Sunday 26 March 2017

Engaging with the world is only way to tackle growing threats

We need to exploit every global contact to deal with the dangers facing the new world order, writes Dan O'Brien

Michele Griffin, who is a senior official at the office of the UN secretary General in New York, said of the period after the Cold War that “we all got carried away”
Michele Griffin, who is a senior official at the office of the UN secretary General in New York, said of the period after the Cold War that “we all got carried away”
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

The world is getting better. Wars and violence are less common and one's chance of dying violently is lower than it has ever been in human history. Of the 200-odd countries around the world, there are now more democracies than autocracies. Recently, the number of people living in extreme poverty is estimated to have fallen below 10pc of the planet's population, down from one-third just two decades ago, as globalisation opens up opportunities for many of the planet's poorest countries.

Health outcomes across the world, and in the two places suffering most human misery - sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian sub-continent - have greatly improved in recent years. More people in more places are being educated.

Looking at these developments, and the broad sweep of human history, it is hard not to believe in man's capacity to advance. We do not, as fatalists have it, fail unendingly to learn history's lessons.

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