There’s no getting around the fact that we find ourselves living in turbulent times, and that globally, we face several unique challenges.
Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has seen war break out in Europe for the first time since 1945, the climate crisis poses an existential threat to our way of life, and the development of sophisticated cyber technology continues to test the limits of Governments across the world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these issues over the last few days. If you follow me on social media you might have seen that, since Thursday, I’ve been at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Seminar in Vancouver.
With roots stretching back to the 1970s, the OSCE was formed with the intention of inviting collaboration between nations on key issues relating to Global Security. Back in 2020, I was appointed to the UK delegation to the OSCE, meaning I’m expected to represent the UK at OSCE global conferences when they take place.
Global security might seem detached from day-to-day life here in Tameside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
We live in an interconnected world, where what happens on one side of the world can have lasting implications of the other. Take Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine as a prime example.
Not only have we seen millions of Ukrainians displaced from their home and forced to seek refuge in other nations (not least of all in the UK, where Tamesiders have stepped up to support our Ukrainian friends), but we’ve also seen wider impacts on product supply chains and domestic energy prices.
It’s really important, then, that the UK does everything it can to engage with its friends, neighbours and allies on the global stage to ensure that we all work towards a progressive, safer world. That means standing up against bullies and tyrants like Putin and protecting fundamental values like democracy, liberty and the right to self-determination.
With everything that is happening, it can sometimes feel like the world is stacked against peace and prosperity. However, when I feel despondent, I’m always reminded of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous quote that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. In other words, positive change does eventually happen, it just takes time.
The challenges I identified at the start of this piece are impossible to solve on our own. We need to see a global effort to address them, with every country doing their bit to make a difference. I’m proud to be playing a small part on behalf of the people I represent here in Tameside.