A very interesting speech by President Macron but quite broad in the area’s covered with little in the way of actual ideas/initiatives beyond some valid propositions on the Environment/Climate change subject matter. Two of the main topics discussed was Poverty & the Israeli/Palestinian Mideast Conflict,
- Poverty: In terms of poverty there was mention about gender inequality in education, economic disparity among other contributing factors. Let me suggest the issue of poverty is quite a complex and one that is also linked to issues like governance, corruption and in some cases even cultural constraints. So throwing money on fighting this issue does/will not work. If we are indeed serious about defeating poverty there needs to be a clear template/model that establishes the base level for governance one that deals with these factors this coupled with an effective mechanism to assess progress in following this model. It may even be worth having the EU develop this concept further – proof of concept if you like – to assess feasibility/approach rather than the complex task of agreeing to such a model at global forum like the United Nations.
- Israeli/Palestinian Conflict; This as we know full well is the source of many of the conflicts in the region either directly or indirectly. However, the idea that pleading with the parties to resolve the issue themselves has not worked since the creation of the State of Israel 70 years ago particularly with the violent history in the region compounded with the discrepancy in terms of political & military power between them. The only viable approach to resolve this issue in my view is if both parties have a clear stake in resolving it with them both having plenty to gain and plenty to loose if there is no resolution; remembers the echo’s from this conflict are far reaching beyond the region itself. The United States certainly does have leverage on the parties, but I would argue so does Europe and EU and I’d go as far as suggesting they have an equal amount of leverage if Europe decides to use it whether through economic, financial or other forms of incentives and disincentives. Any other approach is a waste of time, effort and resources. So are any other efforts by the current U.S. administration to dilute the proposition of a 2 state solution through other tweaks like the so-called Final Solution of involving moving Palestinians in Gaza to other neighbouring states like Egypt. This exacerbates the problem by spreading instability throughout the region without actually solving the issue if the Lebanon and Jordan experience are anything to go by.
Anyway plenty of energy & passion from President Macron, but what we’re missing is a sense of direction coupled with plenty of action; so many challenges President Macron, but one hop away from these Challenges are potential Opportunities.