Annual Dialogue Report 2016

“Our trust deficit is, to a large extent, the result of asymmetries in our world. The fact that so many are taking the trust bestowed on them for granted explains countless of these asymmetries. People in positions of authority abuse trust and break the rules, with no consequences. The deep sense of injustice that many feel, the sentiment of being excluded and not having the same opportunities as others, drives mistrust. And mistrust is one of the underlying factors that lead to extremism, terror and other expressions of frustration. If we do not honestly address the lack of trust as a basic driver of violence, we miss the point. We risk spiraling in the wrong direction when we respond to violence with more violence. By bombing those who have attacked us, we do not solve the problem but exacerbate it. This is what we need to correct now, because our future is at stake. We need to rebuild trust through egitimate leadership, justice and accountability so we all have institutions, systems and processes we can trust. We need to re-build trust in individuals so that they feel they belong to our community, that they make a difference and that they matter. This is the fundamental step toward creating the necessary virtuous circle where trust leads to responsibility and response.”

Michael Møller
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva

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