Question: At the international level, bilateral relations between most nations are governed on the policy of promoting one’s own national interest without any regard for the interest of other nations. This lead to conflicts and tension between the nations. How can ethical consideration help resolve such tensions? Discuss with specific examples.
Answer: In international politics, every country looks for its profits rather than considering the humanistic and moral values. This will create a situation where self-interest over-powers our duties as humans. In order to have better relations, it is necessary that countries go beyond self-interest and adopt an empathetic attitude.
Resolving conflicts ethical way- Goals
- Winning confidence of citizens
In a world full of self-interest, it is difficult to see countries show sympathy by keeping ethics above everything else. When ethical values are displayed, automatic relationship is created between two groups. These help in winning confidence of the citizens.
Ex: India warning Pakistan of impending danger due to floods in the downward flowing rivers regardless of tension between the two countries. This step is ethically most appropriate.
- Respecting sovereignty of the country
Every nation intends to uphold its sovereignty regardless of the situation and if any other country tries to violate that, a violent situation may arise. As an ethical way of resolving conflicts, sovereign power of the country to take decisions must be respected and interference has to be stopped.
Ex: India’s active interference in Tamil- Sinhalese conflict in Sri Lanka was considered to be a grave ethical disaster as it aggravated the already worst situation. India’s gradual withdrawal and steady humanistic help reduced the tension.
- Not lose sight of long term peace
It is necessary to look for obtaining long term peace even if it involves keeping aside differences. When a country in authoritative position takes the soft path of morality, the conflict usually gets mellowed down automatically.
Ex: When relationship between India and Maldives was turning sour, India did not pursue a muscled approach instead it provided the Maldives with drinking water when it faced water crisis. This was helpful in gaining confidence of the state.
Thus, ethical considerations are equally important when taking steps of international importance because ultimately these values matter when the past and future is being considered.