As a family, the head commands responsibility of the day-to-day and long-term affairs of the members. The head ensures that a healthy relationship exists among the members and endeavors to create the enabling environment where every member is confident about the sense of belongingness, freedom, fairness and recognition. While this responsibility falls on the elder(s) of a cottage that houses more than one family, this onus falls on the village chief at the village level. However, the fact of being the family head or village chief does not automatically give one the prerogative to impose whatever wishes on the members of the family or village. The members of the family are socially under the prowess of the family head, the family head is in turn under the prowess of the village chief and the village chief under that of the section chief and this list continues up the hierarchy of the social system. Each rank ensures that the code of conduct of the immediate subordinate conforms to the prerequisites for living in peace and oneness.
The village chief is responsible for ensuring that the behaviors of the members of the village at individual, family and household levels do not create crisis situations. The chief maintains order by enforcing what is culturally acceptable behavioral code, personal care or love among the people of the village. This is critical for the healthy cohesion and oneness of the village. The enabling environment should be seen by all as fair, with a level playing field for personal and group development. In fact in most African societies, this goes as so far as viewing a child born in the village as communal property of that village. It is the responsibility of the members of the village to protect and ensure that the child up-growth socially and culturally healthy. This is the truest sense of a village in the Third World, and especially so in Africa. It is therefore what the Third World would like to see the World Powers cultivate in promoting the so-called Global Village in this advanced human modern world.
It should be the responsibility of the World Powers to ensure that this notion of a Global Village is not misconstrued and abused by power-hungry leaders in Democratic States around the world. So much is said about our world as a Global Village and yet so little is done to realize any such features of a village anywhere in the world. Ideally, a village is not by any means a breeding ground for adversaries and lethal conflicts. Conversely, a village is the most appropriate place of simple, relaxed, peaceful and harmonious life; where people are deeply into one another and are true as each other’s confidants and keepers. However, the so-called Global Village remains plagued with a scale of conflict never before witnessed. This suggests a sense of urgency on the side of the World Powers to act swiftly to ensure a conflict-free environment in this new-found Global Village. Contrary to this, the so purported Global Village is bound to collapse catastrophically.
Peace and conflict are two mutually exclusive spectrums of human social world. While peace is illusive, conflict is real in human societies throughout history. With millennia upon millennia of history behind human civilization, the root causes of conflicts are today well known. But rather than investing in sound conflict resolutions, humans are instead lost in developing state-of-the-art weapons systems. Although no one argues the capabilities of weapons use in enforcing a sense of peace/security, it is equally true that the mere presence of cutting-edge weapons encourages conflicts. This is evident in the fiasco with Russia and its neighboring states like Georgia and Ukraine. Also due to classic weapons developments, the potential for conflict is also evident among several other big and small countries around the globe. This implies that the World Powers need to redefine global efforts on how to achieve durable, universal peace in our today’s Global Village.
Nearly all modern conflicts originate from politics and repressions by power-grabbing governments. As a result of this, the world is today a witness to the genocide in Rwanda, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the apartheid in South Africa, the Al-Qaeda terror in Afghanistan/Pakistan, the Arab Spring in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, etc., the rebel war in Syria, Somalia, Congo, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Central Africa Republic, etc., and the endless list of political unrest in especially relatively less developed countries around the world. This is enough justification that if durable peace is to be achieved in the world, then World Powers (through the UN Systems) should establish some Permanent Electoral Institutions (PEI) in especially the Third World countries around the world.
The recruitment of officers in the proposed country-based PEI should be done by the UN and the work of PEI should include all the processes for conducting free and fair elections. Among others, the role of PEI should include voter education, voter registration, voter verification, ballot paper designing/printing, polling station preparation, vote counting and announcement of voting results. In essence, the UN-managed, country-based PEI should replace institutions of National Electoral Commissions (NEC) in developing countries. As NEC setups are today, the ruling government organizes and runs NEC; including recruiting NEC officers. Almost always than otherwise, the ruling government recruits NEC officers from its Party diehard member-base or Party stronghold. This implies that under the current arrangements, it is real (if not impossible) to build a NEC officiating body that is neutral or without strong allegiance to the party of the ruling government that recruits the body into office. This is the reason why elections are almost always rigged in purport democratic political systems in Third World countries. Replacing the current party-based NEC systems with UN-operated, country-based PEI systems could go a long way to eliminating the potential for conflicts in the world today. This increased vigilance by World Powers could also be an efficient way of building a truly Global Village. On this note, we urge the World Powers to immediately start work on setting the up the proposed PEI so as to build a Third World that is free of conflicts.
By Sulay B. Conteh