Why social cohesion is the key
Do we want a world full of racial, religious and ethnic conflicts? This question was asked by former president Bill Clinton at the Club of Madrid’s Global Forum on Leadership for Shared Societies, in the city of Rotterdam, in order to demonstrate that social inclusion, shared societies and minority integration are such important issues for the safety of democracies.
(Rotterdam and Madrid) “WE OFTEN FIND THAT OUR political leaders do not possess the adequate tools to run increasingly diverse societies, they they do not know how to develop policies to strengthen dialog, opportunity, recognition and participation”, explained Ricardo Lagos, president of the Club of Madrid and former president of Chile, in the Global Forum on Leadership for Shared Societies organized by the Club of Madrid in conjunction with the city of Rotterdam and the Community of Madrid.
“Cultural, religious and ethnic diversity can progress towards the formation of a shared society, or it can be manipulated in a certain way to lead to inter-community conflict and destruction”
This Project for a Shared Society, which is headed by the Club of Madrid and has the support of prestigious institutions like the European Commission, the Community of Madrid, the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, the city of Rotterdam, the city of London and the Canadian International Development Agency, was created in order to provide leaders around the world with tools.
THE VALUE OF DIVERSITY
Cultural, religious and ethnic diversity can progress towards the formation of a shared society, or it can be manipulated in a certain way to lead to inter-community conflict and destruction. Given that countries, cities and communities grow more intercultural with each passing day, their leaders need to face up to the challenge of constructing and maintaining these shared societies and promoting a safer world for diversity. The question is: do they know how to do it?
“In the globalized world of today, there is no Plan B”
The Project for a Shared Society -to which I contribute as a member of the group of experts in Communication, representing Safe Democracy- is a two-year long initiative designed as a response to the requests of leaders from around the world to search for options and action plans with the purpose of facing up to the challenge of coexistence.
As a part of the Project for a Shared Society, the Club of Madrid organized the Global Forum on Leadership for Shared Societies in Rotterdam, where political leaders, representatives of multilateral organizations, civil society activists, journalists, foundations and think tanks identified the causes, incentives and benefits that cause leaders to act in favor of social cohesion. Here is a video that includes the recommendations from the members of the Club of Madrid themselves.
“Because with greater social cohesion, we all win”
As the Global Forum on Leadership for Shared Societies’ concluding statement, the members of the Club of Madrid made this call to action directed at global leaders to step up efforts, both at the local and national level, with the goal of ensuring that social cohesion and shared societies become a top priority when it comes to governing.
In the globalized world of today, there is no Plan B. We must learn to live together, and to appreciate diversity and inclusion. Because with greater social cohesion, we all win.