Accounting for the West
The recent G7 conference attempted to raise the specter of tensions between the West and other global players by unleashing a torrent of criticism of China, sparking a debate among some that the West should also be held accountable for the wrongs. that he has committed in the past.
The rally failed to address the fundamental issues of climate change, vaccine patents and pandemic destruction, failing to satisfy environmentalists who wanted a specific plan to prevent environmental degradation, and activists who wanted to see the end of the vaccine monopoly. US President Joe Biden took the opportunity to repeat Trump’s mantra about the origin of the coronavirus, telling media that China must provide access to investigators trying to determine whether the outbreak of the virus has occurred in nature or was the result of an experiment gone wrong.
While the world may need 10 billion doses of vaccine, the summit committed only a tiny fraction. Funding for environmentally friendly projects is also very insignificant. The global elite gathered in London also ignored the plight of Covid victims, refusing to end the patent monopoly that could help poor states immunize their populations in less than $ 7 billion while with patent rights , it could go up to $ 80 billion. People in several parts of Africa, Latin America and Asia are desperate to get vaccinated to avoid death, but for Western companies the profit is greater than life.
It has been reckless of the US president to spark a debate on the origin of the coronavirus, crediting the skepticism of those who have spouted conspiracy theories claiming that China could have been responsible for the spread of the pandemic. If the conspiracy theorists’ argument is accepted, then one would like to know how it has benefited China. The world has suffered a loss of over four trillion dollars. Beijing’s economic growth has also slowed, inflicting heavy economic losses on the country. Interestingly, it was Western companies that pocketed billions of dollars during the pandemic. Such allegations against China can only be believed by those who peddle frivolous conspiracy theories and want to hide their incompetence in the face of contagion.
Natural disasters have hit humanity for centuries. During the time of the Roman Empire, some of these natural calamities were blamed on Christians and barbarians. Superstitious Christians and the clergy made Jews the scapegoats for the 14th century pandemic. Such blame games have not helped eradicate a number of diseases that have ravaged the lives of millions of people around the world in the past. These are scientists who have invested their energy in finding cures for these diseases. The recent vaccine is also the result of the collective efforts of scientists from various nations who simply want to serve humanity instead of indulging in blame games. Now that the world has already developed a deterrent against the deadly virus, we must make it accessible to everyone, especially those who live in the Global South.
The G7 also repeated the mantra of much-vaunted Western values of human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law. But there is a lot of dichotomy between what they say and what they do. The great demands of democracy are invisible in the functioning of the UN where a few powers decide the fate of the world. The very concept of a veto goes against this great claim. If Western democracies want to prove that there is no dichotomy between their demands and their actions, then the UNGA must be empowered to make crucial decisions on world affairs, especially those related to wars and use of force against any state.
The International Criminal Court should also be empowered and Western countries should save it from coercion and intimidation from the United States. Strengthening the court could help reduce war crimes during conflict. Washington does not want to commit to any deal that might require American soldiers to be questioned about their conduct in conflict zones. If the West cannot hold American soldiers accountable for the war crimes they may have committed in different parts of the world, it could at least bring Australian soldiers to court to face the war crimes allegations by Afghanistan. It could be a good start. Later, a collective effort should also be made to hold NATO accountable for its actions in defunct Yugoslavia and other parts of the world during various conflicts. Such lawsuits should also be launched against the forces of other world powers.
The West should also notice the gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir where more than six million people are being treated as prisoners. In India, thousands of people have been killed in bogus police encounters under the pretext of fighting the Maoist insurgency.
Powerful clubs like the G7 should also take a tough stand against Israel, which has oppressed Palestinians for decades. Despite a number of UNGA resolutions, no concrete action has ever been taken against the Zionist state. It is countries like the G7 that pamper this apartheid state. The ruling elite of this club does not need a wizard to determine whether settlements in the occupied territories are legal or illegal. The Zionist state has flouted international laws, but the Western ruling elite cannot muster enough courage to hold it accountable for the acts of terrorism it has perpetrated against the unfortunate people of Palestine.
If the G7 countries truly believe in accountability and justice for those who have been wronged in the past, their ruling elites should come forward, offering to be questioned about their actions in the settlements. France should be held responsible for the brutal killings of Algerians and others in the French colonies. The UK should confess to its crimes in India, Kenya and other parts of the world where it has not only killed millions of people through its coercive political and economic policies, but also plundered their wealth. The United States and Canada should be ashamed of their brutal past that wiped out indigenous people while Japan should be held accountable for its massacres in parts of China it occupied in the 1930s.
If the G7 countries do not want criminal prosecutions for the atrocities they have committed in the past, they should at least offer monetary compensation to the victimized states – which could then be invested for the welfare of their people. There are campaigns around the world demanding such compensation for the colonized peoples of the past. If clubs like the G7 really want to be the judges of the world, then they should be honest first.
The writer is a freelance journalist.
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