Former U.S. Ambassador Quainton Talks for Global Problems, Global Solutions

By Maxwell Robinette, Staff Writer

Former U.S. Ambassador Anthony Quainton spoke in a Zoom event earlier this month for La Roche’s Global Problems, Global Solutions. The event series lasted throughout April and featured speakers, documentary screenings, and student-led discussions addressing major problems in the world, their causes, and potential solutions.

Quainton is a longtime supporter of La Roche University. He worked as a diplomat for 38 years, and served as ambassador to the Central African Republic, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and Peru. Currently, he teaches US Foreign Policy at the American University in Washington D.C.

The event addressed the question: Are there solutions to global problems? Quainton spoke on the topic for a half hour and covered an array of past and present issues.

Quainton began, stating, “When the question came up, I thought, ‘This is pretty easy.’ The answer is no. There are no solutions to global problems.”

He continued, “But as I thought about the topic, I looked back at history, and my personal history, and realized that quite a number of global problems have been solved.”

The talk explored global problems Quainton witnessed throughout his career. He covered many former global issues, including the spread of communism, overpopulation and scarcity, and deadly diseases now combated by modern medicine.

After reviewing global crises of the past, the former Ambassador addressed today’s problems.

The former Ambassador addressed mass migration, particularly in the US, Europe, and Asia. Quainton considered the current situation at the US’ southern border nothing short of a crisis. He proposed improving the economies of struggling nations as a starting point in solving these humanitarian issues.

“A simple solution is money! Let us change the economic structures of these states so that people have opportunity, jobs, and safety,” Quainton said.

Quainton spoke about climate change with urgency as well, claiming people by and large do not take the problem seriously.

“The greatest challenge in confronting this global problem, is that people don’t believe in the problem,” Quainton said. “The fact is, even in a country like ours, where there’s a high level of awareness of the problem, there’s almost no serious political will to do that much about it.”

The talk then opened to questions, and the audience and the former Ambassador discussed the issues presented in the talk.

The former Ambassador closed the event by reminding us of our ability to solve global problems, while reiterating the need to act on these issues.

“The good news is that mankind has figured out a way to solve tough problems. But there is no inevitability about our ability to solve problems in the timeframe necessary to avoid catastrophe,” Quainton said.

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