Global citizens are no myth

Global citizens are no myth

SINGAPORE- I disagree with Associate Professor Jakub Grygiel's view ("The myth of the global citizen"; last Saturday).

I have lived in eight countries, including Singapore, and do not see myself as a citizen of any one of them. But I do respect and love all of them.

Having experienced the cultural and social lives in these countries, I now see myself as a citizen of the world. But, according to Prof Grygiel, I am a myth, virtually a "yeti".

I have not been on any of the global citizenship courses that the professor excoriates, but have developed concern about the world through many years of experience, and through reading and watching some of the most unbiased media in the world.

Many of the most burning issues in today's world - climate change, population growth, runaway consumerism, growing economic inequality, to name a few - cannot be addressed on a national scale.

Indeed, attempts to do so, such as the Copenhagen climate change conference, usually end with narrow nationalistic bickering.

This will continue to happen if we go on thinking and acting nationally.

Prof Grygiel should consider the great strides made in Europe over the last 50 years in transcending nationalism for the common good.

Yet, substituting loyalty to one's country with loyalty to a power bloc may also not be the best solution, as with the communist version cited by Prof Grygiel.

Until the United Nations becomes what its founders intended - an institution capable of representing the interests of all nations in the world - then a global citizen like myself may just be a voice in the wilderness.

My loyalties are to humanity and nature, and my main concern is creating a sustainable future despite the chaos of conflicting interests.

Of course, many issues require national solutions, but global problems need global solutions.

Colin Davis


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