The Right to Global Distributive Justice: An Inquiry into the Problems and Prospects of Creating an Equitable World Order
Obed O. Mailafia
One of the most remarkable developments of our time is the emergence of formerly colonized peoples on the stage of world politics. The peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are asserting themselves with increasing forcefulness and are demanding their right to participate as free and equal members in the councils of the family of nations. They are calling into question the inequitable global political economy that condemns the vast majority of humankind to the state of servitude, starvation, and dehumanization, while the rich play in the carnival of affluence.
Granted that such sentiments underlay the earlier anticolonial struggle, the novelty of today's clamorings is that they take such an insistent and uncompromising tenor, for real independence and autonomous development, for self-reliance and social progress. The demand for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) is a call by the underdeveloped countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America to redress the centuries of human degradation and economic exploitation under which they have been subjected by the affluent nations of Europe and North America. They have called into question the structure, institutions, and principles that sustain the present world order, which have come to be seen as both unjust and irrational.