Barack Mandela
Human Rights Attorney

Bill and Melinda Gates: Leaders of the World

Bill and Melinda Gates meet with women in Jamsaut village in Bihar, India in 2011. ©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Prashant Panjiar
Bill and Melinda Gates meet with women in Jamsaut village in Bihar, India in 2011. ©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Prashant Panjiar

Bill and Melinda Gates should be jointly appointed as the next Secretaries-General of the United Nations.

It is imperative for our world’s leadership to help alleviate extreme poverty which afflicts millions of women, men, and children. According to the United Nations, the poverty statistics are shocking:

  • 736 million people lived below the international poverty line of US$ 1.90 a day in 2015.
  • In 2018, almost 8 per cent of the world’s workers and their families lived on less than US$1.90 per person per day.
  • Most people living below the poverty line belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • High poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries.
  • As of 2018, 55 per cent of the world’s population have no access to at least one social protection cash benefit.

World leaders, philanthropic organizations, activists, and high net worth individuals must come together to empower marginalized, impoverished communities with social, educational, and economic empowerment. Extreme poverty is a form of injustice. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Melinda and Bill Gates are uniquely positioned to help alleviate poverty as co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the Foundation’s website:

“In developing countries, we focus on improving people’s health and wellbeing, helping individuals lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, we seek to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—can access the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. By giving people the tools to lead healthy, productive lives, we can help them lift themselves out of poverty.”

As co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates helped revolutionize the world of computer software and high technology. Melinda French Gates, who earned an MBA from Duke University, is an equal partner is spearheading their effort to improve healthcare and education while eliminating socio-economic inequality.

To empower women, Melinda Gates published the influential book, “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World”. By empowering women and combating discrimination against women and girls, we improve the overall health of families and societies. This is true both in developing countries and in highly developed countries. To empower women and girls is to empower our world.

In 2016, President Barack Obama honored Bill and Melinda Gates with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their philanthropic efforts. In addition, President Francois Hollande awarded them France’s highest national order, Commander of the Legion of Honor, for their efforts to improve our world.

However, the essential question is not— “How can we honor Bill and Melinda Gates?”. Rather, the essential question is—“How can we help Bill and Melinda in their efforts to make our world a better place?” The answer is clear: We should appoint Bill and Melinda as Co-Secretaries General of the United Nations.

As heads of the United Nations, Melinda and Bill Gates will be positioned address the multilayered and multifaceted issues confronting our world.

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945.  It is currently made up of 193 Member States.  The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding UN Charter.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations is symbolic of the organization’s mission and a spokesman for the interests of the world’s peoples, in particular the poor and vulnerable. The current Secretary-General of the UN, and the ninth occupant of the post, is Mr. António Guterres of Portugal, who took office on January 1, 2017. The UN Charter describes the Secretary-General as “chief administrative officer” of the organization.

When Secretary-General Guterres completes his term of office, let us elect Melinda and Bill Gates jointly to the position. One of the goals will be to make the so-called “American Dream” accessible to people throughout our planet. Moreover the Gates’ strong computer science and technology background uniquely capacitate them to help solve issues in the developing world.

According to the Bill & Melinda Gates website, “we can save lives by delivering the latest in science and technology to those with the greatest needs”. Moreover, the Foundation works with partners to provide effective vaccines, medications, and to develop innovative approaches to deliver health services to those who need it most. This makes them highly capable of helping to overcome the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Nations under the Gates’ leadership can then partner with young activists such as Greta Thunberg, to combat climate change, global warming, and strive for environmental justice. Moreover, the UN can partner with activist, Malala Yousafzai, to empower women and girls with equal access to quality education.

For many years, people around the world have immigrated to the United States to strive for the so-called “American Dream”. Now, we can transform the “American Dream” into a “World Dream” by making education, healthcare, and socio-economic empowerment available in countries around the world.

Melinda and Bill Gates should be appointed Co-Secretaries General of the United Nations to improve our world through efforts to uplift and empower people around the world.

From Africa to Asia to Oceania, from the Americas to Europe, from developing nations to highly developed nations, Bill and Melinda Gates have the global vision, technological resources, and compassionate capabilities to bring equality and socio-economic justice for all.

About the Author
Licensed Attorney. I earned a Doctor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1997). I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside (1994). I was an international student at the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law (1991-1992) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law (Summer 1996). I am a military veteran of both the United States Army and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). I am a laureate of the National Defense Service Medal from the Pentagon (2006). I am a financial donor to following: Harvard Law, Yale Law, Stanford Law, Berkeley Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, UC Davis Law, Columbine High School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, Sidwell Friends School, Viewpoint School, Beverly Hills High School, Eton College in the United Kingdom, Special Olympics, Children's Defense Fund, Obama Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, and the British Red Cross. I am former special assistant and staff attorney to Governor Pete Wilson of California. I was public affairs assistant to US Senator Barbara Boxer and Mayor Ehud Olmert of Jerusalem and Jerusalem spokesperson Haggai Elias.
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