(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama said at the White House Summit on Global Development Wednesday that “we are living in the most peaceful” era in human history and that “the world has never been less violent.”
According to the White House schedule, the president used the summit to “bring together development leaders, public and private sector financing partners, civil society, diplomats, and entrepreneurs to mark our global progress and catalyze further development efforts.”
“So it is worth reminding ourselves of how lucky we are to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history,” Obama said in the speech.
“Because the world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today,” he also said.
Here are excerpts from the president’s speech as transcribed on the White House website:
Obviously, this has been a tough couple of weeks, not just here in the United States but around the world. And that’s being amplified to some degree during political season. So I think maybe it’s worth stepping back for a moment. This is a challenging time--with threats of terrorism, an international order that is buffeted by all different kinds of events, a sense that globalization is leaving too many people behind and expanding inequality within countries, even if we are seeing progress in the aggregate.
And all of this creates legitimate fears and anxieties that have to be addressed, and at least a feeling, a perception that people don’t have full control over a rapidly changing world. So it is worth reminding ourselves of how lucky we are to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history.
Now, that’s hard to absorb if we’re watching the newscasts every night, because there’s heartbreak and terrible things taking place at any given moment across the globe. But it’s important for us to remember, not so that we become complacent but so that we understand that good works can make a difference. Think about it. It has been decades since a war between major powers. More people live in democracies. More people are linked by technology. Thanks in part to the dedication and passion and hard work of so many of the people who are gathered here today, in recent decades the world has achieved incredible advances in development and human dignity. ….
And sometimes when I’m talking to young interns at the White House who are still immunizing themselves from the cynicism that’s so chronic in this town--I remind them, if you had to choose a moment in history to be born, and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be, you’d choose now. Because the world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today....