Thursday, November 15, 2007

Expo Shanghai 2010

The universal fair Shanghai 2010, under the theme "Better City, Better Life", is not an exhibition to propose how we want the world to be in the year 2000 or in the year 2010. The conflicts we civilization have created will require many years for its transformation.

Those of us who have already developed awareness about the dimension and gravity of climate change know that in the rest of our lives we shall not see a better natural environment than the one we found when we were born.

Those of us who have further progressed on the path of transformation of these conflicts would like to share with others -with the rest of the world, if possible- some discoveries that give real hope to our children that they will see a better natural environment than the one they will encounter at the wake of their lives.

Costa Rica is global leader in demilitarization, environmental consevation and biodiversity. We are also prominent in sustainable development and generation of energy from renewable sources. We believe we have found an effective formula to improve peaceful coexistence with our ecosystems and to achieve sustainable development for our nation, in our country and within our State.

This is what we want to share, and the Expo Shanghai 2010 is the ideal scenario with the ideal theme to do it.

Costa Rica Consensus

The Costa Rica Consensus, presented by President and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Óscar Arias, represents a novelty in terms of global foreign policy. If the interest of governments and countries in the world is to improve the wellbeing of their people, it is evident that military spending is incorrect from a strategic point of view, since itt does not tend to comply with the former objective.

It is also incorrect from an ethical point of view, since military spending tends to the reduction of other human beings' wellbeing.

If wellbeing is measured in quality of life, including, among many other factors, quality of the environment; development sustainability; access, quality and cost of healthcare; access, quality and cost of education; justice in wealth distribution; effectiveness in wealth generation; therefore, it is true that war on the periphery of a country's borders or war within a country's borders reduces considerably the possibilities of sustainable, sustained and effective development.

Socio-economic indexes may not tolerate a war for much time. Also, military spending is, in economic terms, spending that is not attending other critical areas for development, namely healthcare and education. Any sovereign government may take the sovereign decision to suspend military spending and direct it to other priorities.

The cost for a State to develop a technical employee or a professional, or to simply graduate a person from high school, is much lower than the cost of poverty, unemployment and disease. Also, an educated person will produce wealth more effectively, more certainly, and more sustainably. This means that the generation of wellbeing is a virtuous cycle of sustainable development, if a government has the correct order of economic priorities.

For Costa Rica, military spending is not even a priority.

Now, a country like China, with its millenary history, its present, the forecasts about its economic development, its global leadership of common development and mutual benefits, its Buddhist philosophy of peace, its Taoist philosophy of choosing the Good from the Evil, and its democratic principle of socializing the greater wellbeing for the greater majority, could certainly embrace the Costa Rica Consensus as a flag to consolidate friendships around the globe and increase its commercial ties with three-fourths of the United Nations, which are developing countries, who have discovered, in this Twenty-First Century China, a good commercial partner, an important defense ally, and a good friend that offers help.