As a nation on the road to progressive nation status, we must pause and reflect on what we expend time, effort and energy. Aren't we supposed to be concerned with international issues and what affects many countries including the current superpower?
A very critical assembly took place recently. What unfolded was important for all countries especially the US since the death of its Ambassador Stevens and other diplomats in the Middle East. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly twice.
Due to his nation's history and public utterances, there were several interests groups that voiced their objections to him addressing the assembly. It was a moot point and some say it intensified the atmosphere in NYC on September 26, as it was Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement and considered the holiest of all days for Jews).
New York City's Department of Education public schools were closed as well as many prominent businesses and places of repute. The United States of America had its hands tied as it is obliged to issue visas to all representatives of member states regardless of how surreal and outlandish their views are and how repressive their regimes may be as they are bound by the USA-United Nations "Headquarters Agreement" of 1947.
There have been precedents though of where the USA refused to grant visas to officials like Yasser Arafat in 1988 because he ordered the killing of a US diplomat and former United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim due to the fact that he concealed his role in the mass killings of Jews during World War II when he was then a Nazi officer.
Many countries including ours should have been concerned about the Iranian President's recent statements on Israel. He publicly stated that Israel is "an insult to humanity...a cancerous tumour" and called for "its disappearance." Under President Ahmadinejad's rule, Iran added pressure in its persecution of religious minority groups especially those of the Bahai faith.
Accounts from journalists and correspondents living there indicate that many members of that faith face frequent harassment, torture, oppressive treatment and unfair imprisonment. Those dissidents against the Iranian government who support the members of the Bahai faith also get assaulted.
All countries in the assembly that are allies with the United States against such oppressive acts against western regimes, must put their heads together and offer solutions and actively take part in action-oriented, progressive bi-lateral and multi-lateral talks to help with delegations to bring a resolution to this crisis.
Iran also continues with its nuclear weapons programme totally disregarding the policies and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Security Council. Do we recall what Trinidad and Tobago was doing on September 11, (on the 11th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks) when over 3,500 deceased names were being read out by the victims families and when the US Ambassador and other diplomats were killed simultaneously in the East?
These international events were being viewed by millions-even the US presidential elections candidates, the current President Barack Obama and presidential candidate/Republican nominee, Governor Mitt Romney put aside all politicking on that day. Even, all the major networks respected that and followed same.
What did our local leaders in waiting such as Dr Rowley do? What Dr Rowley should have done was hold talks with the relevant parties including the Prime Minister, the Minister of foreign Affairs, the Attorney General and other persons qualified in the field of International Relations and those with experience in international peace-making relations so that the Minister of Foreign Affairs would have something solid to discuss with the many representatives from other nations who assembled in New York City.
They could have discussed the socio-economic, political relations and a way forward in dealing with the continuous unrest in the Middle East, especially since many autocratic/totalitarian states like Libya move towards establishing true democracy which is proving to be quite an arduous tasks as there are so many issues to deal with.
Even better, the Leader of the Opposition should have sought an audience with the Prime Minister to discuss international issues that impact upon Trinidad's economy. After all, what is the role of a true opposition in any real democracy? Is Dr Rowley ready to be Prime Minister if it happened in the morning?
The role of the Opposition is not to just criticise but to offer solutions-viable and plausible solutions. Have we heard anything from him since assuming office on ways to combat crime and stimulate the economy and proposals for social programmes? Has he done research to see what obtains in jurisdictions like USA and Canada to see what would work here?
All this energy over two weeks now on condemning and ill-speaking is ridiculous and totally unbecoming. I implore all to view CNN or BBC to be enlightened, educated on international issues.