Globalization is not a single concept that can be defined and encompassed within a set time frame, nor is it a process that can be defined clearly with a beginning and an end. Furthermore, it cannot be expounded upon with certainty and be applicable to all people and in all situations. With all these being said also the major of this paper is to as well place more emphases on the currents global predicament or issues. Global issues are present in all areas of our lives as citizens of the world. They affect our economies, our environment, our capabilities as humans, and our processes for making decisions regarding cooperation at the global level. These issues often turn out to be interconnected, although they may not seem so at first. For example, energy consumption drives climate change, which in turn threatens marine fisheries through changes in ocean temperature and chemistry, and other food resources through changes in rainfall patterns. For the purpose of this work major world or global issues will be discussed not one, not two but major amount that is considerable will sure be analysed.
Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world. Silicon, (1996).
According to Thomas Larsson stated that globalization “is the process of world shrinkage, of distances getting shorter, things moving closer. It pertains to the increasing ease with which somebody on one side of the world can interact, to mutual benefit, with somebody on the other side of the world.” Thomas, (2001).
“Globalization is a term used to refer to the expansion of economies beyond national borders, in particular, the expansion of production by a firm to many countries around the world, i.e., globalization of production, or the ‘global assembly line.’ This has given transnational corporations power beyond nation-states, and has weakened any nation’s ability to control corporate practices and flows of capital, set regulations, control balances of trade and exchange rates, or manage domestic economic policy. It has also weakened the ability of workers to fight for better wages and working conditions from fear that employers may relocate to other areas.” stanlake.co.uk/globalization (24th June, 2015).
Brief Historical Overview of
Globalization started after World War II but has accelerated considerably since the mid-1980s, driven by two main factors. One involves technological advances that have lowered the costs of transportation, communication, and computation to the extent that it is often economically feasible for a firm to locate different phases of production in different countries. The other factor has to do with the increasing liberalization of trade and capital markets: more and more governments are refusing to protect their economies from foreign competition or influence through import tariffs and nontariff barriers such as import quotas, export restraints, and legal prohibitions. A number of international institutions established in the wake of World War II—including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), succeeded in 1995 by the World Trade Organization (WTO)—have played an important role in promoting free trade in place of protectionism. Larsson, (2001).
The Contemporary Global Issues or Problems
As earlier said in this piece of work global issues are present in all areas of our lives as citizens of the world. They affect our economies, our environment, our capabilities as humans, and our Processes for making decisions regarding cooperation at the global level. So therefore the major global issues or problems that our world faces today will be explained below under different category.
The Human Development Reports team has defined the task of human development as “creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests.”
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are just a few of the infectious diseases that continue to plague humankind, especially in the developing world. Meanwhile new threats such as the Ebola virus, avian flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) continue to emerge. With essential vaccines and immunizations still underprovided in many developing countries, communicable diseases are an international public health issue that has caught the attention of the global public and its leaders. There is increasing global awareness that communicable diseases do not respect national borders, and that how these diseases are dealt with in developing countries has consequences both for global public health and for the global economy. World Bank, (2009).
In today’s global economy, education has become more vital than ever before in determining whether people, their local communities, and their countries achieve their potential and prosper. The world economy is undergoing changes that make it much more difficult for individuals in any country to thrive without the skills and tools that a quality education provides. This is particularly important for the poor, who rely on their skills and labor as their way out of poverty. These changes present new challenges and opportunities for educators and educational systems, and the stakes are tremendously high. The choices that countries make today about education could lead to sharply divergent outcomes in the decades ahead.
Global Environment and Natural Resources
This part focuses on issues related to conserving and more equitably sharing the planet’s environmental and natural resources in ways that meet present needs without undermining future uses.
Virtually all climate scientists now agree that climate change is occurring and is due largely to human activity, and that further change is inevitable. Recent studies indicate that human activity over the last 100 years has triggered a historically unprecedented rise in global surface temperatures and ocean levels, with a worrisome acceleration particularly over the last two decades. The consequences will affect billions of people, particularly in poor countries and in subtropical regions, through decreases in agricultural productivity, increased incidence of flooding and of severe weather events, an expanded range of waterborne diseases, loss of biodiversity, and a number of other effects. Beyond this, if the global climate is pushed far out of balance, it may become launched on an irreversible course toward catastrophe, with worldwide repercussions. Therefore there is an urgent need to develop an effective response to climate change.
During the past century, while world population has tripled, the use of fresh water for human consumption, agriculture, and other activities has increased sixfold. Some rivers that formerly reached the sea no longer do so—all of the water is diverted to human use before it reaches the river’s mouth. Half the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the same period, and today 20 percent of freshwater species are endangered or extinct. Many important aquifers are being depleted, and water tables in many parts of the world are dropping at an alarming rate. Worse still, world water use is projected to increase by about 50 percent in the next 30 years. It is estimated that, by 2025, 4 billion people— half the world’s population at that time—will live under conditions of severe water stress, with conditions particularly severe in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Lomborg, (2004).
The need for a global governance system comprising international institutions, agreements, and regulations has long been recognized. After World War I, the League of Nations was created as the first attempt at such a global system.
Conflict and Development
According to the CNN report made as of 2014 some 1.1 billion people are either affected currently by violent conflict or at extremely high risk of being affected in the foreseeable future. The majority of violent conflicts today are intrastate, or civil, rather than interstate, or between nations, and the prevalence of both kinds of conflict is declining. Most of the world’s conflicts now occur in low-income countries, particularly in Africa.
With globalization, however, the persistence of conflict anywhere has ripple effects that range far and wide. Neighboring countries, in particular, suffer reduced income and increased incidence of disease, and often they must absorb large numbers of refugees fleeing the conflict. Civil conflicts frequently result in large territories lying outside the control of any recognized government, which may then become epicentres of crime and disease. Dervis, (2005).
The United Nations System
Effective management of global issues requires effective international cooperation, and the United Nations is the principal body within which such cooperation takes place. The Charter of the United Nations sets out the basic principles of international relations and entails obligations on all its member states. According to the Charter, the United Nations has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights, and to serve as a center for harmonizing the actions of sovereign nations.
The United Nations today faces many challenges to its effectiveness and is undertaking a variety of reforms in response. The success or failure of these reforms will have significant implications for the global issues discussed in this book. The organization also suffers from an unfortunate rift between developed and developing countries, which will make movement on reform extremely difficult going forward. Dervis, (2005).
In conclusion it is no doubt that the world today is facing a remarkable growth in science and technology which have further made the world a global village with the shrinking of different countries together for the purpose of achieving their objectives, but on the other hand all these benefits derived from globalization have brought lots of their own consequences which some of them have earlier been mentioned above. Although the World Bank have been trying to figure a way to prevent these aforementioned global issues. The World Bank is active in many global partnership programs that address global issues. Through its participation in these programs, the Bank plays an important role in collective action on a variety of global issues. Besides CGIAR, examples include the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the Global Environment Facility, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest.
Silicon V., (1996). Globalization and its Importance in Contemporary World; Retrieved from http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization/ on 24th June, 2015.
Thomas Larsson, (2001) The Race to the Top: The Real Story of Globalization. Sweden; Swedish Journalist Publisher Ltd.
Stanlake Search, “Glossary”, web resource accessed and retrieved 24th June, 2015, from http://www.stanlake.co.uk/globalization/recruitment-candidates/recruitment-glossary.php.
T. Larsson, (2001), The Race to the Top: The Real Story of Globalization U.S.: Cato Institute Publisher Ltd, p. 9
Lomborg, Bjorn, ed. 2004. Global Crises, Global Solutions. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Dervis, Kemal, and Ceren Ozer.( 2005). A Better Globalization: Legitimacy, Governance, and Reform. Washington: Center for Global Development.
World Bank. (2009). World Development Report 2003: Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World. New York: Oxford University Press. (See especially the Overview.)