Having right values makes the world a better place

Is it all right for Russian president Vladimir Putin to start a full-scale war, the biggest in Europe since World War 2, on the false premise to “de-Nazify” Ukraine? Putin falsely claimed Ukraine was governed by neo-Nazis persecuting ethnic Russian minority, despite Ukraine having a Jewish president in Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and there is no evidence the leadership is controlled by Nazis.

The truth of the matter is that Putin wants to retake countries under the former Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991 during the Cold War, and restores them as part of “Mother Russia”, likely spurs on by his desire to be revered in history books as the one who takes back lost Russian lands.

On the night of July 27, in an obvious display of defiance against the rules-based international order, Chinese and Russian officials stood shoulder to shoulder with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as they reviewed nuclear missiles, which are banned by the United Nations Security Council, at a military parade in Pyongyang to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of Korean War. 

China and Russia are both permanent members of the Security Council and it is ironic that officials of both countries openly and blatantly made an appearance in front of the banned missiles. China and North Korea have also put up a united front in full support of Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. No end to the war is currently in sight.

It seems universal values, like a love of freedom, democracy and free speech, are values that are anathema to authoritarian leaders.

Cornerstone of a peaceful and prosperous world

Universal values, defined as fundamental ethical principles and norms shared by diverse cultures and societies worldwide, play a crucial role in fostering prosperity and a harmonious global community. These values, such as freedom, human rights, equality, justice and respect for the environment, serve as the foundation for sustainable economic development and social cohesion. 

A free and open society, where universal values are widely enshrined in its fabric, recognizes that individual freedom is central to prosperity. Freedom encompasses not only political liberties but also economic agency. A society that values personal freedom fosters an environment where entrepreneurship, innovation and competition can thrive.

A free and open society that values human rights and equal opportunity attract investment, promote innovation and achieve higher levels of economic growth. A just and inclusive society uplifts its citizens, creating a workforce that is empowered, motivated and ready to contribute to meaningful and sustainable development.

The right values promote the protection of property rights, the rule of law, and a framework that encourages fair competition. By removing barriers to entry and fostering a regulatory framework that nurtures entrepreneurship, governments can inspire individuals to unleash their creativity, take risks and build successful enterprises. This enables a vibrant marketplace, attracting domestic and foreign investment, generating employment opportunities and driving economic growth.

A society that values innovation and technological advancement is essential for sustained prosperity. As the world rapidly evolves, societies need to adapt and embrace new technologies and ideas to remain competitive, embracing a culture of innovation and invests in research and development to drive progress.

Governments that prioritize innovation provide support for startups, nurture an ecosystem that encourages collaboration between academia, private enterprises and the public sector, and ensure robust intellectual property rights protection. Such governments encourage a continuous flow of new ideas, promotes the growth of industries of the future, and positions economies at the forefront of global competitiveness.

Having universal values are essential in building and maintaining lasting peace and stability. A society that upholds human rights, justice and equality is less prone to conflict, corruption and social unrest. These values are the compass that leads us towards peaceful solutions and reconciliation in times of strife.

Peace and stability are essential prerequisites for prosperity, as they create an environment conducive to economic growth, investment and entrepreneurship. Businesses thrive in an atmosphere of stability, where property rights are protected, the rule of law is upheld and there is certainty in the legal and regulatory framework.

Global cooperation and diplomacy

Universal values recognize the importance of global cooperation and diplomacy as essential components of prosperity. In an increasingly interconnected world, no nation can thrive in isolation. A government that values international collaboration promotes trade, diplomacy and multilateralism.

By building strong diplomatic ties and seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts, nations can establish a stable and predictable global environment that encourages trade, foreign investment and cultural exchange. The right values promote a collaborative approach to global challenges, such as climate change, pandemics and poverty, recognizing that collective action is essential for shared prosperity.

Social justice and environmental sustainability

Universal values form the bedrock of a just and fair society, promoting equal treatment, devoid of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or other factors. When societies embrace and uphold these values, they create an environment where all individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive and contribute to the prosperity of the whole.

Inclusive policies that prioritize equal access to education, healthcare, employment, and social services are essential in promoting prosperity for all. By recognizing and upholding the inherent dignity and rights of every individual, we foster an environment that encourages social and economic progress, breaking the cycle of poverty and marginalization.

By recognizing and appreciating the rich tapestry of diverse cultures, beliefs and ideas across the globe, societies can tap into a wealth of knowledge, talent, and innovation. This inclusive approach fosters collaboration among nations, transcending geopolitical boundaries and promoting collective prosperity.

Global challenges, such as poverty, inequality, climate change and pandemics, require collaborative efforts and shared solutions. Universal values serve as a common ground for nations to come together, build alliances and address these challenges collectively. By prioritizing cooperation and multilateralism, we can harness the collective strength of nations, pooling resources and expertise to achieve sustainable and inclusive development.

Universal values also extend to the care and preservation of the environment. It is increasingly evident that unchecked exploitation of natural resources and a disregard for environmental wellbeing hinder long-term prosperity. Universal values emphasize the importance of sustainable development, where economic growth is achieved without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

By prioritizing environmental sustainability, societies can protect ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and ensure a habitable planet for all. This commitment to the environment not only benefits present and future generations but also encourages the development of green technologies, clean energy, and innovative solutions that can drive economic growth and job creation.

Preserving peace and achieving prosperity

It is through the adherence to universal values that we can build a prosperous, sustainable, and harmonious future for all. By striving for the right values, we can create a future where prosperity is not limited to a select few, but is accessible to all, bringing about a brighter, more inclusive and sustainable world. 

In upholding universal values, by prioritizing social and economic equality, supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, and valuing sustainability, a free and open society can unlock the full potential of the populations.

Photo credit: iStock/ sarawut khawngoen

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