COVID-19’s is on a rampage since the beginning of the year 2020. Countries are struggling to find a cure or at least some reassurance to calm the people. But despite, the massive campaigns and requests, people are not calming down. They are putting pressure on governments to speed up the processes and provide some plausible answer. However genuine the demand, governments all around are helpless, as no vaccine or cure is available. The problem is only getting bigger by the day. Medical facilities and services are under huge stress and in many countries the COVID-19 has overwhelmed the facilities and services. Countries as big as the United States of America are helpless in the face of the pandemic. The situation urges everyone to cooperate and look for innovative ways to strengthen cooperation.
Unfortunately, the hawks that exist in every system have initiated a new blame game. Trying to use the pandemic to create chaos and achieve their geopolitical objectives. Right wing and conservatives in Western countries, are blaming migrants and refuges and asking their governments to take stricter measures to secure their borders. Globalization has also been blamed for the spread of COVID-19 and nationalists are advocating against the globalization. National interest first slogan is coming back. ON other hand USA is putting all efforts to stigmatize China by COVID-19 as an opening to realize the dream containment of China. It is continuously undermining China; its capabilities and the efforts being put by China to combat COVID-19. President Trump and Foreign Secretary Mr. Pompeo are leading the campaign. China, having successfully eradicated the virus itself is playing its cards smartly. While it has been swift in providing assistance to the countries struggling with the spread it has detached itself from the policy of self-restrain on the oratorical front and giving USA a “tit-for-tat” response.
These events have generated a new debate, on the future of globalization, its relevance and role of actors in shaping the future. Although the noise to undermine the importance of globalization is very loud but still there some sane voices, which are advocating the importance of globalization. They are suggesting looking for ways to improve the system not try to dismantle the system. There is no second opinion that liberal global system has some fundamental flaws and it couldn’t have come to the front at a worse time. The capitalism driven system is exclusive in many ways and economic interests have surpassed the demands of the wellbeing of humans and the planet. But the system, with all its flaws, is here to stay. This is not merely an assumption; there are concrete evidences in support of the argument.
First, we are living in a world of technology. Technology has changed the traditional meaning of connectivity, engagement and reliance. People are more connected. Social media networks are taking over traditional means of linkages and relationship. Distances are disappearing on social media and new social culture is emerging with distinct characteristics of different civilizations. The mediums of engagement like mobile, WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, WeChat and other have made it extremely convenient to remain in touch.
It has also reshaped the security domain. Cyber and space security are new broods of security apparatus. The innovation of cyber and space technology has revolutionized espionage. It has also introduced new actors and stakeholders in the security apparatus. Economies are also in adapting and shifting to the latest instruments of technology. Digital economy has become a buzz word for some time. Portals like Alibaba and Amazon are reshaping the concepts of trade and movement of goods and services.
Countries will have to come out of their geographical boundary- mindset. Concepts of greatness and might will need to be discarded
Second, the problems, which emerged during the last few decades are global in nature. Epidemic, environment degradation and climate change are the gigantic problems which the world will have to face more frequently, in the coming years. A Pandemic COVID-19 has already jolted the entire world at present. Human life and economies are at a stake. It has been estimated that it will cause an accumulative loss of US$ 20 trillion. Inflation will be on a rise and job losses will further fuel poverty. The World economy bear the impacts for a longer period of time.
Environmental degradation and climate change has also started to play havoc. The problem is becoming more and more serious with every passing day. Environmental degradation is causing huge losses both in term of human life and economy. According to World Health Organization, air pollution kills 7 million people every year. Climatic disasters also have become crueler and more frequent in the recent past. The severity of disasters has become a real challenge for human beings. In the last two decades an abnormal increase in catastrophic natural events has been witnessed. Sea level is rising with an enormous speed. Glaciers are melting. Droughts have become a more frequent occurrence. Climate change related diseases like dengue, are also increasing. During the last two decades Pakistan faced worst droughts (1999-2003) and floods (2010) of its history. The story is no different for other countries
Technological revolution, expanding spheres of artificial intelligence into everyday lives, problems like climate change and epidemics have made the concept of multiple isolated clusters for countries, impossible. Hence, the world has to look for avenues to cooperate and refine the existing system. The starting point would be to look for avenues to cooperate. For that purpose, countries will have to come out of their geographical boundary- mindset. Concepts of greatness and might will need to be discarded. Environment, climate change and epidemic especially require that to go. As lives of people would be at a stake due to lack of cooperation. The world is already facing issues on these fronts in the form of degradation, disasters and spread of epidemics.
Therefore, the first avenue of cooperation will be environmental degradation, climatic disasters and spread of epidemics. The second avenue of cooperation would be joint technology development. The two avenues will help shaping a prosperous future for everyone.
However, achieving prosperity will require some fundamental changes in the global system. First of all, global governance, economic and financial systems are required to be made more inclusive. The power of decision making should be shifted to scientific evidences rather than consensus of some whose hegemony over the system needs to be reduced. We have already witnessed weak performance or failure of consensus-based system like climate change negotiations, WTO etc. Second, human security shall take the center stage without any discrimination of race, religion, or ethnicity, in the decision making on all international forums. Economic interest should be sub-ordinate to human interest. The current model of economy also required remodeling. It’s stark dependency on the private sector and focus on elimination of role of state in business is costing most countries battling the pandemic and other challenges. There is a dire need to make it more balanced, in terms of public private share.
And lastly the world requires a system, which believe in diversity. The race to implement a single system of values and beliefs in governance need to end. It needs to understand the importance of “collective wisdom” and come out of the superiority complex for the recent events has proved the helplessness of the mightiest of the world powers.
This article was originally published at: https://dailytimes.com.pk/584405/globalization-is-here-to-stay/
Approved By SDPI