African Union Humanitarian Summit: No, to Weaponizing the Means To LifeBy Marcia Merry Baker
May 29—This past week, the African Union held an Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit, to address the crises of the means to life in many parts of the continent. AU Chairman Macky Sall, President of Senegal, urged his counterparts to tackle the root causes of the humanitarian crises. There are 113 million Africans in extreme need for assistance this year, including 48 million people displaced. An AU statement reported that 15 out of the continent’s 54 countries are hit with terrible suffering.
Just the fact that the gathering took place, which went from May 25-28 in Equatorial Guinea, is a rejection of the U.S./U.K./Global NATO bloc and all it promotes and stands for, which is, first, conflict and war, even to the brink of nuclear annihilation, and secondly, weaponizing of the means to life—food, water, energy, medicine, and other basics.
The NATO war front blames Russia (or China) for every kind of shortage, price hike and breakdown, while literally blocking urgently needed collaboration to increase production, and to mobilize for rising levels of productivity for every nation in the world.
In describing both Africa and the world situation, the AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said that, “This crisis is characterized by a shrinking world supply of agricultural products and a soaring inflation of food products.”
How could this be solved? How to have an expanding supply of agricultural products? Nations in collaboration can work out how to direct credit and inputs to expand short-term production in targeted locations, and then take longer-term measures to expand infrastructure and the means of production everywhere. This requires the kind of financial reorganization explained by Lyndon LaRouche, in particular in his 2014, “Four Laws.” It begins with re-regulating and creating sound banking, which, in the United States is known as the “Glass-Steagall” approach after the sponsors of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1933 banking law, which stood the test of time. Related and follow-on measures include a national bank for productivity and infrastructure in every nation, and plentiful credit and scientific priority programs.
Specifics of this approach have been under discussion at many of the Schiller Institute international conferences for the last three years, and long beforehand, and now are necessary to promote as emergency measures. See “The LaRouche Plan for a New International Economic Architecture.”
The food situation is at a special crisis point. During the pandemic the number of people who are “food insecure” (unreliable, insufficient supplies) rose to nearly a billion people, who now can be going to death by starvation in a short time, with another billion close behind, unless the worsening production downward spiral is reversed.
As of June the wheat harvest is coming on in the Northern Hemisphere, the planet’s largest area of production currently, because of the enforced underproduction in Africa. But there is no concerted intervention to support the fall wheat planting, nor give extra support to Southern Hemisphere crop cycles. The many “food security” proposals issued in mid-May by the network of existing institutions—IMF, World Bank, G7, and others—for example, the May 18 U.S. “Roadmap for Global Food Security—Call to Action,” have next to no effective planks at all. The major directive is that nations should not suspend food exports. However, some 30 nations have done so, to defend their home food supply, and try to limit inflation. Big and small, these nations range from Argentina to Hungary.
The African Union meeting is implicitly a rejection of this hopeless situation. Strategically, many nations in Africa also refused to obey Global NATO’s three geopolitical votes in the UN this spring (General Assembly and Human Rights Council) to condemn Russia. The same sentiment exists elsewhere in the Global South. In the Americas, one reflection is that several heads of state and government will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles June 6-10, where President Biden will be personally. No matter how much Washington has bullied and coerced its neighbors to reject all ties with Russia, China, and the Belt and Road Initiative, many Ibero-American nations are refusing to comply. They are bailing out of the old system.
This is our time. This is the opportunity for making a miracle to force into being a new economic and security architecture, based on serving the common good of all nations. Let us go for all kinds of initiatives for this, and confer further at the June 18-19 Schiller Institute international (virtual) conference. Registration is now open and welcome in the U.S., in Germany, and soon elsewhere. Find the notice on the Schiller Institute website, and more details will come shortly.