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  • For years, I have been working on a simple idea:

  • for humanity to take its next leap ahead,

  • we need to work together across borders to solve global issues.

  • In the modern world,

  • no wall or border can protect us from crisis.

  • We have no other choice but to unite,

  • and we need to do it fast.

  • In 2016, I was devastated by the UK's decision

  • to leave the European Union.

  • I'm French, and for me, the EU is a symbol of a more open and global society.

  • But suddenly, my beliefs were shattered.

  • And I wasn't alone in feeling this way.

  • My partner, Andrea, who's Italian,

  • and Damian, a German friend,

  • also felt the shock of seeing the world turning inward.

  • We realized that despite being from three different countries,

  • we witnessed the same challenges:

  • migration flows being dealt with in an inhuman manner,

  • climate change

  • or high youth unemployment.

  • And we also had the same hopes and dreams in our everyday lives.

  • We also realized that to solve European issues,

  • the outdated model of always putting national interests first

  • had to go.

  • So we decided to act.

  • For a few months, we worked on the idea of launching Volt,

  • the first pan-European political movement.

  • And then, naturally, we told our Facebook friends,

  • and a lot of them responded saying they were up for the challenge

  • and wanted to help.

  • People started holding small community meetings in parks,

  • universities and pubs

  • to discuss their common future

  • and share their solutions to the continent's biggest problems.

  • We mobilized tens of thousands of people across 28 European countries

  • Two years in,

  • Damian was elected to the European parliament

  • on the campaign run by volunteers across borders

  • on the idea that we are stronger together.

  • We showed that by collaborating across borders,

  • by uniting and acting as one,

  • we could start changing how people think.

  • We were the first ones to attempt something of this scale

  • and to succeed.

  • Despite this,

  • after the European elections in May 2019,

  • Andrea and I looked into each other's eyes

  • and asked that frank question that you never want to ask

  • once you have worked for two years towards something

  • that actually worked out:

  • "Is this enough?"

  • No, it wasn't.

  • We knew that today's urgent challenges are not just European

  • but global.

  • We also knew that we couldn't even attempt to solve them

  • by only focusing on Europe,

  • a continent that represents less than 10 percent of the world population.

  • The underlying issue is that the way we see the world

  • and the way the world works

  • are fundamentally wrong.

  • In the span of two generations,

  • the world has changed more than in the previous 20,000 years.

  • We can land on the moon,

  • we can wake up in Shanghai and go to bed in New York.

  • We have access to a huge amount of information all the time, everywhere.

  • But we still see the world as our immediate vicinity.

  • But issues like COVID-19, climate change, migration,

  • fiscal justice or human rights

  • mean that we need to think and unite beyond national borders.

  • A global approach is needed to solve them.

  • Countries need to collaborate,

  • share resources, information and solutions.

  • It's not just the right thing to do

  • but it's also the smart one.

  • So in the weeks following Damian's election,

  • Andrea and I decided that we would create a global movement

  • to unite people beyond borders

  • and solve those issues that concern us all.

  • We called it NOW! because we're not very creative,

  • and because it needs to happen now.

  • So I know that going beyond national borders is not the easiest thing to do,

  • so here's the framework that has been guiding our work.

  • I call it "think, unite and leap forward."

  • First, we need to change the way we think about the world.

  • Whether we like it or not,

  • we already live in a globalized world.

  • We need to stop thinking within national frameworks

  • and start thinking globally.

  • Take, for example, how we think about taxation.

  • Multinational companies like Facebook or Amazon

  • already operate across borders,

  • but they pay very little taxes in very few countries

  • because we think of them within national frameworks.

  • And as a result,

  • we lack a global tax system.

  • Due to this,

  • countries are deprived of at least 500 billion dollars annually.

  • Five hundred billion dollars.

  • To put it in perspective:

  • with half of that amount of money,

  • we could put an end to global hunger for one year.

  • But we don't,

  • because of the way we think about the world.

  • At NOW! we want to change this.

  • We connect people from all across the world

  • who discuss, work together and understand

  • that global is the new normal

  • and that they have more in common than what separates them.

  • We host weekly events

  • in which we discuss topics such as LGBT rights,

  • pandemics,

  • fiscal justice

  • or mental health.

  • We break down those global challenges

  • to see how they impact people in various parts of the world.

  • And our members have already shown a global thinking,

  • actively rallying their governments to solve those issues,

  • like ensuring a fair distribution of vaccines across the world.

  • Second, after changing the way we think,

  • we need to unite beyond borders.

  • This way, we can make governments act on global issues.

  • Take the example of the erosion of democracy in Hong Kong.

  • China has systematically cracked down on rights, democracy and freedoms,

  • but countries have barely responded to protect Hong Kongers.

  • And I don't mean weak statements of condemnation

  • that won't lead to any actual change,

  • but proper responses such as sanctions.

  • That's why at NOW!, a couple of weeks back,

  • we launched a campaign to demand that democracies rally

  • to be able to stand up meaningfully to China.

  • And to get their attention,

  • we started hosting weekly protests in front of Chinese embassies.

  • Within a couple of weeks,

  • we engaged more than a million people online.

  • Our hope is that by uniting and mobilizing people across borders,

  • we will be able to successfully lobby nations

  • into imposing coordinated sanctions on China.

  • Finally, we must have the courage to leap forward

  • to create the world of tomorrow.

  • We need a system of governance that works for us all across the world.

  • And while some supernational institutions like the United Nations exist,

  • their enforcement mechanisms are extremely limited.

  • Citizens cannot participate,

  • and national interests often prevail.

  • And on the national level,

  • political parties are bound by electoral timetables and borders,

  • which means that they cannot operate in a coordinated global manner.

  • Policy making, governance and politics need to stretch further.

  • Take the example of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Countries have shown an incredibly shortsighted approach to the pandemic.

  • They haven't collaborated when it comes to protective equipment,

  • vaccines or medicines.

  • At NOW! we launched a campaign

  • demanding that the World Health Organization ensures

  • that health workers across the world, regardless of their nationalities,

  • get priority access to future COVID-19 vaccines.

  • We leveraged a network of doctors on social media to raise awareness

  • and started a petition targeted at the WHO.

  • For two weeks,

  • our members spread the word digitally and on the streets,

  • and then we got a response from the Director-General of the WHO

  • welcoming our campaign,

  • reemphasizing that the power to do so lies within member states,

  • but committing to working with them in that direction.

  • And look -- this was a very nice letter, but it was completely pointless.

  • The WHO cannot act meaningfully on this issue.

  • But the point is,

  • a United Nations agency should be able to act meaningfully,

  • should be able to create binding policies and implement them

  • when faced with a global threat.

  • Right now, the most we can hope for

  • is for some world leaders to hear our scream

  • and decide to do the right thing.

  • This cannot continue.

  • In the globalized world,

  • we need a true democratic and accountable global system of governance.

  • And that's also what we're working towards,

  • but I know that global governance will not happen overnight.

  • For this, we need people to push their governments

  • to act in a global manner,

  • to show that collaboration leads to better results.

  • We need to prove the case

  • before we can change the way the world works.

  • So this is my framework:

  • think beyond national borders,

  • unite across the world

  • and leap forward to make sure that the world actually works as one.

  • And I know it is easier said than done,

  • but it is doable.

  • Take our case as an example.

  • NOW! was only launched on the first of January 2020

  • but already counts thousands of members in more than 100 countries.

  • We are beginning to see that it is possible to unite beyond borders,

  • that it is within our reach.

  • And we're not special, nor am I in any way.

  • I don't have any cool skills,

  • and the thought of giving this talk terrified me.

  • But I am testing different ways to effect change on a global scale

  • because I know that national mindsets and national frameworks

  • have to leave room for something bigger,

  • for something better.

  • My hope is that within my lifetime,

  • I will see what living as one world actually means,

  • that by uniting,

  • we will be able to safeguard democracy,

  • to protect the environment,

  • to save lives by sharing vaccines,

  • to create safer routes for migration,

  • among many other achievements.

  • I don't know whether I have the one solution --

  • no one does.

  • I don't know whether NOW! will be successful

  • in achieving these goals.

  • But this is not the point.

  • The point is that you should take action to effect change on the global scale.

  • My hope is that many of you will start to work together across borders,

  • that you will create and innovate new ways for the world to be truly one.

  • Because yes, we are stronger together.

  • So what are we waiting for?

  • Thank you.

For years, I have been working on a simple idea:

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B1 INT global world unite national european solve

A global movement to solve global problems | Colombe Cahen-Salvador

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    林宜悉   posted on 2020/10/23
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