WGS 2016: Why do governments fail?

Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh, Friday, June 28, 2013. (File photo: AP)

Issues of unequal wealth distribution and public disconnect in politics are some of the key issues faced by governments around the world, a panel discussion featuring former prime ministers of France and Libya and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus said on Tuesday.

Titled ‘Why do governments fail?’ the discussion addressed key topics, linking the failure of governments to issues such as public anger over the disproportionate distribution of wealth, lack of public inclusion in policy decisions, and the growing disconnect between governments and citizens’ priorities, especially the large section of youth.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, stated that climate change plays a major role in the success of governments. Referring to the recent Paris climate conference, Robinson said the relevance of the role governments across the world will play in adopting the objectives set at the conference.

The need for cooperation between governments and the youth and women was highlighted by former Prime Minister of Libya, Mahmoud Jibril. “Arab societies are mosaic societies comprised of tribes and sects. During the Arab Spring, the fall of the regime gave rise to tribal and sectarian powers,” Jibril explained while commenting on the challenges faced by Arab states, owing to a lack of development and national integration.

Dominique De Villepin, former Prime Minister of France also addressed the importance of measuring government success in its effectiveness in “addressing big issues and introducing big ideas.” He called upon the Middle East to create more regional alliances and an open markets economy, to help regulate the trading of commodities and sharing of resources in the region.

Concluding the session, Nobel Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus stated: “Capitalism stands for the prevalence of choice, but we don’t give businesses the choice to exist for any reason other than to make money. The textbook needs to change to accommodate the option for businesses to be driven by social goals, instead of being driven solely by profit.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 12:05 - GMT 09:05
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