Change the world with conscience
التاريخ : 09 April 2020
المحرر : Roslan Bin Rusly
الفئة : News
By Dzulkifli Abdul Razak - -
APRIL 6 was the United Nations International Day of Conscience, inspired by Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.
It aims to promote a culture of peace based on values, attitudes and behaviours inspired by the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.
The day before, April 5, was the first International Day of Conscience online. And appropriately so given that virtually half the world population is undergoing mobility restraint orders of some kind — a lockdown, a curfew or a state of emergency.
With the theme, “Change the World with Conscience”, it serves to remind people to self-reflect and to follow their conscience.
This is reinforced by the harsh reality that there is now more than one million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world. The million mark was breached on April 2. And deaths topped 50,000. All these happened barely six months since the first case reportedly emerged in China in December.
While national leaders have announced huge financial aid packages to deal with the crisis, these are not sufficient if conscience is left out of the entire exercise.
In fact, it can cause even greater chaos as demonstrated by the recent ‘hijacking’ of face masks by a mighty nation.
According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration is scrambling to secure more face masks for US healthcare workers. It has sparked tensions with allies, including Canada, France and Germany.
They fear that they could face shortages as they try to rein in their own explosive Covid-19 outbreaks.
Allegedly, the White House late on Thursday ordered Minnesota mask manufacturer, 3M, to prioritise US orders over foreign demand, using its authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA).
In fact, Trump is said to have invoked the DPA to stop the export of “critical medical items by unscrupulous actors”, who he did not identify. At the same time, his administration has asked 3M to stop supplying masks to Latin America, and to import more from 3M’s factories in China, according to 3M sources.
Meanwhile, officials in Brazil and France complained that the US was outbidding them in the global marketplace for critical medical supplies.
These shameful developments underscore the huge pressure on the conscience of the world as the coronavirus infections divide countries based on a me-first mantra, where power and wealth triumph over global conscience and humanity. More disgraceful is those who have been bingeing for a long time, taking more than their fair share of the planet’s resources.
In this regard, everyone is strongly urged to deeply reflect on the Day of Conscience.
Be mindful that the Covid-19 pandemic does not recognise boundaries or frontiers, and infects all, regardless of race, nationality, religion, ethnicity or gender.
This necessitates a global solution that takes conscience into account.
So let us make a difference by celebrating the first annual International Day of Conscience, and remain united to change the world with conscience.
The writer, an NST columnist for more than 20 years, is International Islamic University Malaysia rector