Never mind how foreign policy or international affairs are defined in a pre-election Manifesto, the dynamism of the process of international diplomacy is what matters in the end and the final chapter is always determined by preceding developments and experiences conditioned by the actual situation facing each country at every period in time.
Saint Lucia’s challenge on the global stage today is to be able to ride the waves and find the ways to ensure the country survives the deepening new and old challenges that continue to face Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as the world turns.
Where we once behaved like ‘Every man is an island’ we were collared by global events over the past 42 years into understanding that no country is actually Independent and that if ‘The world is a global village’, the interconnectedness should be more real.
The world continues to be divided between the disparate North and South that continue to drift further poles apart as challenges to Humankind continue to transcend seas and skies, borders and boundaries, from the effects of environmental and Climate Change catastrophes that range from fires and floods to drought and famine.
The deep North-South divide is also being further widened by the Migrant and Refugee crises that continue to see millions being displaced and dangerously transported around the world by Human Smugglers and People Traffickers at a time when the North is closing borders and raising drawbridges to stem and cut the flow of refugees originally invited to flee their countries in the South with promises of jobs and prosperity in Lands of Milk and Honey in the North.
Diplomacy today also faces the problems of government of and in the South adopting and adapting national policies to suit notions like Political Correctness originally defined in, by and for the North but now uses as political leverage, even weapons, to set conditions for assistance that will, in the end, influence development models in the South.
The inequalities of the 20th Centuries both deepened and widened in the first two decades of the 21st Century, the New Millennium becoming more of a calendar change than any change in the circumstances of those most dependent on others to survive – both nations and people.
Racial Apartheid being nourished and kept alive by facilitators in the North has been replaced by Vaccine Apartheid on a wider global scale than ever imagined, while the original concept of Climate Financing being refashioned – at the behest of former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who’s leading the Biden administration’s offensive to change the concept from helping countries everywhere that can’t afford, to financing multinational companies in the North for Cleaning-up their environmental acts.
In total defiance of basic arithmetic, the North promised to deliver US $1 Billion nine years ago at the Paris Climate Change Summit and is nine years later proposing to deliver the same undelivered amount at a time when Climate Change catastrophes have multiplied the cost of repair and mitigation.
Similarly, the same North (the same G-7 nations) have repeatedly promised in the past year to deliver one billion vaccines to developing nations from their over-stocked extra supplies, but only one-seventh of the amount has been delivered, the North instead choosing to use them as ‘Booster’ jabs for already doubly-vaccinated Americans and Europeans.
Against a background of blanket imposition of constitutional, cultural and other Northern ‘norms’ across the South, the North continues to punish developing countries as a whole, even when there’s absolutely no reason: like with the blanket travel ban applied to Africa by the North following South Africa’s honest reporting on finding the Omnicon Variant, which was also already present in countries on three continents apart from Africa.
Even the response of the North – in this case the European Union (EU) – to the CARICOM nations’ unprecedented collective 2013 request for a simple dialogue on the burning issue of Reparations from Europe and Slavery and Native Genocide hasn’t received a formal response from Brussels.
Everything today points to the need for nations still blinded to past realities to quickly change spectacles and refocus their visions in favor of nations, big and small, really being equal irrespective of wealth.
Its not easy, many say not possible, but the quintessential task of every real diplomat today remains not just making foreign policy an extension of domestic policy, but also being able to read both the tea leaves and currents without always relying on barometers and thermometers that may have been outlived by changed lifestyles and new needs.
The bottom line is that the last chapter, like this one, is always the sum total of what is extracted from lessons gone by and current experiences.
Likewise with international affairs.