[EDITORIALS]Dealing in reality globally

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[EDITORIALS]Dealing in reality globally

The World Economic Forum in New York and the World Social Forum, an anti-globalization conference held simultaneously in Porto Alegre, Brazil, have wrapped up their sessions without violent confrontations. The two forums' positions on globalization are as far apart as the distance between the two countries. But major progress for coexistence was made at this year's gatherings.

The two meetings did not involve the violence that has dogged international economic meetings in recent years. The World Economic Forum has shifted from "a carefree talkfest among the rich" to the real world plagued by terrorism. The themes of the two gatherings -- the World Economic Forum's "Leadership in Fragile Times" and the World Social Forum's "Another World Is Possible" -- were not exclusive of the other. The forums also showed a mature attitude by inviting a wide array of civic activists and religious leaders.

By far, the hottest topics were terrorism and poverty. Although not everyone sympathized with the argument that poverty breeds terrorism, a consensus was reached that rich countries and global political and business elites must do more to combat poverty in developing countries. Thirty-six major multinational corporations, such as Coca-Cola and Siemens, pledged to fulfill their social responsibilities, announcing the "corporate citizen's charter." That suggests a change of direction from economic globalization to "ethical" globalization. Multinational companies have assumed a leading role in spreading the benefits of globalization by focusing on their core businesses and promoting the interests of all parties concerned, including shareholders, employees, suppliers and consumers.

More than 1 billion people across the globe are living in extreme poverty and struggling to survive. Most of them are excluded from globalization. Rich nations and multinationals must give them hope and correct their views about globalization.

Globalization is no longer a matter of choice; it already has made a deep foray into our lives. Guarding against neo-liberalism and sharing the fruits of globalization will ensure harmony and coexistence with the opponents of globalization.
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