A Friendly Window on the World

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The world is a much friendlier place from a window of the United Nations Secretariat than from even a step beyond its guardhouses. There is nothing quaint at the UN about a Black man being the next American President because the majority of leaders of the world's near-200 countries are nonwhite and all are commanding figures. Some are even women, as is Liberia's Head of State, leading a troubled African country onto the global highway of progress Americans can't see on the mainstream GPS at present.

From the Secretariat window, countries are buzzing to build a world Americans can't see because there's more than the cataclysms shown on American TV screens in the daily life of the world's peoples who work, pray, worry and celebrate as Americans do. Certainly many are far poorer than poor Americans, but they know about America through cell phones, the internet and aid agencies such as Doctors without Borders or Aid the Children and the image alienates.

From the Secretariat view and that of the world, America is a provincial giant separated from its own enlightened. Bill and Melinda Gates know the big world out there and they're engaged, as are Jimmy and Roslyn Carter, Warren Buffett, George Soros and Jim Cramer the money man. Atlanta's Ted Turner started the trend and he's a big hit with journalists covering the UN news that's vital everywhere but in America, the Host Country and founding force for the UN. A bull in a China shop 10 years ago in a stuffy UN briefing room, Ted Turner is now a quirky breath of fresh air in a UN adapting to global changes while America stagnates.

Any American in finance, trade, advertising or marketing knows about the world. Mainstream communicators are the laggards, those providing the daily information diet for Americans, those running the industry who don't seem to read Google News or alternative web presses, who don't seem to watch CNN, MSNBC, 60 minutes or any forward-looking channels. They may be busy with boardroom meetings, focus groups and opinion polls, charts and budgets and projections, not to mention the agita of ratings wars and covering backsides. The upshot is the common knowledge that viewers are bored, based on web blogs, ratings and an economy reflecting sponsorships. And yet decision makers keep concluding that more of what isn't working is the answer. From a Secretariat window, all sides are obviously drowning.

The Secretariat staff doesn't need a Hurricane Katrina or Tsunami to see Asians, Africans, Arabs, Europeans and Americans are all well-heeled and savvy about the world's ways. Mistakes, intrigues and cronyism are rife, as those human frailties still abound at every level of human commerce. But at the Secretariat, the spirit of good will prevails over the universal human weakness it is destined to tame.

That's why it's possible from the Secretariat to see Europeans, Africans and Asians partnering to build highways, wells, clinics and markets to tap into prosperity so neighbors don't leave beloved homes to become despised aliens. With the help of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, dozens of UN agencies, hundreds of celebrities and thousands of aid-giving bodies in each of the world's 192 countries, peoples are traveling, setting up overseas shops and teaming into regional groups for greater momentum on the global stage.

In short, the world is a compassionate place from the Secretariat vantage. Both its blessed and its strugglers aim for progress, regardless of differences to be worked out. The bigger world doesn't create media-heroes for the sole curmudgeonly pleasure of knocking them down. America could profit from seeing the scope of that prospering world where avid shoppers would welcome American goods if only America as a whole took more notice of them through its information experts.

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Helen Fogarassy has 1 articles online

Helen Fogarassy has worked on a contract basis with the United Nations for nearly 20 years. She is the author of a suspense novel, The Midas Maze, about murderous hijinks in UN/US relations. She is also the author of The Light of a Destiny Dark, a novel about the Euro-American cultural gap through Hungarian eyes, and a nonfiction eyewitness tribute to the UN's work, Mission Improbable: The World Community on a UN Compound in Somalia. All are available on the major web bookstores.

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A Friendly Window on the World

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This article was published on 2010/04/04