Governance, Peace & Prosperity

— Krishan Khanna

I have attended five GSBS Summits during the last six years on Social Business. See www.gsbs2015.com . We have had up to 800 participants from 60 countries and the discussion was on various topics such as Social Business, youth, poverty, unemployment, micro finance, skills, education, terrorism, black money, women’s empowerment, sustainability, war, health care, inequality, conflict and the new United Nation Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030.

Nobel Laureate Prof. Mhd Yunus and his associates have done a stupendous job of not only hosting these seven GSBS Summits but have also succeeded in sensitizing the youth and civil society around the world. I salute them and their respective Teams for a job well done. The seeds have been sown for the future.

I have worked for 30 years in business and the last 22 years in the Social Sector. We always look at the Macro and Micro issues at all times. But there always certain Governance/business/social/moral/ethical issues which need to be addressed to put our “House in Order” to achieve global Peace and Prosperity.

Let us look at World Governance and critical issues which are unsustainable for Peace and Prosperity.

Firstly, the divide between the rich and the poor is increasing creating very unstable and untenable social and political environment. As per the financial media it was recently reported that only 85 individuals have the same wealth as 3,500 million people on this planet! In other words only 85 people have the same wealth as 50% of the human population. Last year this was 87:3,500,000,000.

Secondly, it has been reported that nearly $ 22,000 billion or $ 22 trillion was the amount stashed away in tax havens all across the planet. This means that taxes were avoided in the countries were such wealth was created and the funds were transferred to the so called tax free zones or tax havens. Tax heavens were created a few hundred years ago by the legal and illegal businesses to avoid tax and stash it away from the eyes of the local tax authorities. Such practices which only favour the few are bound to create a very unstable social fabric which bound to explode with very grave consequences.

Thirdly, effects of the Arms Race. Arms and ammunition is increasingly manufactured and constantly exported to the third and developing world. What the developing world always needed was education and skills but what they got(Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Africa) was mostly Arms and Hardware.

Finally, Funding for Social Business, Education, Healthcare and many other Social Issues need many times higher allocations than presently deployed. We need to find solutions for these higher cash flows and inputs. Let us consider the following three issues by which a lot of cash and funds could be made available in order to achieve Zero Hunger, Zero Unemployment and Zero Climate Change ASAP.

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1. Tax Havens – why we do not need them in their present form?
World Leaders in Business and Politics talk of Ethics in Business, Corporate Governance, etc. but all of them allow Tax Havens to flourish in the present form? Many countries flourish only due to the presence of illegal funds transferred into their local banks.

Why should 99.9% of humanity suffer due to 0.10 % or less of the world population?
These double standards need to be addressed as soon as possible. This money is probably deposited in these locations by less than 0.10 % of the world population who probably control nearly 90% to 95% of the world's wealth...this is BLACK MONEY. In the strictest possible moral/social/ethical definition this is another form of money laundering.

The G-22, United Nations, International Citizen Groups, etc., need to work on demolishing these 'citadels of blatant corruption' and see that all these funds are recycled into their respective governments, taxes paid and a small portion of this is recycled into areas like Education , HealthCare & Social Business for the 3rd World and developing economies of this planet.

These so called Tax Havens promote funding of illegal arms, terrorism, money laundering, tax evasion, covert operations, etc………… One would have no problem with any number of these so called Tax Havens provided they are transparent and comply with the Tax Laws of the originating country of the person who has placed funds with them. However, the tax havens thrive because they are not transparent. Hence a very strong international political will be required to address this issue. For the first time the G8 addressed this subject in the last summit held in Ireland. At least a start has been made.

2. Export of arms & ammunition for the last 66 years to the least developed countries of Latin America, Africa, ME and Asia............ Why?
………. Why not export relevant education?

The least developed countries of the world needed education and primary healthcare after the 2nd World War but they received exactly the opposite and very freely – Arms, Military equipment, Bombs and Hardware for destruction of human beings.

Afghanistan, Iraq and the 9/11 incident were probably an after effect of all this.

The western border between Pakistan and India is lit up at night and can be easily seen by astronaut Ron Garan! We in India have been shouting from the rooftops about terrorism from Pakistan, to protect the people on both sides of the political border from constant terrorism but the USA gave billions in grants and aid to Pakistan just because they wanted military bases in Pakistan. But the end result has been disastrous. Some say, that Pakistan has become the epicenter of terrorism.

Most of the so called US funding was used for arms and ammunition against India. How sad for the two poor countries of this world with a combined population of 1.45 billion?

Similar stories have happened and known to all, in other 3rd world countries. What a shame for the ordinary world citizen?

One hears that we now have children in Afghanistan of 10-14 years old who can beat a trained soldier in the operation of an AK-47 but cannot read and write! What exactly are we trying to prove?

3. Estimated expenditure of US$3,900 billion or US$3.9 trillion per year on worldwide arms and ammunition...............
……….Why to spend so much for the misery of all?

The total GDP of all countries is about $78,000 billion about $78 trillion. This expenditure on arms is about 5% of world GDP. This is ONLY meant for fighting and killing each other on this little planet. Why?

The younger generation needs to ask this question. The older generation is not asking too many questions. This defense expenditure is not meant for some external invasion from outer space or for fighting the biggest problems on our little planet... like poverty, healthcare, unemployment, educations, skills, ecology, global warming, climate change, housing, safe drinking water, etc.

Even if this arms race could be reduced by 10% and the funds diverted to Education, Skills, Vocational Training, Primary Healthcare and Social Causes; for the empowerment of the people, this beautiful world of ours would be truly be what it is meant to be……... a Paradise.

We need World Governance First!


About the Author
Mr.Krishan Khanna is the Founder Trustee of i Watch Krishan Khanna, is an IIT Kharagpur B. Tech.in Mechanical Engineering. From 1979 to 1991, as CEO of Precision Fasteners Ltd, expanded the business by 2500% and profit by 3000% to become India’s No. 2 company in the field of industrial bolts, nuts and special fasteners. In 2010, having completed 32 years in business and 20 years in the social sector he embarked into CSR consulting, social business and CSR projects implementation.

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