Arab Human Development Report 2009
Dr. Naseer S Homoud, Goodwill Ambassador and Director of Middle East office for the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), the Permanent Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council lauds spirit of the Arab Human Development Report 2009 and finds the issues touched by its content commendable as the Arab world is at the cross roads of history and the need for real introspection of the mentioned issues are critically essential. He further added that concept of an egalitarian Arab society cannot be achieved and that’s to its zenith unless combined efforts are channelized towards better human culture”.
Dr. Homoud also maintains as touched by the report that unless and if the historical misgivings are not offset there cannot be a long term concrete realization of ‘Human development’ and ‘Human Security’ in the Arab World. Summarizing some of his thoughts on the matter Dr. Naseer further observed that modern world had its climax in the defeat of Nazis. The Second World War had produced somewhat a bi polar world. World divided by Atlantic Ocean. On one side of Atlantic was United States, and on the other USSR. Europe with its years of destruction stood in a neutral paralysis.
He further contended that new world stage emerged; the two actors propagated their agenda with great glee, both representing the two extremes of human life. The United States stood for absolute excess in both its national and personal aspects, a reaction to the repressive policies of church right through the medieval times to the period of two world wars, while USSR represented the complete renunciation of privet enterprise a reaction to the capitalist way of life. Both reactionary forces, one against the church and the other against capitalist class. With changing times, the scene is also changing but still it needs a tremendous change.
The collapse of Ottoman Empire and the subsequent defeat in the First World War resulted in complete disintegration of Islamic state. The biggest causality being their political and economic institutions.
As understood in broader terms, Islam undermines the state and propagates unity. The concept of universal brotherhood to term it. The fall of Ottomans brought the end to this unity, and the larger Muslim world was divided into various spheres of influence among the European colonial powers mainly.
This occupation as accepted in general terms was oppressive in nature, and the worst implication of this occupation was the complete forgetfulness of the Muslim world of its glorious history in general and Arabs in particular.
It’s imperative to introspect these critical issues so as to articulate on the two main issues of ‘Human development’ and ‘Human Security’ in the Arab world
The world wars ended the bitter divided among the European countries and brought them together on a common political and economic platform. Which paved the way for them to recover from the devastating aftermath of long disastrous wars. They used this period of peace in strengthening their political and economic institutions. And subsequently benefiting their populace with better opportunities in terms of ‘Human development’ and ‘Human security’.
But at the same time of peace in the western world, the Arab world was given its worst crisis in shape of Israel-Palestinian conflict, which shaped the future dynamics of this broader region. The result of this crisis was so immense that for long period the whole region faced an existential threat, whose direct consequence was the complete stagnation in evolution of political and economic institutions. Combined with the cold war, the whole region was almost in a status quo.
It was these two twin tragedies which has had an devastating effect on the psyche of the Arab world and the broader Muslim world in General.
In this context, Dr. Naseer further says that “cold war is somewhat diluted yet the ominous Israel-Palestinian conflict rages on”.
The discovery of oil resources if provided the real opportunity for Arab world to metaphors into modern nation states also proved to be a curse. As once again Arab world found itself under the pull of never ending struggle for influence by the major power centers of the world.
Faced with the never ending existential threat and interference by external powers, the Arab economies fell into the trap of short term myopia. Where in they became major exporters of oil and importers of almost everything else, which impeded the industrial growth as experienced by the western world, where the need sustained the scientific thought and institutions. Which lead to the better understanding of human life and contributing immensely in ‘Human development’ and ‘Human security’.
Hence to achieve the true spirit of ‘Human development’ and ‘Human Security’, the Arab world needs to introspect as well as the external world has to shun the capitalistic greed and give space to the regions and states to utilize their resource which benefit the populace of the regions having them.
He further added that the real promise of ‘Human development’ and ‘Human Security’ can only be achieved as much by inward introspection as well as by respecting the sovereignty of nation states.
Therefore the primary need is not to enforce cosmetic changes instead help in natural evolution of the region.
The best learning method to date are still of trial and error and the Arab world have full rights to shape their destiny.
Though vehemently advocating the natural evolution of political and economic institutions he maintains that organizations like IIMSAM should be strengthened so as to create more awareness and ownership among the developed countries to fight the cause of basic amenities like malnutrition, world hunger & health problem. The tragedy of malnutrition and world hunger needs to be dealt in a more comprehensive way. Dr. Naseer further asserted that the live example of Qatar government under the longsighted vision of His Highness Emir of Qatar should be taken as roadmap for policy making to deal with such menaces.