Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Sometimes I get a bit tired of all this U.S.-centric thinking (and I do it to, mostly as a concerned citizen). There are other things happening in the world that affect everyone, the U.S. certainly doesn't hold the corner on influence. In fact, as it continues to ignore the rest of the world, the rest of the world is ignoring it and moving on to other things. With that, here's two paragraphs from an article about drug legislation in India:
'The Indian government believes that patent recognition is an essential pre-condition for India's drug industry to further its own drug research and development and attract foreign partners. But health activists are urging the government to reconsider as millions of Aids patients would suffer from the withdrawal of affordable medication.'
'Ellen't Hoen, of the relief agency Medecins Sans Frontieres, says fifty percent of people with Aids in the developing world depend on generic drugs from India and the new patent law will cut the lifeline to other countries.' [source]
Of course, this is a domestic issue with respect to the U.S. and it may adversely affect U.S. security. How? AIDS, of all diseases, is the most likely to cause destabilization of entire countries. Shrinking the supply of cheap drugs increases the likelihood that such an event may happen. So, as a U.S. citizen and as a global citizen I hope that the upper house of parliment in India seriously considers the worldwide impact of its decision. A larger issue is the negative impact of WTO entrance requirements on the economies of developing (and developed, for that matter) countries. It is good in one sense, in that writ large the application of patent protection is demonstrated to have huge negative effects. Also, that the WTO exists and has enough influence to sway a country to change its laws indicates that international organizations enjoy a fair amount of power and influence in the world. It would be nice, though, if the WTO contacted the WHO (World Health Organization) and a few other groups involved with quality-of-life issues and adjusted its admissions requirements accordingly.
While I don't think we'll have much of a chance to move towards enlightened global participation in the U.S. within the next few years, there is an opportunity to influence international organizations that aren't as ideologically bound as the current U.S. administration. Certainly the U.N. has been much more reasonable about addressing issues around the globe (of course, there are areas where the U.N. could improve). Since this opportunity exists, and since there seems to be a paucity of blogs with a global outlook (to my knowledge -- links in comments would be appreciated), I'll be using this space to write more about truly international issues and how to address them, including terrorism. The usual Node stuff still applies, of course, since there's still a fuzzy war being fought in my name and I'm not happy about it, not to mention the policy decisions of the Bush Administration. But if the current administration won't represent my point of view on international affairs, then I'll do it myself.
Andrew 7:33 PM : |
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