By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Business and civic leaders from 40 countries around the world will converge in Manila this week for the ”Global Peace Convention 2017” to talk about the role of business in promoting peace and sustainable development.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI), the oldest business organization in the country, is hosting for the second time the convention that will open tomorrow, Feb. 27 to March 3, at the Marriott Convention Center. The convention will gather leaders from 40 countries and over 5,000 participants.
Former Panama President Nicolas Ardito Barletta Vallarino, who was also former World Bank Vice-President, will be one of the speakers at the Business and Economic Forum.
CCPI President Jose Luis Yulo Jr. said the event is a venue for ideas to crystallize and serve as catalyst for business and leaders to follow the path to peace and co-existence that will lead to prosperity and sustained development.
Spearheaded by the Global Peace Foundation, which is headquartered in Washington D.C., this year’s convention will explore innovative, multi-sector responses to challenges of conflict and underdevelopment.
“We are trying to find the new ‘ism’, a paradigm shift, because the current ‘ism’ no longer works,” said Yulo because the world is at “unease and uncomfortable feeling.”
According to Yulo, the concept of prosperism is being challenged and there is a need to rethink the way the world is doing. He cited the “protectionist” approach of US President Trump while China is treading the path to globalization and free trade.
“With the global peace convention, we hope to lead to that universal value even as we maintained our uniqueness from each other,” he stressed.
He noted that ASEAN is rising but “is it good for the world and if it is how do we make it inclusive” as he noted that the discontent arising from globalization was born out of the lost in jobs in the developed countries and widening gap in wealth and resource distribution.
Yulo cited the 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) which showed that the world became slightly less peaceful in 2016, with the average GPI country score deteriorating by 0.53 percent. The Philippines ranked 139, two notches higher than the 141 ranking in 2015, out of 163 countries surveyed.
The GPI noted that global economic impact of violence was $13.6 trillion in 2015, or 13.3 percent of world GDP.
The GPI published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) measures the peacefulness of 163 countries based on 8 pillars for peace: sound business environment, well functioning government, equitable distribution of resources, low levels of corruption, free flow of information, acceptance of the rights of others, high levels of human capital, and good relations with neighbors.
The GPI showed that over the past year, 81 countries improved their peacefulness, while 79 countries deteriorated.
The average deterioration was larger than the average improvement, accounting for the global drop in score. The societal safety and security and ongoing conflict domains both deteriorated, while militarization recorded a slight improvement.
Political terror increased globally, with Europe recording the second biggest deterioration worldwide, after Asia Pacific.
Jinsoo Kim, regional president of Asia Pacific Region, said the convention will not only focus on the role of business to peace but also to areas of Interfaith Peacebuilding, Youth and Service, Innovations in Education, Women’s Leadership, and Korean Unification.
These tracks can help leaders from each sector in coming up with new models that could help promote peace and sustainable development, Kim said.