Rowan and the terrible, horrible,
no good, very bad decade

Updated: The Queen once said she had an "annus horribilis." So what would the ABC call the "noughties?" "La Década Perdida?"

Ruth Gledhill reports on Rowan Williams New Year's message which will be released today. She says that he listed terrorism, war, natural disaster and the financial collapse as just a few of the disasters of the past ten years. And he found the climate summit in Copenhagen summit a big disappointment, too. And that does not include the turmoil within Anglicanism itself.

In a characteristically apocalyptic message that reflects the frustration among church leaders that developed countries are not doing more to forestall environmental and economic disaster, Dr Williams urges a traditional Christian response of pulling together to stave off disaster, arguing that it would be wrong to despair.

“Before we shrug our shoulders and lower our expectations, let’s not lose sight of one enormous lesson we can learn from the last decade,” he says. “The needs of our neighbours are the needs of the whole human family.”

...Dr Williams reflects on the UN millennium development goals, key objectives for tackling poverty and disease agreed on in 2000 by more than 200 nations and international bodies that “summed up for a lot of us the hopes we had for a new look at our world”.

The Guardian also reports:

He will say: "Before we shrug our shoulders and lower our expectations, let's not lose sight of one enormous lesson we can learn from the last decade.

"The truth is that there are fewer and fewer problems in our world that are just local. Suffering and risk spread across boundaries, even that biggest of all boundaries between the rich and the poor.

"Crises don't stop at national frontiers. It's one thing that terrorism and environmental challenge and epidemic disease have taught us."

At the start of a new decade the archbishop also expressed his disappointment at the lukewarm commitment to achieving the millennium development goals.

The whole text can be found here.

Comments (3)

some decades are like that, Rowan, even in Australia!

Great Headline! And of course, Ann got the connection first!

An economist takes the opposite view,

"The raging economic growth rates of China and India are well known, though their rise is part of a broader trend in the economic development of poorer countries. Ideals of prosperity, freedom and the rule of law have probably never been more resonant globally than they’ve been over the last 10 years, even if practice often falls short. And for all of the anticapitalistic rhetoric that has emerged from the financial crisis, national leaders around the world are embracing the commercialization of their economies. Putting aside the United States, which ranks third, the four most populous countries are China, India, Indonesia and Brazil, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world’s people. And all four have made great strides. Indonesia had solid economic growth during the entire decade, mostly in the 5 to 6 percent annual range. That came after its very turbulent 1990s, marked by a disastrous financial crisis and plummeting standards of living."

Cowen admits Africa remains a problem.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the question that comes immediately to mind is why didn't Akinola, Orombi, et al. focus their attention in the last decade to poverty, corruption and reform. Something about easier to scapegoat, I guess.

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