermore, multicultural societies should, wherever possible, also strive for inclusivity. Simple majoritarianism, where significant minorities can be excluded from important processes of decision making, should be avoided. All communities should feel that they are adequately represented in all of the institutions through which they are governed, that their bona fide concerns are receiving adequate and sympathetic consideration by those in power. Special care should be taken to ensure that no community feels isolated or alienated from the governmental process.

Furthermore, Mr Chairman, provisions in the constitution prohibiting discrimination of any form should be strictly enforced. Our new Bill of Rights is in step with what the world requires, with regard to a human rights culture, but it must be made a living document to ensure that no community will feel victimised or excluded from any aspect of national life because of its cultural or ethnic identity.

Finally, there should be a concerted effort to establish in such diverse societies an inclusive, overarching national identity that does not require anyone to stop being a Zulu, or an Afrikaner, or a Scotsman, or a Welshman, or whatever, but that at the same time unites them all on the basis of common national values, based on those in the current constitution, uniting them around common goals from which all can benefit. I believe such values and goals should also form the framework for an overarching national identity. In this process, we have learned that common symbols and pride in national achievements should be propagated.

One of the main things we have learned is that relationships between communities in complex states - like all human relationships - require constant and on-going attention and care. Communities must continue to communicate with each other. They must become engaged with one another in addressing common problems and in promoting mutual understanding. Constitutional rules and conventions governing the rights and relationships between communities need to be constantly strengthened and observed.

It was with such objectives in mind that I established a foundation earlier this year to work for peace in divided societies, to contribute to the international debate, to promote democracy in Africa, to focus very sharply on the problems of Africa, and the needs of Africa, and to make a contribution to the resolution of on-going conflicts.

As we approach the end of the millennium, we will have to accept the implications of globalisation. We will have to accept also that globalisation is not a solution. It is a process, from which new problems can arise, and we have to be alive to the possible problems that can arise from globalisation, and develop plans to prevent those problems from undermining the good that can be, and is being, achieved in the globalisation process.

We will have to accept that no part of the global community can be marginalised. We cannot tolerate a situation in which a part of the world's population races forward to ever greater material prosperity and social well-being, while another part continues to languish in poverty, conflict and despair.

And we will have to work at ways of ensuring that people from different cultures can co-exist peacefully within the same societies and within our shrinking global village.

The past century has witnessed unprecedented human progress. The great challenge that lies ahead of us will be to ensure that when the next century closes, all of mankind will share in the prosperity, peace and freedom that only some of us presently enjoy. The challenge is to make the global society an open society, without closed societies pulling it down.

Thank you.

Jiří Pehe
Thank you, Mr de Klerk, for what I think was a marvellous speech. I think that we have heard again and again in discussion today that what we are looking for are new global political institutions. Mr de Klerk mentioned new structures and policies that are needed, and it seems that we are coming back to this theme of globalisation. The process of globalisation is causing problems because it is in a sense unharnessed, and there are no global political institutions capable of managing this process.

I would now like to turn to our panellists, and I would like to ask you each to speak for just ten minutes because we are a little behind schedule. Our next speaker is Hanan Ashrawi, former Minister of Education in Palestine, and currently a member of the Palestine Legislative Council.

Hanan Ashrawi
Thank you very much. It is indeed a pleasure to be here today, and it is quite a privilege to have been able to listen to all those thought-provoking presentations, whether last night or this morning.

I believe that all the major issues have been presented, and in many ways in a thought-provoking way. I have always maintained that it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to provoke reality rather than to succumb to it. So, if I speak collectively, I consider that we are sufficiently provoked in order to engage in real dialogue and a real debate on issues.

I would like to congratulate the forum and the organisers on such a special opportunity to engage in a free flow and interchange of ideas - and creative ideas - and, particularly, on the fact that you have presented the topic as alternative visions. This morning, I tried to question what is an "alternative" and what is an "authentic" vision.

Talking of the third world, or the "developing world", and the "developed world", and "countries in transition", I have to say that this last term is a very strange term because we are all in transition. I believe reality is in a state of transition, so those who are not in transition are in trouble. So, in that sense, it is a comprehensive, holistic approach - and engagement - that is going to provide us with not just the vision, but the instruments and the mechanisms to cope with globalisation, and to cope with the imperatives and needs of globalisation, and to establish, of course, priorities.

So, allow me to speak telegraphically - because I do not have time and, like all academics, I tend to go on and on and on. The important thing in our presentations is that we recognise the interface among all these ideas, the complexity and diversity of pluralism, whether in terms of ideas or identity, and presentation. It is important to come up with a collective vision without the device of labours that have been used as a means of exclusion rather than inclusion, to forge a commonality through common terms of reference, a common language that is inclusive rather than exclusive.

As a Palestinian - this morning, I talked as a woman, but you can never separate yourself into different components - may use my personal narrative as a Palestinian to illustrate a few issues. I would like to start with the question of identity. We automatically belong under the heading of the developing world - Palestinians, and Arabs in general - but at the same time, we are not even a state. We are not yet able to discuss the issue of sovereignty and the relinquishing of sovereignty, and to begin discussing self-determination, as an operative principle applicable to us. So, while we do belong to the developing world, we are still trying very hard to gain the recognition of our own identity, because we have been historically subject to negation, and subject to exclusion. That is why all people - whether they are ethnic groups or minorities, or whatever, or even historical nations who go back thousands of years the way we do - whilst they are denied and excluded, become obsessive, and protective, and possessive of their national identities. Therefore, rather than deal with national identities as xenophobic principles of exclusion, let us have identity as a celebration of culture, of history, of diversity, of realities within this interactive and inclusive system.

You cannot tell a poor person, for example, to renounce riches and wealth because he or she has never had them, and you cannot tell the disenfran - chised that it is fine to be disenfranchised, even though there are democratic systems that are applicable to others and are of value. So, in many ways, the term of "self-definition" - a definition of value that people use to describe themselves - has to be taken into account in articulating the global agenda. What is the source of our own value? Not as exclusive, not as separatist, but as a way of gaining a position as an equal among the community of nations. To gain the label, the overwhelming label of humanity, your culture has to be recognised for its authenticity and for what it is.

So, being a victim, let us say of denial, of discrimination, of oppression, we have been the invisible Palestinians in many ways, until we tried to be very visible by negative means. We have been the absent Palestinians in many ways, and in this context I will tr y to talk about the absent or silent voices. It is very important to indulge in an exercise of deconstruction in any such gathering, because deconstructive techniques have taught us that the absent person - or what is not said, the absent discourse - is often very expressive and very vocal. I hope that we do not establish a new club where we create new "haves"and "have-nots"in articulating again this new agenda.

Now, as a way to engage not just in conflict dissolution, but I would say in a peaceful and a historical reconciliation, we have made an act of commitment as Palestinians to intervene in history, to commit ourselves to the peaceful resolution of a conflict that is extremely complex and extremely diverse.

Those of you who know of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict know that it is so multidimensional that if we can solve it, no conflict on earth is intractable. It has a historical component, a geographical component, a political component, a legal component, an existential, a spiritual component, and an emotional component. We were reduced to the either/or situation of exclusive legitimacies, and now we are trying to legitimise inclusive legitimacies through a peace process. And, as Mr de Klerk said;to be able to solve a conflict, you have to address the causes of the conflict, and not just the symptoms, and you have to deal with it in a comprehensive and holistic way. And you have to have the courage to address all these issues - very difficult issues - simultaneously, because peace-making is not for the faint-hearted. I believe it is much easier to fall by default into a situation of conflict and war, but to gain legitimacy and a constituency for peace has been one of the most difficult, painful, and risky struggles. Former enemies have to accept that the other has a legitimacy and that we can again incorporate a principle of sharing into our relations with the erstwhile or historical enemies.

So, to make peace is not something that should be taken lightly, and it should not happen after the fact. We were talking about intervention in Kosovo and Somalia and in different places, and I firmly believe in positive, preventive intervention, and prevention of conflicts - and we have said that no conflict ever takes us by surprise, and shouldn't do so, because all the symptoms are there.

So, what one has to do is establish instruments and institutions that can detect the causes of injustice, of grievances that could later erupt into conflict. All the symptoms of the conflicts that we are talking about have been in place, and I firmly believe that you cannot wait until military intervention becomes inevitable or the only possible solution. Military intervention can sometimes be a remedy worse than the disease, and can provoke and unleash all sorts of forces that cannot be controlled, and can create new victims. But again, each situation has its uniqueness despite the fact that we have commonalities.

Now, as Palestinians, we are involved in the dual processes of nation-building internally, and of making peace, of the peace process. Not only do they overlap, but they are parallel and mutually dependent processes. And what applies to both of them - in the nation-building process and in the peace process - are principles similar to those we described as applying to nations, to individuals and globally.

If I may take the nation-building process and the peace process back to the drive towards intervention, towards refusing the label of victim, I do not relish the idea of victimisation, I do not like being a victim. Therefore, the best way of changing the mentality of the victim is to remove the conditions of victimisation, because neither the conditions nor the emanating mentality are very healthy. Therefore, in our work, I believe there is a collective responsibility. In many cases, especially in globalisation, we have to say that we are our own brothers'and sisters'keepers, at the individual level, and at the global level. We cannot be bystanders. It was said this morning that there is no passive witness or observer to history: you are either a victim or you are a shaper of history. Passivity is, in itself, a sin of omission, which could be a source of tremendous guilt.

Although we inhabit a very ancient and well-known place in the world, Palestine, in the peace process we have found ourselves inhabiting the letters of the alphabet. The interim phase agreements have re-designated our land, and fragmented our land and our people, and we find ourselves in areas A, or B, or C, or H1, or H2, in our nature reserves. So, permit me to use the letters of the alphabet again, telegraphically, to point out certain key issues that I would like to raise in this context.

We need to move, whether internally or externally, from the era of the terrible Ds that you discuss, to the era of the desirable Ds. The terrible Ds include; the Deprivation and Destitution that you talked about Mr de Klerk, the Discrimination that applies throughout, a situation of collective Despair, whether at the individual level or collectively. And, of course, most importantly Denial, which leads to situations like Dispossession, and Dispersion, and Disenfranchisement, and consequently to Despair, which leads to Desperate acts - and these tend to be very violent and self-destructive.

The desirable Ds, of course, include Democracy, and not in an abstraction but as an operative principle that is firmly embedded in the rule of law and the legislation of just laws, and in a clear system of accountability, whether for a government or globally. We do need systems of accountability for state behaviour and for global behaviour, and we do need to understand the hu- man and moral imperative in that. We need to redefine Development again with the focus on the human substance of development as an integrated process, and not just as an economic process. n that sense, think we need to redefine the IMF and the World Bank, along with the UN, and find redefinitions to place the human dimension at the core of development as an integrated, comprehensive, human process.

One thing we did not mention today is Disarmament. I do not see why, for the sake of economic well-being, the production of weapons of mass destruction, or individual murder, have become acceptable as a form of economic development in certain countries. Disarmament requires real systems of not just transparency and accountability, but also of real intervention - at the economic and at the moral level. And, of course, Demography again as a human reality and responsibility, because people tell us that we are a demo- graphic problem to Israel. I refuse to be an abstraction. We are not a demo - graphic problem. We are a people, we are a nation, and we live there, and we have one of the most ancient, rich and diverse cultures. Just because at a certain point there was a myth that there was a land without a people, to be given away to a people without a land, this somehow seemed to eradicate thousands of years of history and culture. We should not abstract people. We are not labels, we are not demographic principles, demographic realities;we are human beings. And, of course, we need these principles to work with motion, with direction, with momentum, and to be human-driven.

The propelling agency is always hope, because hope is a commitment to change realities, and therefore to move into the domain of peace, to move from power politics, which has prevailed all along in the colonial, or precolonial, or even current realities in the peace process - the power politics of exploitation - into empowerment. I think that the ethics of empowerment is very important, and this is what I believe we should look into.

This morning, we talked about the effects of solidarity, but solidarity is for the purpose of empowerment, whether of the disempowered or the excluded or the denied. We have to move from the ethic of proprietor - ship, which dominates the mentality of governments and nation states they own their land, they own their people, they own their rights, they own their cause, they own their discourse.We have to move to the principle of partnership, and a real recognition of a new social contract that is not based on ownership or proprietorship.

Again, in relations between first and third worlds - or developed and developing, or whatever label you want to use - we need to transform the relationships of patronage into relationships of parity. We may have unequal wealth, and sources of wealth, and we may be unequal in terms of objective power, but there is no way in which anybody can be convinced that there should be inequality or a lack of parity in terms of rights. And this is what we have to stressparity of rights, even though there is no equality in terms of power. From there, from collective responsibility, we can move to a new system of governments based on integration, to a celebration of identity, with recognition not as a superficial formalistic, political, diplomatic statement, but perhaps an even more philosophical recognition in the Greek sense of the word: self-recognition as well as the extension of recognition and hence, acceptance of the reality of the other.

Recognising the value of the other, this is essential. We have had diplomatic recognition all over the place, but often it could be patronising, it could be condescending, and it could be really non-recognition. The real recognition comes from the understanding and the inclusion of the other into one's own concept.

On intervention, I do believe that it is essential to have global instruments of intervention, particularly as we are redefining sets of enemies and sets of values that are global. Everybody has talked about global enemies -such as the degradation and desecration of the environment. We talked about illiteracy, about exploitation, repression, violations of rights and liberties, but there are also other enemies in the form of rigid dogma and absolutism. I do not believe that anybody has a monopoly on the truth, or has an absolutist control of reality and has absolutist answers.

We all share global values. I do not need to repeat them, but I would like to add that we do need these instruments and mechanisms of enforcement and monitoring - and that there are new definitions of power and leadership that accompany the revolution in technology and knowledge. The ability to intervene, the ability to make use of, and to master, all the instruments of technology, not just through technology transfer, but also through the ability to shape part of the message under networking.

With the acceleration of time and the compression of time, we do see the emergence of a new definition of "haves"and "have-nots". Again, we do not have time to go through natural progression, so we have to work simultaneously - call this the multi-tiered approach. Since there is an acceleration of time, we cannot wait for the developing world to catch up with the developed world. We cannot wait for them to repeat the natural progression - to go through the industrial revolution and so on. What we need to do is to adopt the multitiered approach. Prince Hassan talked today about what you need if you want to be part of the internet, of information technology: you need to have in place simultaneously the roads, the electricity, the modems, the telephone lines, and the computers, so that you can catch up. But you cannot tell somebody who does not have roads, and electricity, and telephone lines, and computer systems, that they are part of it, that there is a great levelling or democratisation coming from global technology and the information age.

We are suffering in the third world from a phenomenon, which I call the "creaming of the top of our societies". We invest a great deal in educating people in order to bring their societies and nations into the new age, but there is a new global elite. There are global institutions and organisations that tend to recruit them. Because third world countries end up not being able to afford their top brains, they become part of a new global elite and, at the same time, part of a new deprivation of the developed world that needs its human resources more than anything else.

I do not want to go through all the other issues that were raised, but I would conclude with the fact that globalisation and development are a process, an increment, and an on-going process. Mr Soros talked about the imperfect system of an "open society". It is true, but it is also an Aristotelian concept: that we are all striving towards the best possible expression of who we are and what we are. It has to be like the peace process: this process has to be redemptive, expansive, whether in terms of peace or nation-building, or in terms of global relations;justice has to be addressed as an essential component, as does the courage to intervene. One has to break the complicity of silence, and raise issues, as you did this morning, that may not be politically correct. It is necessary to speak out, to break the silence and, of course, the passivity of victimisation.

Thank you very much.

Jiří Pehe
Thank you for your contribution. I should mention at this stage that we were supposed to have two more panellists, who are not here today. The first was Shimon Peres who could not come because of his commitments at home - political commitments. The other was Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz, a Cuban dissident who unfortunately couldn't come because he was not allowed out by the Cuban regime. I would now like to turn to our next speaker, George Soros.

George Soros
I would like to say that I really applaud the sentiments expressed by Mr de Klerk, and I would just like to make a modest contribution to his analysis of the root causes of poverty in Africa. He mentioned, of course, ethnic con- flict, which is a very serious problem, but there is another problem, which discovered when I engaged in a profound study of the differences between rich countries and poor countries in Africa.

When I say "rich", I mean countries well endowed with natural resources, egal, I established that in both rich countries and poor countries the populations are poor. The difference is that the governments of the rich countries are more corrupt than the governments of the poor countries.

I had occasion to attend a meeting with some mining companies where we discussed the issue of corruption and, even though it was a private meeting, I can reveal the conclusion that emerged - which is that the mining companies are genuinely interested in eliminating corruption.Once they have a mining operation,they really would like to co-operate towards that goal,because corruption adds to the costs of production,and they would like to reduce the costs of production. But, when it comes to obtaining the mining franchise, all holds are barred:there can be no interference with this very difficult process of obtaining and securing the mining franchise.

When you look at Africa, you see that all the wars taking place in countries like Angola, and the Congo, and the conflict in Nigeria clearly revolve around the control of natural resources. Now, that is not the only source of conflict, because there is a war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, where I do not think there are any real economic causes - it is about a piece of barren land, so it is not in any way exclusive. However, I think that the problems of corruption and bribery, and the control of natural resources, are a major source of impoverishment. It also has a lot to do with ethnic conflicts - and it is not only about natural resources, but other resources as well.

Look at the case of Yugoslavia. One of the root causes of the break-up of Yugoslavia was the army. The bulk of federal expenditure went towards maintaining the army, which was Serb-dominated, whereas the majority of federal incomes came from customs revenues generated by Slovenia -and that was an intolerable situation. When the army moved to secure the customs posts - because that was the objective of the invasion of Slovenia - the Slovenes, of course, resisted and that was the beginning of the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

I think we face a somewhat similar prospect in Indonesia, where democracy has reared its ugly head. The majority of the population is in Java, and the army maintains the integrity of the empire - of Indonesia - as a political unit. Meanwhile, a lot of the natural wealth is in the less densely populated is - lands that may seek independence. So, I think there is a fundamental problem, a conflict between self-governance and democracy, a problem that think should be recognised.

The problem can be resolved by repression and that is, in fact, the way it is resolved in many parts of the world. It could also be resolved through compromise - by the appropriate allocation of resources through the democratic process. There are a lot of tensions in democracies, even in the United States. Certainly, it is a major issue in Russia, where most of the power currently resides in the provinces - and there are wide divergences in prosperity between the various provinces. The failure of the state is really at the centre: it is the central government that has no resources.

I have no solution as such, although I do not think that there are problems that have no solutions. However, as a general principle, I am convinced that the best way to prevent conflict is through fostering the development of democracy in the broader sense of the "open society".

I think that there is a correlation between prosperity and democracy, but I do not think you can get to prosperity without democracy. You might get there through a repressive regime, but then that regime has to be overturned: there has to be a revolution. In the countries of Africa, I think that economic development has to be accompanied by the development of the institutions of "open society" - an independent media, an independent judiciary, and other attributes of an open society. That is my contribution to the debate.
Jiří Pehe
I think that we have heard from several speakers now that the road to prosperity perhaps leads to democracy, open society, and also conflict prevention. Again, perhaps the best way is through democracy and fostering an open society. We have one more speaker on our panel. He is our student delegate from our students'forum. He is from Palestine and his specialisation is sociology. His name is Zafir Qasrawi, and he will speak for about five minutes.

Zafir T. Qasrawi
Good afternoon, Mr Chairman, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, I would like to sincerely thank the organisers of Forum 2000 for kindly inviting me to participate in this grand forum, and my special thanks go to the organisers of the students'forum, which took place in Prague last June.

Humbly speaking, I realise I am speaking after very well-known intellectuals who have made very reputable speeches and interventions. I was asked to speak on behalf of the visions of the young people from the third world towards globalisation. To be frank with you this is not an easy theme, but I will try to base my reflections on this theme on our group session last June.

I think that the main challenge facing young people in the third world is the denial of participation in public life, and in social life. When we speak about young people in the third world - or in the developing world, whatever you call it - we are speaking about an overwhelming majority. In Palestine, for example, young people under the age of 35 make up 65 per cent of the total population, and this is a high percentage with high demands -and with tremendous needs. So, how can we meet these needs? And how can we channel the tremendous thirst of young people for the improvement of, and the development of, our society, and to contribute to the development of humanity.

First of all, I think that young people must be very active in development. They should not be subjects and recipients of activities, but must take part, preparing and taking part in every step. So, from personal experience over the past years, I have seen no national policies addressing youth. Every time we speak about youth in general terms. They make up the overwhelming majority, but so far nothing has actually happened on the ground to meet their needs or to respond to the demands of this huge sector.

So, when you talk about development in the theoretical sense - a lot of distinguished people talked this morning and yesterday evening about development - think the real challenge is that we have to move from theory to practice, from words to deeds. This is the challenge, and who will take up the task? I think that it is only the young people who have a chance to take up this task. Young people need to be participating in drafting the means of development, and participating in implementing the will, as ultimately they will be the beneficiaries of development. I think what happens is the opposite. Sometimes, we talk about policies, and sometimes talk about plans, and every time the role of young people is missing. All the time, people are acting or speaking on their behalf, planning and thinking of youth's needs while youth themselves are not involved. So, what will happen?

Who will carr y the mission if the young people are absent, and we are not involved? Actually, any development plan would fail because young people are not actually involved, and I think that civilians in the third world, or in developing countries, could tell you a lot about this. So, what are we as young people actually expecting?

We are expecting participation in the development process, real participation and, when I say participation, I am emphasising participation in the democratic process, because I think there is no development when there is an absence of democracy and human rights. So, with these things - democracy, human rights, freedom of expression - people will find the atmosphere to be an appropriate atmosphere, where they can freely express themselves and their innovative and creative ideas. So, it is not a matter of using the young people, but I think we should adopt an approach whereby we allow our young people to lead the mission, give them the responsibil- ity. It can then end in a situation, where real people are representative, where real people believe, and real people share. Real people will then have the terrible responsibility of both being right and making mistakes, in the sense that everybody will be involved.

I am not an expert in globalisation, but I strongly believe that as young people, as representatives of youth organisations from all over the world, we can make our contributions through strengthening relationships, through creating youth exchange programmes. This is the kind of thing that I like very much. It is the human approach of our programme - that we have the chance to be exposed to other cultures, to learn about others and not to think of others as objects. We learn to think of each other as human beings who have rich cultures, and rich heritages. We become closer, and we become more aware of others, wherever they are in the world. So, I strongly believe that this kind of programme - if we speak about world peace and preventive measures - is one of the best ways to guarantee world peace. Through encouraging such kinds of innovative programmes involving young people, we bring them closer, breaking down barriers and artificial hindrances that block human communication. And we at last become closer, and we become conscious of other human beings.

Let me finish with this comment. A while ago, I talked with a European who told me that in Europe they do not teach very much about Arabic and Islamic history, and that all the time the curriculum is devoted to European history. I told him that at all schools in Palestine they start teaching us the history of the world. We start with the history of Europe, the history of America, and the entire world from Japan to China. So, when we finish high school, we are aware of the history of the world and we are aware that all around us there are a lot of people. Maybe we will never meet them, maybe we will never have contact with them, maybe we will never speak their language, but we are aware that there are a lot of people alive all over the world, who have a rich culture. So, I call this a kind of globalisation, when we become aware of other human beings and know that they exist in some corner of the globe and we understand that we are not the only ones who possess civilisation. And I think that this knowledge opens our minds, encourages more reconciliation, and tolerance.

Thank you very much.

Jiří Pehe
Thank you, Mr Qasrawi. I would like to summarise what we have heard in various speeches. A lot has been said about the need for global institutions, structures and policies. A lot has also been said about the need for democracy, open society, and freedom of expression - as the only ways to prosperity and towards catching up with what we call the "developing world". I will now open the floor for discussion: the first is Flora Lewis.




DISCUSSION

Flora Lewis
Thank you. I have some questions for Mr de Klerk. They are rather brutal and harsh questions, so I want to explain beforehand that I have a great admiration for his courage and his programme. I had the extraordinary good luck of being present at the parliament in Cape Town on the day he delivered his historic speech announcing the end of apartheid and the intention to liberate Nelson Mandela. So, I am putting these questions with an underlying appreciation of how much he has already done, but at the same time saying that it is nowhere near enough.

Last summer, I was present in Vienna when Mr de Klerk made a presenta- tion about what has happened in South Africa. At one point, he said that it was not outside pressure, it was not sanctions that led the South African government to change its mind, but it was a recognition of moral wrong, and a sense that this had to be put right. And so, my question is;why did it take so long, and why did it happen at that point?

My second question is based on what Mr de Klerk told us here about the need to intervene in faraway places that do not seem to have a great deal of direct involvement with our various societies. He argued that we must recognise where human rights are being grievously denied, and human life is being destroyed, and that we must recognise our responsibility. Is he saying, then, that we should have intervened - those of us who disagreed with the policy of apartheid, which went on for more than 40 years? Should we have intervened much earlier and much more effectively in South Africa?

I do not mean these questions as recrimination in any way. I intend them, as Mr de Klerk said, as a quest for guidelines, because these are problems we are going to continue to have in many places, and he has some experience. I would like to know his answers.

Frederik Willem De Klerk
Let me say first that I appreciate the contributions so far. I fully agree with Mr Soros that corruption is definitely one of the factors underlying many of the economic and moral problems, and I agree with him that the cure is true democracy, free institutions, and good legal systems. I did not tr y to exhaust the root causes of the lack of success in the economic sphere or of conflict situations, and I appreciate his contribution in that regard.

Hanan Ashrawi made a very interesting contribution as well, and she has stimulated me to pick up a point in this debate about globalisation. I know this is not her viewpoint, but I am actually supporting what she said, because there are those who see a contradiction between globalisation and the maintenance of national identities, and the recognition of nationalism as part of the global reality. I think that anybody who tries to destroy the emotion that is brought about in people through having an identity and having roots is tackling the insurmountable. There is richness in the very diversity of the world. The diversity within regions should be harnessed as a positive force;the challenge is to build a bridge between globalisation and the reality of national entities.

This is, for instance, the challenge of the European Union. I think that those who think that they are going to create a United States of Europe and reduce the present national entities to more or less just provincial towers are not foreseeing what forces that will release in the hearts and minds of people. There must be a recognition that there are two things that need to be achieved: on the one hand, co-operation and joint structures with regard to matters of common interest;on the other, the recognition of the needs of the component parts of the greater whole. This is true of a society in one country, it is true within a region, and it will be true of a global society.

Now, my reply to Mrs Flora Lewis on the two - what she described as harsh - questions. She quoted me as having said in Vienna that it was not outside pressure but a recognition based on moral principle that made us do what we did, and that made me undertake the reforms did. I qualify that by saying that I do not deny that outside pressure played a role, but that the essential decision was taken at a period when the outside pressure was less. I told the audience that the essential decision to abandon apartheid - not to reform apartheid, but to abandon apartheid - and to replace it with a new vision of one united South Africa, with one person one vote, and with the total eradication of all forms of discrimination, had already been taken in August 1986 by the then governing party. And, at that time, we were faring very well in the fight against sanctions. We were getting around them very easily, and the economy was not in a bad state.

So, I re-iterate, we went through a period - it took time - of deep selfanalysis. We went into the bush, as we call it, and we held think-tanks in which we looked harshly at ourselves. This brought us to the point where we were able to say that the way in which we wanted to bring justice - the original concept was to achieve this through building a little Europe in South Africa, with so many nation-states joined together in a confederation - had failed. I do not have time now to go into the reasons, but it resulted only in something that was not morally justifiable.

The rest of the world now supports the route that we originally took. In the case of Kosovo, Israel and Palestine, the rest of the world supports it. It is partitioning on the basis of ethnicity, on the basis of history, on the basis of language -and Hanah [Ashrawi ]has given us all the complexities of that situation. The world is supporting it, and it is morally justifiable. In our case, because of economic interdependence, because of demographic realities, and because the majority of black South Afri- cans said this was not the way they wanted their political rights, it failed to bring justice. We had to acknowledge the pain that apartheid caused, and we had to apologise for that. Outside pressure surely played a role, but outside pressure did not form the main, motivating base. I can testify to that, because I was there.

This brings me to the second question, where Flora Lewis asks if the rest of the world should have intervened. At the end of every war in South Africa, ever since 1652, there were truces that were observed on both sides. There was never genocide such as was perpetrated under Nazism, such as has been perpetrated in many other countries. We never killed people, as has been done even in America and some other former British colonies where there are now white majorities because of a form of genocide that has never taken place in South Africa. Apartheid, with all its bad features - and I am not justifying it was, from a development point of view, a fairly successful instrument to bring better education to black South Africans. New universities were built, many clinics were erected, health services were improved, and massive housing programmes were undertaken. There was an upward mobility in the economy and, from 1960 to 1978, the share of blacks in the South African economy rose dramatically.

Therefore, if the question compares the bad side - which I do not justify - of apartheid with things such as genocide - things such as what has happened in Kosovo, and what is happening and has happened in Rwanda, and Burundi, then on the basis of the facts I say that there is no comparison. By that, I do not mean that apartheid was justified in the end. It led to injustice, it led to an unacceptable impairment of the dignity of people, and it led to a restriction of people's freedom. It led to a system that resulted in the continued domination of the majority by the minority, which was wrong.

I am proud that we have the guts and the courage to admit that, to apologise for that, and not only to do that, but also to take the initiative to rectify the wrongs of the past. Our problem was that when we started with our reforms, which was really in the late 1970s, the rest of the world did not recognise it. Sometimes, the world can react wrongly when a country is beginning to do the right thing. I will give you an example. I was a very young Minister of Sport, and South Africa was being excommunicated from international sport because of certain apartheid measures. I convinced my party to say that there would be no interference in sport, that the government would totally withdraw, and that the people in sport could do whatever they wanted. In other words, we totally depoliticised sport. We did exactly what the interntional community asked of us in 1979 with regard to sport.

The world's reaction was not to say: well, now you have done the right thing, come and play with us again. Its reaction was;OK, well thank you for having done that, but the embargo on sport will remain because you still do this in another field, and that in another field, and that in another field. Now, I believe, and I have said it with regard to Africa, that when the right thing is done, when good things are beginning to happen in a country, there should be recognition for that because that gives hope. It builds the hope of the people to go about doing the right thing. They say: look, there are rewards for us in doing this.

As we started with our reforms, and as we abandoned apartheid in 1986, the world did not say: now, at least policIwise you have done what we wanted you to do, therefore we will lift some sanctions. Instead, some new sanctions were then added!

So, I am critical of how the international community failed to strengthen the position of the reformers in power, and how they continued to stand back instead of embracing positive developments aimed at justice for all. I am sorr y if I have been a bit harsh in my replies. It is nothing personal.

Jiří Pehe
I think that was a bit of a detour, but a fascinating one -at least for me. Thank you. The next speaker is Osvaldo Sunkel.

Osvaldo Sunkel
That was an absolutely fascinating presentation and reply, and also taking into account Mr Soros's comments I wanted to take the opportunity to offer you a little reflection on Latin America.


My first point is that under-developed countries are very different. There is a great diversity of underdeveloped countries. China, India etc. are completely different countries from Latin America, and I want to refer a little bit to Latin America as one of the regions that has a rich resource base, like South Africa, like many African countries, along the lines of what Mr Soros said.


Most Latin American countries have a very rich resource base, and have had it for a very long time. We have had independence in Latin America for almost two centuries, since 1810 in most Latin American countries. By the late 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th century, we were already exploiting natural resources, and some of the Latin American countries that were exploiting those export resources in those years - such as Argentina and Chile - had urban living standards similar to European living standards at the time. So, how is it that after a hundred years of having been relatively rich, we are still under - developed, we are still not industrialised, and we have the worst income distribution in the world?


I would like to offer a very schematic interpretation, and it is basically about power. Who controls where the money is? If I may make a little joke, there used to be a party in my country, and this party came to power. A man came to a politician and the politician asked him: "What do you want? Do you want some money? Do you want a job? "And the mans said: "No, no, no. I want to know where the money is."

Well, in these countries the money is in the export sector, and obviously in the import sector, and in the government that gets the revenues from ex - ports and imports. Therefore, it rests mainly in the ports and capital cities. So, over a very long period of time, ruling elites in Latin America were getting these revenues, and living very well off these revenues, in many cases living very well off these revenues in Paris or in London rather than in their own Latin American countries, or building big palaces. If you go to Buenos Aires, for instance, these days you will see one of the last European cities in the world. It is a magnificent European city, although very decayed of course because the revenue has been gone for a long time.

So, what was happening was that a very small elite was related to these activities that were integrated into the international economy, and were aiming to live well, and keep development for themselves, in a small elite. Gradually, for several reasons, in several countries - perhaps due to crisis in the export sector - they had to start to share the wealth. With the urban population growing, there was a relative degree of sharing, particularly in the fifties and sixties, with the beginning of a democracy. In the sixties and seventies, with development policies, modernisation and so on, there was a widening of opportunities for a growing proportion of the people and there was a reduction in poverty and inequality.

Now, this has been reversed completely in the past 20 years and, while we have formally existing democracies, the fact is that these democracies tend to reproduce themselves, because they cannot expose themselves to popular elections - I mean you have all these Presidents reelected for two or three terms So, again, will get back to the question as to how, nationally, we can tr y to enforce, to promote and to generate organisations at the base of society. I am always tempted to relate the Latin American situation to an apartheid situation. I think it is growing increasingly in that direction. And the trouble is that the ruling groups and classes are not willing to share - I do not want to become catastrophistic - but I think that a soup is boiling in Latin American society, a soup which may well damage both the possibility of growth and the possibility of democracy. This is complemented by the fact that the international community supports the ruling groups rather than supporting movements towards greater democracy.

I wanted to take this opportunity to make a little presentation, very schematic, about Latin America. believe it is a continent which has a lot to teach us because, I think, contrary to what Mr Nandy said this morning, we are certainly not following in the footsteps of the countries that have developed. Thank you.

Jiří Musil
Thank you, Mr Chairman. would like to react to the fascinating lecture by Mr de Klerk, and to the remarks by Mr Soros.

What I wanted to say is based not on the developing countries. I would like to say a few words about the lectures or lessons from European history, and from European empirical studies.

Recently, a group of empirically orientated economic sociologists compared the Western countries, which they ranked according to the amount of socalled "social capital". I will not go into detail, but what does this mean? It simply means the existence and number of non - governmental associations within the individual countries. The result: the more affluent a country is, the higher its quantity of social capital.

I think this is a very small piece of proof of the fact that you cannot have prosperity, without some context. Even if we look at European history, it may be that the beginnings of capitalism in Europe were not the result of pure economic changes. It is most probable - and Ernest Gellner would, I am sure, prove it were he here - that the preconditions of the robust economy were intellectual, legal, and social conditions.

Therefore, when we stress the need for an open society, and when we are talking about democracy, to some people this sounds soft, and unim - portant. They say that what we need is a strong economy: first prosperity, and then comes democracy. I think we start to understand that these things are so deeply linked that you cannot separate them, and this, hope, means something in political terms. Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

Jiří Pehe
Thank you. Our last speaker will be Hazel Henderson.

Hazel Henderson
Thank you very much. I just wanted to follow up on Mr Soros's very honest comments about the roots of poverty, and add the question of cronyism, which was not something discovered in Asia just last year.

Cronyism goes on in Washington and New York, and Brussels, and Frankfurt, and everywhere and cronyism keeps in place subsidies to whole industries. Heads of state and corporate leaders get together in places like Davos, and they arrange tax holidays, and they deal and wheel around planned locations. We know that this is against the rules of the WTO [World Trade Organisation ]: it is "trade-distorting", and even The Economist has come out against it. I think it is encouraging that at the WTO ministerial meeting coming up in Seattle this may at last be on the agenda, because many civil society groups have been lobbying for this.

I was in New Zealand at the APEC [Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation ] meet-- ing, and there again it was civil society who lobbied onto the APEC agenda the issue of East Timor. It was a business group in New Zealand -New Zealand Businesses for Social Responsibility -that lobbied onto the APEC agenda the idea of corporate codes of conduct. We even see a little progress in Asia, where they recently adopted principles of sustainable development: we do not really know whether they understand them yet. But I do think that we can encourage the efforts civic society organisations are making with respect to these kinds of trade negotiations and bringing this cronyism to the fore.
Thank you.

Jiří Pehe
Let me thank all the speakers on this panel and Mr de Klerk for his marvellous speech. We have heard about civil society many times on this panel, and I think this is an issue we should come back to at some point because it seems to be a crucial term.

The next session should be a very interesting one on religions. Thank you.

1999

Supported by

Jyllands-Posten Foundation

 

Follow us on