Over the past couple of decades, the discussion surrounding the legitimacy of global governance has led to a divide between international relations theorists in regards to the standards of well-being and development established by inter-governmental organizations like the United Nations or the European Union. In my opinion, such measures of global well-being are legitimate, although they do not consider the unique characteristics of each nationand its internal challenges. Moreover, such measures are rarely clear and comprehensive, too often having numerous conditions, implications, and elaborations. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) uses macro-economic statistics andself-reported data to estimate the current well-being of nations.
Income, housing, access to healthcare, job quality, education, subjective well-being, social connections, and a number of other factors are included in the OECD framework. The Commission onthe Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress evaluates the individual initiatives of a nation in each of the aforementioned fields, which means that a government’s contributions are crucial to improving the well-being of a nation. Since such measures of progress are established, the government has the legal authority to tax its citizens in order to facilitate the baseline necessities.
On the one hand, this results in states having a moral obligation to their citizens to provide them with basic rights and good living conditions. Although it can be argued that state sovereignty was established to ensure security and protection, it goes beyond that. People have a need to unite in order to combine their efforts and increase their chances of survival. Therefore, governments are obliged to ensure that the citizens are protected and happy.
On the other hand, it is also crucial to acknowledge that the efforts of states to provide their citizens with baseline necessities usually pay off. The subjective well-being of people and communities has an effect on the outcomes of policies initiated by the government. The well-being of individuals leads to lasting improvements in a variety of fields, including health, security, education, and economic productivity. Thus, there is a practical basis for establishing a taxation system in an effort to ensure the well-being of citizens.
Despite that, wealthy states often have an obligation to help those less fortunate and provide humanitarian aid to poor nations such as the ones in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. However, there are criticisms regarding the development assistance from other nations. The key issue is the fact that nations, which revive aid, rely too much on it and cannot develop their own institutions and tax systems to ensure long-term growth in terms of economic stability and well-being of their citizens.
As for the role of Christianity in helping nations worldwide to reach sustainable development goals, it is apparent that the Bible puts certain obligations on Christians in regards to helping others in need. In my opinion, there can be various interpretations of the Scripture, which means that Christians have to not only use the Bible but common sense and data to guide their decisions. While the work of missionaries and individual Christian groups in developing nations is appreciated, it is also important to understand that some states need far more than that. They have to learn how to rely on themselves alone by establishing the right types of institutions and creating the necessary tax systems.