Je Suis Charlie

This week’s vicious attacks in Paris, leaving over a dozen people dead, have come as a tremendous shock to everyone. Green Cross expresses its profound condolences and feelings of solidarity with the French people. We join the families and loved ones of those brutally murdered in mourning. This terrible crime was committed not only against France but against all humankind. It represents an unprecedented challenge, which can be responded to only through common, concerted efforts.

This cowardly attack is not just a terrorist act. It is, in fact, a declaration of war against modern civilization. As events unfold, it is becoming clearer that these crimes were carefully planned and well organized. All necessary measures must be taken to stop the criminals and prevent similar incidents in the future.

But this hour of trouble must not become an hour of despair. The response to this challenge must not be limited to added security and special forces operations, as security can never be purchased in the currency of freedom. That is, after all, exactly what terrorists want – to intimidate us and force us to live in a state of siege.

The time is ripe to talk about the roots of terrorism, fanaticism and violence, and about the ways we deal with them. It is time to recognize that we cannot cope with this global threat until we change the modern economic model, which generates inequality, marginalization, conditions for corruption, opaque financial manipulation, and unaccounted rent on the resources trade that breeds global crime and terrorism.

The best tribute we can offer to the victims of these atrocious acts of violence will be to take a sober and balanced look at today’s world, conscious of the existence of global challenges and universal human values, and take on the many issues that cannot be resolved without cooperation between the world’s leading powers. What is needed today is a greater awareness of our common destiny. The kind that drives efforts to achieve holistic and systemic change, overcome global economic disparity, and redress abuses of power.

Green Cross hopes that this tragic experience may help to bring people closer together, across the political and ideological divisions that so often blind us to our common values and interests.