The coronavirus pandemic forced education institutions across the entire planet to close. It is the biggest shock ever experienced by the global education community.
The coronavirus pandemic is the most urgent global crisis of our time, exposing structural weaknesses and exacerbating inequality.
The Rt Hon Lord Darling, former chancellor of the exchequer, examines issues presented by the pandemic within the wider uncertain international political and economic context.
The killing of analyst Hisham al-Hashemi in Baghdad yesterday is a great loss for Iraq. Al-Hashemi, one of Iraq’s last independent thinkers received threats prior to his death from pro-Iran Kata’ib Hezbollah.
These tiny strategic products can profoundly change the
world as the US and China fight over the brains of electronics.
The long-desired aim of strategic autonomy is still far
away. And confrontation with China is much closer.
The prospect of a Biden administration has pro-US leaders
in the Middle East seeking to keep their political “winnings”.
A defensive attitude without greater engagement with the
entire global system would leave the country more vulnerable.
The end of June marked the beginning of a (likely brief) respite in Belarus’s presidential election campaign, but it may prove to be the lull before the storm.
Another critic of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow ruler Ramzan Kadyrov was killed in Austria. On the evening of July 4, the man was shot in the head and died in a parking lot next to a shopping center in the Vienna suburb of Gerasdorf. Initially, reports said that the target was a Russian asylum seeker. Austrian police intercepted the suspected murderer in the city of Linz, about a two-hour drive from the Austrian capital (Kurier, July 4).
The newly approved amendments to the Russian constitution went into force on July 4. The night before, President Vladimir Putin signed the relevant executive order. According to official data, in the elections, which took place on July 1, the amendments received the support of 77.92 percent of voters, with a turnout of 67.97 percent (RIA Novosti, July 2).
Shiro Armstrong, ANU
A Chatham House Centenary edition of the weekly COVID-19 pandemic briefing with Professor David Heymann and Emma Ross examines what we have learned in the first six months of the pandemic.
Former secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, considers how governance models can be made more inclusive to facilitate meaningful dialogues between local and international actors.
Malnutrition acts as a brake on the development of individuals, communities and economies around the world. This report is the first of its kind to reveal the hidden costs of malnutrition for business, and the extent to which these costs are recognized and addressed by multinational companies (MNCs).
The ruling PAP wants a “strong mandate”, while the opposition
relies on electoral quirks and the guesswork of voters.
The Indian PM has deftly turned Beijing’s regular complaints about history back on itself.
Is enough being done to look after international crews aboard
“flags of convenience” ships and to maintain global trade?
Making progress after the overwhelming independence ballot
is as much a question of bureaucratic mechanics as politics.
The West’s isolation of Russia has helped Moscow acquiesce in
an expanded Chinese presence it would once have resented.
James Hou-fu Liu, MU, Chan-Hoong Leong, SUSS, Shu-yi Huang, NTUH, Sylvia Xiaohua Chen, HKPU, Hoon-Seok Choi, SKKU, Susumu Yamaguchi, UTokyo, I-Ching Lee, NTU and Yumi Inoue, CUHK
Shang-Su Wu, RSIS
The New Zealand government’s COVID-19 response was a success story, national media’s coverage of it was not.
Glen Johnson is a New Zealand reporter who worked as a foreign correspondent in the MENA region for more than a decade.
An officially staged photo-op involving a dead Kashmiri and a toddler demonstrates another level of depravity in India.
Mirza Waheed is a novelist and journalist.
Trump thought fulfilling campaign promises and peddling populism were enough for re-election. He thought wrong.
Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera
It’s high time for the discipline of political science to reckon with its explicit and implicit epistemic violence.
Lina Benabdallah is assistant professor at Wake Forest University. She is the author of Shaping the Future of Power.
A disastrous fuel spill at the CHPP-3 combined heat and power plant in Norilsk (owned and operated by the Norilsk Nickel Group) has resulted in massive contamination of the local environment and will likely incur huge financial expenditures related to the cleanup (Interfax, May 29; see Part One in EDM, June 29).
A lawsuit is being heard by a district court in the United States, with Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska suing the US Treasury Department to lift the sanctions imposed on him. His legal complaint, filed in March 2019, named Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and OFAC Director Andrea Gacki as defendants and challenged the OFAC (US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control) decision of April 6, 2018 that put Oleg Deripaska on the so-called SDN list – the list of designated persons, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Ivan Timofeev
Strengthening “Arctic Triangle” relations—and relations among all Arctic, near-Arctic, and non-Arctic stakeholders more generally—requires promoting possibilities where mutual interests can be developed; ensuring international laws and institutions will continue to be respected; and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment that is attractive to investors and protects indigenous communities, writes Jeremy Tasch, Professor of Geography & Environmental Planning, Towson University
The coronavirus has accelerated a lot of processes, but above all it has brought about the collapse of the familiar world. It seems that soon there will be a choice between the bad and the very bad. Every time we seem to have reached the bottom, something gives way and we continue to plummet. Amid our fall, we’ve forgotten something – humanity’s potential for ideological conflict, writes Valdai Club Chairman Andrey Bystritskiy
The arrival of summer in the Northern Hemisphere has brought a flurry of speculation that warmer and wetter weather will hold down the COVID-19 infection rate. But even if the hoped-for relationship between transmission and warm weather is valid, it may not be causal or straightforward, especially given seasonal behavior.
Michael Ferrari is Managing Partner at Atlas Research Innovations and a senior fellow at the Wharton School – Parag Khanna is Managing Partner and Founder of FutureMap, a data- and scenario-based strategic advisory firm, and the author of numerous books, including Connectography, Technocracy in America, and The Future is Asian – Spencer Wells is Founder of the National Geographic Genographic Project and author of The Journey of Man and Deep Ancestry
Increasingly egregious attacks on democratic institutions and processes in the United States have a common denominator: bad faith. When those in charge of safeguarding the system turn out to represent the greatest threat to it, sustained protest becomes citizens’ last recourse.
Richard K. Sherwin is Professor of Law and Director of the Visual Persuasion Project at New York Law School. He is the co-editor (with Danielle Celermajer) of A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age (Bloomsbury, 2019).
By enabling people and businesses to remain connected while under lockdown, the Internet has helped to prevent the global economy from collapsing entirely. And yet the engineer-led nonprofit organizations that oversee the stable functioning of the global Internet are again under attack.
Fadi Chehadé, a former president and CEO of ICANN (2012-2016), is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and an advisory board member of the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The worse economic fundamentals and forecasts become, the more mysterious stock-market outcomes in the US appear. At a time when genuine news suggests that equity prices should be tanking, not hitting record highs, explanations based on crowd psychology, the virality of ideas, and the dynamics of narrative epidemics can shed some light.
Robert J. Shiller, a 2013 Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at Yale University and the co-creator of the Case-Shiller Index of US house prices. He is the author of Irrational Exuberance, Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception (with George Akerlof), and Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events.
Three incidents, including two explosions at nuclear facilities, have shaken Iran in recent days. Were they connected? Were they caused by accidents or were they carried out by a foreign power? If the latter, were they executed via cyberattack? And what will be their domestic and international implications?
The moment the issue of extending Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank emerged, it took on a dynamic of its own. Not only did the opposing sides’ positions grow sharper and more polarized, but the way claims are being made—accompanied by fear-mongering and threats—has changed the dynamic of the internal Israeli debate on the Israeli-Palestinian problem
Probably, in the post-COVID era, we will all advance (some faster and some more slowly) to the hygiene standards that have been used in Japan for a very long time. Such a development is likely to be one of the most important and positive results of our fight against the pandemics, writes Djoomart Otorbaev, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014–2015
There are more options for cooperation in light of the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement that one can discuss that would be beneficial for Russia and the EU, writes Klaus Milke, Chairman of the F20 Steering Group
Han Phoumin, ERIA
During the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and Western advanced economies, there was a clear pattern of lockdown, containment, and gradual economic reopening. But now a third pandemic wave has brought a new, more disturbing pattern to both developing countries and major US states
Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics Emeritus and a former dean of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, serves on the Academic Committee at Luohan Academy, and co-chairs the Advisory Board of the Asia Global Institute. He was chairman of the independent Commission on Growth and Development, an international body that from 2006-10 analyzed opportunities for global economic growth, and is the author of The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World – Chen Long, a former chief strategy officer at Ant Financial, is Director of Luohan Academy, Executive Provost of the Hupan School of Entrepreneurship, Chairman of Alibaba’s Research Council, and a member of the International Monetary Fund’s FinTech Advisory Group
Beyond a public-health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is an economic and humanitarian crisis – one that is exposing and widening our societies’ fault lines. Though addressing systemic inequities is extremely difficult, there are reasons to hope that the pandemic will spur progress toward greater social justice
Koichi Hamada is Professor Emeritus at Yale University and a special adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
This seventh installment in our series on U.S. support for global polio eradication explores how ongoing research has allowed the eradication program to learn and adapt in real time, overcoming new obstacles and building a body of knowledge that can be applied to other global health campaigns
Nellie Bristol & Michaela Simoneau
Moscow and Beijing’s toolkit for influencing democratic societies has evolved. Using Germany, the UK, Japan, and Australia as case studies, CSIS explores what traits made these democracies vulnerable to foreign influence as well as the sources of their resiliency
Heather A. Conley, Cyrus Newlin and Tim Kostelancik
Confirmed cases of Covid-19 exceed 10 million globally as of July 1 and continue to climb. To combat the virus’s spread, governments have implemented restrictions on economic activity unprecedented in peacetime
Stephanie Segal, Dylan Gerstel
Gas Line is a quarterly publication that looks at major news stories in global gas—ranging from project development to markets and geopolitics
Racism in the U.S., tragically evidenced by the killings of Black men and women at the hands of police and reflected in the disparate impact of Covid-19 on people of color, should be addressed as a fundamental issue of human rights. But does it also threaten national security? Can empowered civic engagement through revitalized civics education play a role in addressing it?
Unlike Moldova’s former de facto ruler, Vladimir Plahotniuc (or president Vladimir Voronin before that), President Igor Dodon seems to have no intention and certainly lacks the capacity to institute a “power vertical.”
Moldova’s russophile head of state, Igor Dodon, has been driven onto the defensive, along with his Socialist Party and the Socialist-led government, by their political opponents on several fronts
Analysts and policymakers dealing with the post-Soviet space frequently rely on frameworks that might have been appropriate a generation ago but no longer correspond to today’s realities
On January 15, 2020, during an annual address to a joint session of both houses of parliament, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a process of constitutional reforms (see EDM, January 16, 20), which officially concluded with a national referendum, held on June 25–July 1
The case of Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, accused of lying to the feds, was recently reopened by a new attorney. Though the appellate court has since upheld the Justice Department’s order to dismiss the case, the matter remains unresolved, and Flynn remains in danger. The effort to oust Flynn as NSA was a key aspect of a complex plot at the highest levels to overturn the election of President Donald Trump. The DOJ should turn its attention to the people who put Flynn in their sights
The Islamist Quartet consists of Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan, and Malaysia. The seeds of its agenda were planted by Qatari Emir Hamad’s and Libyan dictator Muammar Qhaddafi’s plot to take down the Saudi royal family and divide the Kingdom. Qatari lobbyists have since managed to bury the long history and strategic depth of these relationships by reshaping the narrative with a focus on the 2017 Gulf Crisis
Qatar has done it again. Just as it did in 2018, Doha has rushed billions of dollars to Turkey to thwart the Turkish lira’s slide in the face of US sanctions. In other words, one US ally has helped another US ally evade US sanctions—and more than once
A lull in security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority could be a blessing in disguise for Israel’s security forces. A changed environment is always a summons to organizational innovation and self-reliance, the lack of which cost many lives during the Oslo years and Arafat’s war against Israel that began in 2000
- Much health data is out of reach to researchers in specific countries, halting discovery and innovation.
- Government policies must consider technological capabilities to ensure data’s true potential can be unlocked.
- Estonia built one of the world’s most advanced digital society long before the COVID-19 pandemic, providing services such as electronic voting, online learning in schools, digital bureaucracy and healthcare.
- When the coronavirus crisis struck, this investment paid off as Estonia’s digital public services continued mostly uninterrupted.
- Public-private partnership and trust in public institutions are the secret of Estonia’s success. Citizens embraced the digital revolution because it was transparent, fair and to the benefit of all.
- Many venture capitalists in Latin America are supporting existing companies on their portfolio but shying away from new deals.
- The current slowdown could prove particularly damaging to smaller start-up ecosystems, such as those emerging in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
- Maintaining support of start-ups in these ecosystems is vital to the entire region’s future.
- The harder-to-abate sectors have a vital role to play in meeting the Paris Agreement targets.
- We can achieve zero-emissions in these industries – but has COVID-19 thrown a spanner in the works, or opened up opportunities for a Great Reset?
- Join the conversation with civic, business and political leaders at the Virtual Industry Transition Day on 7 July to be part of these industries’ race to zero.
- The world’s southernmost weather station has seen record-high temperatures over the past three decades.
- The record heat was driven largely by natural swings in Antarctica’s climate, but appears very likely that it worked in tandem with human-caused warming.
• Women around the world are losing paid work and doing more unpaid work as a result of the pandemic.
• Female entrepreneurs now need support, because much rebuilding will fall on them.
• Full economy parity was 257 years away, even before the crisis.
Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are apparently slated to last a long time, as it has sent shockwaves throughout the existing global order and economy. While many projects and economic initiatives have been put on hold for some time now, it is nevertheless reassuring to see that work on the Southern Gas Corridor is approaching final completion, writes Esmira Jafarova, Board Member of the Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), who participates in the international conference “Global Energy and International Political Risks”, to be held by the Valdai Club and AIR Center on July 2-3
This election year will bring many surprises, and the outcome of the confrontation between Trump and the Democratic elites is far from a foregone conclusion. There is no clarity as to whether a movement from the oligarchy to a strong and responsible state is possible. In the absence of leaders, and amid the steady dynamics of protests and sympathy from the establishment, the modern social upsurge may well end in strengthening the old system, writes Valdai Club expert Andrei Tsygankov
On June 30, the Valdai Club held a presentation of its new report, titled “Post-COVID-19 Sanctions Policies: Are We in for Epidemics of Sanctions?”
After four years of a president who has deliberately tried to divide Americans, the United States can and must find common purpose to address its many challenges. Assuming voters have had enough of Donald Trump, the next US president can take several early steps to achieve this goal
Larry Hatheway, former Chief Economist at UBS and GAM Investments, is a co-founder of Jackson Hole Economics – Alexander Friedman, a co-founder of Jackson Hole Economics, is a former CEO of GAM Investments, Chief Investment Officer of UBS, Chief Financial Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and White House Fellow
Though US policymakers took bold early action to prop up the economy during the COVID-19 crisis, the International Monetary Fund now expects America’s GDP to contract by 8% in 2020. If the US government does not pursue a comprehensive recovery program, the outlook will become even worse
Laura Tyson, former chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, is Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School at the Berkeley Haas School of Business and Chair of the Blum Center Board of Trustees at UC Berkeley – Lenny Mendonca, Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey & Company, is a former chief economic and business advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom of California and chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority
Like the Soviet Union in its final years, the United States is reeling from catastrophic failures of leadership and long-suppressed socioeconomic tensions that have finally boiled over. For the rest of the world, the most important development is that the hegemony of the US dollar may finally be coming to an end
Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation. A specialist on German economic history and on globalization, he is a co-author of The Euro and The Battle of Ideas, and the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm, and Making the European Monetary Union
With hopes of a sharp rebound from the pandemic-induced recession quickly fading, policymakers should pause and take stock of what it will take to achieve a sustained recovery. The most urgent policy priorities have been obvious since the beginning, but they will require hard choices and a show of political will
Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University, is Chief Economist at the Roosevelt Institute and a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank. His most recent book is People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent
The economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic is often conceived of as a pivotal moment ushering in major shifts in political economies across the globe. But this ‘game-changer’ argument obfuscates how the crisis is more likely to accelerate and accentuate ongoing dynamics. One prominent example illustrating this is China
Christopher A McNally, Chaminade University
Malaysia’s spending to fight COVID-19 through four economic stimulus packages now totals US$73 billion (RM295 billion). On 27 February, the first package worth US$4.8 billion was issued to counter COVID-19’s immediate impact on the tourism industry. As the pandemic worsened and impacted the broader economy with the Movement Control Order (MCO) of 18 March, the government introduced the second (27 March) and third (6 April) stimulus packages worth US$57 billion and US$2.3 billion, respectively
Evelyn S Devadason, University of Malaya
A series of constitutional amendments will cement Putin’s hold on power, change Russian life, and give the West fewer options for dealing with him
A series of constitutional amendments will cement Putin’s hold on power, change Russian life, and give the West fewer options for dealing with him
Democrats suspect the White House is trying to paint the assessment as less solid than it is
KATIE BO WILLIAMS
Part 2: The candidate’s surrogates are outlining a plan to beat China’s leaders, not change them
KATIE BO WILLIAMS
The Deepfake Report Act would require the Homeland Security Department to study the threats posed by manipulated and synthetic text and imagery
We have yet to identify the best explanations for countries’ varying success in controlling the pandemic, which obviously is enormously valuable when designing public-health strategies with potentially huge consequences. But knowledge does not advance just by formulating plausible hypotheses
Ricardo Hausmann, a former minister of planning of Venezuela and former Chief Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, is a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Director of the Harvard Growth Lab
The European Union’s proposed recovery fund to counter the pandemic’s economic fallout seems destined to leave the majority in every member state worse off. Finance will again be protected, if badly, while workers are left to foot the bill through new rounds of austerity
Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece, is leader of the MeRA25 party and Professor of Economics at the University of Athens
The COVID-19 crisis has brought climate and economic imperatives into closer alignment than ever before. If the world seizes this historic opportunity, then future generations will surely remember 2020 as the year in which humanity both defeated a pandemic and saved the planet
Mark Lynas is the author, most recently, of Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency
It is now clear that combating the COVID-19 pandemic will be a long-term battle. One of the best weapons may be a system analogous to Waze (the popular information-sharing app for road traffic), which would provide everyone with real-time actionable intelligence regarding where the virus lies in wait
Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a co-chair of the COVID-19 Policy Alliance. He is the co-author, with Jonathan Gruber, of Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream
Thomas Burke and Eric Reid
Awaiting the signature of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020, the result of longstanding congressional debate and controversy surrounding the Human Security Act (HSA) implemented in 2007. The latter has been accused of eroding critical protections against government overreach in the fight against terrorism.
Luke Lischin, National War College
COVID-19 is severely impacting the humanitarian system. It has forced countries to focus on containing the pandemic with national lockdown measures — hindering humanitarian action and denying aid to many affected communities in the Asia Pacific. But countries in the region have begun negotiations to normalise international travel, with Australia and New Zealand being the first to initiate bilateral discussions over the establishment of a ‘Trans-Tasman bubble’ and a ‘humanitarian corridor’ to the Pacific during the pandemic.
Alistair DB Cook and Christopher Chen, RSIS
Digital technologies, human behavioral data, and algorithmic decision-making will play an increasingly crucial role in tackling future crises. As we increasingly place our faith in big data to solve major problems, the biggest question we face is not what we can do with it, but rather what we are willing to do
Stephanie Hankey is Executive Director of the international NGO Tactical Tech
By driving a large share of work and education online, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely triggered a permanent change in many economic sectors. That makes closing the digital divide and ensuring universal Internet access more urgent than ever
John B. Taylor, Under Secretary of the US Treasury from 2001 to 2005, is Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of Global Financial Warriors and (with George P. Shultz) Choose Economic Freedom – Jack Mallery is a research assistant at the Hoover Institution
The COVID-19 pandemic is the largest synchronized shock the world has experienced in generations. But this crisis will not be the last of its kind. We urgently need to learn as much as we can from the current experience and adapt international development practices and research accordingly
Iqbal Dhaliwal is Global Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) – Samantha Friedlander is a senior policy associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
High inequality undermines social cohesion, erodes public trust, and deepens political polarization, all of which negatively affect governments’ ability and readiness to respond to crises. This explains why the United States, Brazil, and Mexico account for nearly half of the world’s reported deaths since the start of the pandemic
Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He has served as Special Adviser to three UN Secretaries-General. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism
No one really knows when mass violence will erupt. The self-immolation of a Tunisian peddler ignited a revolution in that country, but at least 40 similar acts in other Arab counties failed. The odds are against massive violence if Israel extends sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, but Israel’s security forces should nevertheless be prepared
The United Arab Emirates and Turkey are locked in a regional power struggle that has fueled conflict in Libya and could spark renewed fighting in Syria. This struggle, like that between Saudi Arabia and Iran, threatens to keep the Middle East and North Africa on edge
The US is backing Kurdish unity talks as part of a policy centered around appeasing Turkey’s national security concerns about the PYD’s essential role in Syria. However, all signs indicate that Turkey sees this gesture as no more than a ruse to normalize its enemies. Only a more involved and active US foreign policy will cement any gains around a more stable and unified Kurdish presence
Indonesia lags in appointing women to key judicial posts
and the gender gap in the region is closing at a glacial pace
Digital disruption can reflect a growing desire to pair fandom
with activism. But such a movement is itself vulnerable
With independence negotiations looming, hundreds of
candidates are running for house seats, and 25 for president
The CCP’s discriminatory hukou system is a great obstacle to
changing from world’s factory to a service-driven economy
Covid-19 has reminded Australians that multilateralism
matters, while the economic shock has yet to play out
Lessons from the Palestinian struggle can be crucial for the success of the anti-racism uprising in the United States
Only strong pressure from the US can stop the Indian government from further eroding religious freedom in the country
On May 29, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo held its first “collective study” (集体学习, jiti xuexi) session for the year 2020. It is unusual that the first of these events took place only near the mid-point of the year: in recent years, these Politburo political study sessions have been convened either monthly or on alternate months, with an average occurrence of 8 times per year
On June 7, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) State Council Information Office (国务院新闻办公室, Guowuyuan Xinwen Bangongshi) released an official white paper outlining China’s response to the COVID-19 crisis (Xinhua, June 7). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the document, titled Fighting COVID-19 – China in Action (抗击新冠肺炎疫情的中国行动, Kangji Xinguan Feiyan Yiqing de Zhongguo Xingdong), is a clear articulation as to how the authorities of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hope to control and shape the narratives surrounding their own role in the state response to the virus. Key themes in the report are unsurprising; however, the timeline articulated by the State Council leaves serious questions about the origin of the virus and its initial beginnings
The immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Sino-Russian relations has been to weaken the social and economic ties between the two states. Similar to circumstances in other countries, their cross-border economic exchanges have abruptly shrunk
On May 20, the White House published a new policy document titled United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China. According to the document, China poses challenges to the economy, values, and security of the United States.
China’s rise and assertive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific Region—as demonstrated most recently by the June 15 clashes between Chinese and Indian troops in the Galwan Valley region (India Today, June 21)—has contributed to a strategic convergence between the United States and India. Although the Indian government’s official position on China has always been subdued or nuanced, concerns about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been growing for many years, under administrations of both of India’s primary political parties
The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) has regulated the current status quo in Antarctica since it came into force in 1961. However, the ATS regime is set to expire in 2048, and some actors, including Russia, have been intensifying their activities on the world’s southernmost continent in anticipation (see Part One, EDM, June 9).
Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, Moscow is taking steps to modify its combat training and military exercises as well as further strengthen the Western Military District (MD) amid tensions with the Transatlantic alliance. Following a recent online meeting of defense ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg characterized Moscow’s increases in its missile power as “irresponsible.”
In early May 2020, media reports highlighted the construction of a large hydropower system composed of the Khudaferin and Qiz Qalasi (Maiden Tower) hydropower plants as well as hydro junctions and related facilities and bridges on the Aras River, which follows part of the border between Azerbaijan and Iran.
It is naive to believe that forced technological decoupling, trade sanctions, or forced changes to global supply chains will put an end to China’s future economic expansion. If critics are too short-sighted to see this, it will be their loss
Zhang Jun is Dean of the School of Economics at Fudan University and Director of the China Center for Economic Studies, a Shanghai-based think tank
US President Donald Trump’s made-for-TV “bromance” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has played out more or less as most experts expected. The North Koreans have milked the Trump administration for all its worth, and are now returning to the same old strategy of bluster, threats, and nuclear brinkmanship
Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst, served as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, Chief of Station in Asia, and the CIA’s Director of Public Affairs
As the global economy restarts, aid agencies, development banks, and NGOs should invest in building effective waste-management systems. Beyond helping to keep plastic waste out of our oceans, such systems can provide decent jobs and improved livelihoods, resulting in stronger, more sustainable economies in the long term
Jacob Duer is President and CEO of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste
The historic protests sweeping America were long overdue, not just as a response to racism and police violence, but also as a revolt against entrenched plutocracy. With a growing number of Americans falling into unemployment and economic insecurity, while major corporations take bailouts and slash labor costs, something had to give
Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates, was Senior Economist for International Affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank. His website is NourielRoubini.com
Pascal Tanguay, Bangkok
Lena Le, Vietnam National University Hanoi
Comprehensive immigration reform has eluded Congress for years, moving controversial policy decisions into the executive and judicial branches of government
- The International Renewable Energy Agency says half of new solar and wind installations undercut fossil fuels in 2019.
- Since 2010, the cost of new solar photovoltaic projects has fallen by 82%.
- Governments are debating whether to stimulate economic recoveries with “green growth” policies, including investment in renewables
- The Siberian town of Verkhoyansk hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, following months of record-breaking heat in the Arctic Circle.
- Last winter was the hottest in Siberia since temperatures were first recorded 130 years ago.
- The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said there’s a 75% chance that 2020 could be the hottest year on record.
- If not for climate change, Siberia’s record-breaking temperatures would be “a one in 100,000 year event,” one scientist said.
- The quantum computing age is growing ever closer – and it could render current encryption systems obsolete.
- These risks could also prevent this technology’s true value from being realised.
- Addressing this issue requires action at the national and global levels – now
- The COVID-19 crises forced governments to build new international supply chains nearly overnight.
- New innovations, such as blockchain, can make the supply chain more efficient, less risky and increase the velocity of goods running through the system.
- Supply chain solutions must be put in place now to help manage demand from second and third waves of infection
- We asked our 2020 intake of Technology Pioneers for their views on how technology will change the world in the next five years.
- From quantum computers and 5G in action to managing cancer chronically, here are their predictions for our near-term future
- The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down one-third of the global economy and triggered the largest economic shock since the Great Depression.
- The recovery requires collective leadership, write Bertrand Badré, a former Managing Director of the World Bank and Yves Tiberghien, co-chair of the Vision 20 Initiative
- Leaders from global health organizations have called for governments to act urgently to change how food is produced to protect the planet.
- They say deforestation and the unregulated wildlife trade is to blame for diseases like COVID-19 being transmitted to humans.
- They have called for stricter wildlife trade regulations and better food safety
The World Economic Forum has named six Canadian companies to its annual list of tech pioneers
The US has a large lead in attracting top-tier researchers while Dubai is carving out a niche in the region as a testbed
- I know, from personal experience, that technology can be biased.
- But it can also help companies to improve inclusion and diversity in their workplaces – and, in turn, to boost their bottom lines.
- COVID-19 has given firms an opportunity to shape the workplaces of the future. We must take it
With governments around the world having already injected some $9 trillion into the economy, there can be no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era in which public policy will play a larger economic role than seemed imaginable just a few months ago. How should governments embrace the opportunity?
Saadia Zahidi is Managing Director and Head of the Center for the New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum
The short-term shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout will have a significant impact across Africa. But the continent has a newfound resilience and will come back stronger, especially if African governments seize the current opportunity for effective leadership
Landry Signé, a professor and co-director at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a distinguished fellow at Stanford University, a World Economic Forum young global leader, and the author, most recently, of Unlocking Africa’s Business Potential
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a steep economic downturn, highly indebted emerging markets and developing countries are facing potentially ruinous fiscal crises, the costs of which will fall on ordinary citizens. Fortunately, there is a way to address the problem that is both practical and just
Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics at MIT, is co-author (with James A. Robinson) of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty and The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty
Under the cover of a sham “peace plan” put forward by the Trump administration earlier this year, Israel is rushing to seize occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. The Netanyahu government’s cynical strategy not only violates longstanding international law, but also undermines Israel’s own long-term interests
Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian journalist, is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University
Relations between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have long been complicated, sometimes even uncertain. From hopes for membership after the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, to effectively declaring Ukraine neutral during Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency; from the reactivation of a Euro-Atlantic integration course following Russian aggression in early 2014, to new doubts after Volodymyr Zelensky’s victory in the last presidential election.
Perhaps never has the flow of events in Minsk been as dynamic and captivating as at present.
Changes in the top management of the United States’ international broadcasting services over the last several weeks have attracted enormous attention and criticism from various quarters.
After nine years of the United States relying entirely on Russian Soyuz rockets to deliver astronauts into orbit, this dependency finally ended on May 30, 2020, with the successful launch of the private US company SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, bound for the International Space Station (ISS) (TASS, May 31).
Kyiv has raised its delegation to the Minsk Contact Group from a semi-official level to a full-fledged, senior-level governmental and parliamentary delegation. Kyiv hopes that Moscow will reciprocate in order to accelerate the negotiations and do so, moreover, above the heads of the proxy authorities of Donetsk and Luhansk (see Part One, EDM, June 18).
Russian authorities rarely resort to such old-fashioned means of communication as written articles. Yet, last week, three key figures in the top leadership—President Vladimir Putin, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and former prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, who now holds the newly established position of deputy head of the Security Council—published lengthy essays, presumably to give shape and direction to the domestic political discourse.
Scott Snyder, Council on Foreign Relations
Helen Macnaughtan, SOAS University of London
M V Ramana and Cassandra Jeffery, UBC
Liberal democracies must learn the lessons of the past by thinking long-term, applying a strong moral code – and avoiding hubris
- Europeans wish to persuade Iran to compromise on strategic issues – but, unless they understand the dynamics of domestic Iranian politics, they will not get far.
- Three main power blocs compete to influence Iran’s supreme leader, including the ‘modernisers’, who were instrumental in building the case internally for the nuclear deal. The US ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has placed them on the back foot.
- Improving the economy remains the most pressing issue in Iran. Without a Western economic offer, the other two power blocs – the conservative ‘Principlists’ and IRGC-linked ‘securocrats’ – will continue their recent ascendancy and press for a confrontational ‘maximum resistance’ response.
- Immediately after the US presidential election, Europeans should embark on shuttle diplomacy with Washington and Tehran to agree an interim deal on the nuclear issue. This could also strengthen modernisers ahead of Iran’s own presidential race in 2021.
Brian Hook discusses the future of U.S.-Iran relations and the current state of the Iranian economy during the coronavirus pandemic
Ruth Messinger, former president and current global ambassador of American Jewish World Service, Reverend Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager of the University of Southern California’s Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, and Ani Zonneveld, founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Change discuss religion’s role in social change
The COVID-19 pandemic has already sparked considerable debate over how the present international order could change as a consequence. Some commentators see the world growing more fragmented and disorderly while others believe this moment will give new impetus to international cooperation on a variety of global challenges. Speakers Andrey Kortunov, Russian International Affairs Council, and Nathalie Tocci, Istituto di Affari Internazionali, discuss what the post-pandemic world may look like.
Director General, Russian International Affairs Council
Director, Istituto di Affari Internazionali
General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
US Attorney General William Barr is frequently criticized for corrupting his office to protect President Donald Trump. But something more sinister than personal fealty is at work, because Barr is a true believer in a theory of presidential power that, if implemented, would destroy America’s constitutional order
Nina L. Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs at The New School, is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. Her latest book (with Jeffrey Tayler) is In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones
When effective global leadership eventually reemerges, the world can get to work building a better multilateral system, underpinned by common interests and a sense of shared responsibility. In the meantime, political leaders must do whatever it takes to keep the current multilateral system, flawed and limited as it is, alive and viable
Ana Palacio, a former minister of foreign affairs of Spain and former senior vice president and general counsel of the World Bank Group, is a visiting lecturer at Georgetown University
While developing countries’ debt levels have received ample attention in recent months, little has been said about a more immediate problem: their inability to acquire the medical supplies needed to fight COVID-19. To minimize the negative impact, a non-market allocation mechanism must be quickly established
Anne O. Krueger, a former World Bank chief economist and former first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, is Senior Research Professor of International Economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Development at Stanford University
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of unhealthy diets and the extreme fragility of the global food system. But the economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic represents a perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health for all
Mauricio Cárdenas, a former minister of finance of Colombia, is Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy – Juan Lucas Restrepo is Director-General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture
- A study has looked at forest loss over 150 years compared with numbers of animal and plant species, to monitor the effect of deforestation on biodiversity.
- The results were surprising – deforestation doesn’t directly correlate to a loss of biodiversity.
- In fact, where biodiversity can fall in one area, it can flourish in another
- The pandemic has presented us with an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition.
- ‘System value’ is a method of measuring the impact of clean energy policies and solutions in a holistic way.
- This can give policy-makers and investors the tools they need to make more effective that can hasten the dawn of a sustainable future
- There were $31 trillion in sustainable investments at the start of last year.
- Research shows companies with lower carbon emissions have higher valuations than those with the highest emissions, all else being equal.
- Business leaders are waking up to their responsibilities to society at large
- Once this crisis has passed, we must start designing an aviation sector that fits with the low-carbon future we need.
- To begin with, financial stimuli to airlines must be linked to sustainability measures – but design innovation can play a huge part, too
- Corporations have a responsibility to contribute to a better world.
- Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG) – through its governing ecosystem, Omnipreneurship – is one company that was able to quickly adapt its community programmes to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Small actions like offering relevant and meaningful content, positivity and support for local families and workers can have a big impact on the communities in which businesses operate.
- Non-profit organization Global Coralition draws on art, science and local communities for its coral reef restoration work.
- Its projects include a giant sculpture and artificial reef off the coast of Thailand’s Koh Tao island.
- Land-based coral farms can help rapidly grow corals.
- Global Coralition recently took part in the UpLink: Ocean Solutions Sprint at the Forum’s Virtual Ocean Dialogues event
Laura Rosenberger, Alina Polyakova, and Quinta Jurecic
The Trump administration is trying to hinder Cuba’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus emergency at home and abroad
The gradual encroachment on Kashmiri rights and growing prospect of colonisation could set the region on fire
The global Black Lives Matter movement can only succeed if it goes beyond moments of outrage and insists on real change
by Thabi Myeni
Although the “Floyd crisis” in the US contains the seeds of civil war, acknowledgment of the historical errors that gave rise to this crisis, taking responsibility, and making a commitment to rectify those errors could make this a shining moment for the American people and a milestone in the history of democracy
It is disappointing that the 73rd meeting of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), went ahead on May 18-19 without the participation of Taiwan. The dominant mood in the democratic part of the world has long been to bring Taiwan and its 23.8 million people into the WHO
Contrary to the alarming charge that the application of sovereignty over parts of the West Bank would transform Israel into a binational state, doing so would not affect 95% of the West Bankers who have been living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority since January 1996. They will continue to do so. The move does entail political risks, but they are smaller than the security hazards that would accompany Israel’s inability to maintain a permanent security presence in the Jordan Valley
Byambajav Dalaibuyan, Mongolian Institute for Innovative Policies and Julian Dierkes, UBC
Editorial Board, ANU
While progressive European intellectuals, researchers, and activists have come to champion a non-binary approach to everything (even in the controversial domain of sexuality), the glaring paradox is that European political knowledge remains deeply attached to the binary of regime type. In a time of global crises, this sort of divisive thinking hinders effective and innovative policy solutions, writes Valdai Club expert Kazushige Kobayashi
The vital need to bring tourists back is colliding with apprehensions because tourists could trigger a new wave of the epidemic. This fear could become critical for small insular countries. Thus, these countries’ plans on relaunching tourism are accompanied by serious sanitary restrictions, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Oleg Barabanov
The rapid collapse of the inter-Korean dialogue and the likely appearance of American missiles on Korean soil with the blessing of Moon Jae-in, has some chance of coming true, writes Valdai Club expert Konstantin Asmolov
Omkar Shrestha, Singapore
Shyam Tekwani, APCSS
Whereas India emulated China, which contained COVID-19 rather quickly, and is paying a high economic price, Pakistan followed the lead of the US. Pakistan’s economy was spared the worst, but the country now has the highest infection rate in South Asia
Shahid Javed Burki, a former finance minister of Pakistan and vice president of the World Bank, is currently Chairman of the Shahid Javed Burki Institute of Public Policy in Lahore
With the United States abandoning one global commitment after another, Europe must develop its own strategy for managing China’s geopolitical rise. The best approach will be to strike a balance – underpinned by realism – between engagement and competition
Carl Bildt was Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994, when he negotiated Sweden’s EU accession. A renowned international diplomat, he served as EU Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Special Envoy to the Balkans, and Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference. He is Co-Chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations
Juzhong Zhuang, ADB
Imelda Deinla, ANU
In 2019, travel to Africa accounted for 7.1 % of GDP, generating $168 billion in revenue. But the pandemic has slowed visits to national parks and wildlife reserves. In order to save the ecosystems that natives and visitors treasure, conservation groups must find alternate sources of funding
Matthew Brown is Africa Director at The Nature Conservancy
Armed to the teeth and encouraged by elected officials, American police are targeting journalists covering the US protests as if the Constitution didn’t exist. Clearly, “qualified immunity” has run amok, as many of those demonstrating against systemic racism and police brutality can attest
Courtney C. Radsch is Advocacy Director at the Committee to Protect Journalists and author of Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence and Political Change
While many recent proposals for reforming capitalism would substantially change the way our economies operate, they do not fundamentally alter the narrative about how market economies should work; nor do they represent a radical departure for economic policy. Most critically, they elide the central challenge we must address: reorganizing production
Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the author of Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy – Stefanie Stantcheva is Professor of Economics at Harvard University
The days when cyberspace could be regarded as a lawless wild west are long over. The Internet has become a critical part of our global infrastructure, and attacks against its core functions, especially in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, should be treated as the existential threats that they are
Michael Chertoff is a former US secretary of homeland security and a co-chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace – Latha Reddy is a former deputy national security adviser of India and a co-chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace – Alexander Klimburg is Director of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
The successful implementation of China’s BRI strategy will largely depend on its ability to overcome the Middle East’s weighty political, economic, religious, cultural, and security problems
I know because as a local reporter I covered it for five years and discovered the lengths it would go to to conceal it
by Todd Baer
The fight to break the French state’s wall of denial and indifference about radicalised police brutality continues
The novel coronavirus is ravaging economies across the globe. An initial supply shock was followed by a mitigation-driven demand shock as stringent lockdown and social distancing measures were implemented to contain the health crisis. More specifically, COVID-19 is forcing states and multinational corporations to re-evaluate the intrinsic value of global supply chains.
Nabila Tasmia Anika is a student in class 6. Her father, who works at a power plant in Siddhirganj, in Narayanganj district of Bangladesh, could only study till class 8.
For many years, Cristiano Ronaldo was known for his extraordinary technical and physical abilities. When playing for Manchester United, the well-known professional soccer player was able to run throughout the entire field, dribbling past several players and scoring. Now, aged 35, he can still score three goals in a decisive game because he learned to be in the right place at the right time. Ronaldo has remained one of the world’s top soccer players by adapting to his ability and adjusting to the match he plays.
In late May, the World Health Organization declared that Latin America has become the new epicenter of the Covid-19 Pandemic. It has already been noted that the region’s high levels of inequality have limited the effectiveness of various containment policies, thus contributing to this sad distinction. In this post we look at the reverse direction of causation and ask what effects the pandemic is likely to have on the region’s entrenched inequalities.
IDE Technologies, which specializes in water treatment solutions, won the bid for construction and operation of the Soreq 2 desalination plant. According to a May 24, 2020 Finance Ministry statement, the Israeli company was chosen over Hong Kong-based Hutchison on the basis of pricing considerations. The media, however, cast the decision as accession to a demand by the United States relayed during the recent visit to Israel by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who warned against Chinese involvement in infrastructures. Despite the sense of relief, the resolution of the Soreq 2 affair has postponed but not eliminated a crisis between Jerusalem and Washington. The Israeli government has therefore won a reprieve in which it can take action now so as to prevent a future crisis.
With Washington distracted by Covid-19, the crisis allowed
Beijing to cooperate with Pyongyang without usual censure
Khang X. Vu
A seldom-used legal concept demonstrates the reach
of justice even in the most hopeless circumstances
Xi Jinping’s attempted show of strength in Hong Kong only serves to betray his weakness in Beijing
The already reductive US-China spat has now been turned
into an actual cartoon, in an earnest bid for foreign sympathy
Without a ceasefire, a humanitarian catastrophe fuelled
by Western arms shipments is about to get much worse
Author: Sujeev Shakya, Beed Management
Authors: Elizabeth Hill and Marian Baird, Sydney University
Author: Liang Tuang Nah, RSIS
Fran Martin, University of Melbourne
What precisely is contact tracing and how does it fit in with a rigorous response? What does efficient case-finding and contact tracing look like?
Professor David Heymann CBE, Distinguished Fellow, Global Health Programme, Chatham House; Executive Director, Communicable Diseases Cluster, World Health Organization (1998-03)
Dr Oliver Morgan, Director, Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment, World Health Organization (WHO) Emergencies Programme
Chair: Emma Ross, Senior Consulting Fellow, Global Health Programme, Chatham House
The panel considers how the US, UK and EU can contribute to a global response, and asks what a global response to the health and economic crisis in the developing world would look like.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Chairman, SGO; Former Deputy Secretary-General and Chief of Staff, United Nations
Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO, United Nations Foundation
Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School; US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, 2005 – 2008
Chair: Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, Director, US and the Americas Programme, Chatham House
Dr Elizabeth Pearson deconstructs the centrality of toxic masculinity to popular understandings of terrorism
Dr Elizabeth Pearson, Lecturer, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University
Leah de Haan, Junior Editor, International Affairs, Chatham House
Depuis la crise de l’accueil des migrants de 2015, la question migratoire est au cœur de l’évolution des débats politiques sur l’Europe. Cinq ans après, nous disposons aujourd’hui du recul nécessaire pour mieux saisir l’enchevêtrement entre les dimensions internes et externes des politiques migratoires européennes et les intérêts propres aux États membres.
Lorsque le COVID-19 a atteint l’Afrique subsaharienne, des experts ont pronostiqué une situation catastrophique avec une flambée rapide et exponentielle du nombre de malades. Néanmoins, le virus s’est propagé plus lentement que prévu et la plupart des pays ne semblent pas (encore) avoir atteint le point culminant de la pandémie.
La crise du COVID-19 a durement frappé les pays membres de l’Union européenne. Analysant ses premiers effets sur les grands équilibres mondiaux, Josep Borrell, son haut représentant pour la politique étrangère, propose six grands choix politiques pour conforter la résilience de l’Union et la doter d’une véritable autonomie stratégique.
- Over the next decade, ASEAN will become the world’s fourth-largest economy with a roughly $4 trillion USD consumer market. While the entire region will offer abundant growth opportunities, each market will evolve differently.
- Eight key consumption themes will emerge, some of them accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In particular, COVID-19 is changing shopping behavior, radically speeding up the digital future and making sustainability a harder tradeoff for policymakers in the short-term.
Praneeth Yendamuri, Partner, Bain & Company
Zara Ingilizian, Head of Shaping the Future of Consumption; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
- Thanks to COVID-19, Africa will experience its first recession in 25 years.
- Economic shifts will widen digital gaps across Africa.
Joakim Reiter, Vodafone Group External Affairs Director, Vodafone
I don’t remember the specific moment when I fully accepted that my life in America was structurally compromised, that there was a glass ceiling along with four constricting walls to opportunity.
Mark Karake, Founder, CEO, Impact Africa Network
A joke has long been making the rounds in Belarus that the country has produced three times as many presidents of Israel as native-born presidents of Belarus itself. Amazingly, this joke continues to accurately reflect reality, with the country’s first and only Belarusian-born head of state, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, having wielded uninterrupted power since 1994.
Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft and the state-owned oil pipeline monopoly Transneft added another page to their long-running confrontation when Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, complained to President Vladimir Putin, on May 12, about the high transportation fees being charged by the pipeline operator (Kremlin.ru, May 12). Transneft rebuked the allegations immediately, although that did not stop the Russian president from ordering an interim reassessment of the government’s tariffs.
Moscow’s political-military leadership places growing emphasis on long-range stand-off precision strike systems as a key element in its ongoing modernization program, complementing efforts to strengthen “pre-nuclear” deterrence and offering additional conventional capabilities.
China’s decision to demolish the “one country, two systems” arrangement in Hong Kong appears to be a fait accompli, and in fact seems to have been preordained. Viewed in a broader context, the move represents a major salvo in a new cold war that is already playing out across three critical dimensions.
Yoon Young-kwan, a former minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Korea, is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Seoul National University
Although governments everywhere are scrambling to contain the economic fallout from COVID-19, some are approaching the task more strategically than others. The European Union and China, in particular, are focusing on long-term investments in clean energy, whereas America is doubling down on the past.
Jules Kortenhorst is CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute
When the coronavirus overwhelmed Italy’s health-care system, a working group of the Italian Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation, and Intensive Care reluctantly supported rationing by age. They were right to do so.
Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and founder of the non-profit organization The Life You Can Save. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat (with Jim Mason), Rethinking Life and Death, The Point of View of the Universe, co-authored with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek, The Most Good You Can Do, Famine, Affluence, and Morality, One World Now, Ethics in the Real World, and Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction, also with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek. In 2013, he was named the world’s third “most influential contemporary thinker” by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
As the novel coronavirus infects millions worldwide and ravages the global economy, our best hope to overcome it is a new and rapidly evolving generation of biological tools and capabilities. But addressing COVID-19 only scratches the surface of what biological innovation can do.
Michael Chui is a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, specializing in big data – Matthias Evers is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Hamburg office and co-leads the firm’s global research and development work in the pharmaceutical and medical products practice
Iran’s new anti-Israel legislation has banned all contact with the “Zionist enemy,” however indirect, even going so far as to criminalize the use of electronics that contain components manufactured by companies with branches in Israel. The law has also mandated the creation of a “virtual embassy” in Jerusalem to protect the Palestinians’ interests. For all its hardline posturing, the law reflects chaos within the regime.
The US is using methods of violence against domestic protests it has repeatedly used in its imperial adventures abroad
The media focus on looting was a convenient distraction from the police’s brutal aggression against protesters
by David A Love
Hezbollah’s control of the Syrian-Lebanese border is attracting renewed controversy in Lebanon, where cross-border smuggling has recently intensified, and abroad, with the international community discussing Lebanon’s failure to establish sovereignty over its territory in line with UNSCR 1559.
The petrochemical industry has played an important role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The positive environmental benefits of the pandemic have shown us what is possible.
- Our actions – or inaction – now will shape human existence for generations to come.
- Here’s what policy and decision-makers must focus on to build the future we all need.
María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business
Jose Siri, Senior Lead, Science, Cities, Urbanization, and Health, Our Planet, Our Health (OPOH), Wellcome Trust
- Cities globally need to look at innovative solutions to decarbonise their heating systems.
- Bioenergy has more limitations than people may realise.
- Helsinki aims to be carbon neutral by 2035 and over half of its carbon dioxide emissions comes from its heating.
Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki, Finland
- As we begin the recovery from COVID-19, we need to ask ourselves how we can build back better.
- The pandemic has brought existing inequalities into sharp focus – and could make them worse.
- But with a response driven by collaboration between all nations and societies, we can achieve true and lasting change.
Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation
- Many of the innovative solutions that will drive the green recovery will come from start-ups.
- Ensuring proper access to funding for such companies as they grow is critical.
- Here are four ideas, taken from a new report, about how to improve the innovation funding process.
Martina LarkinHead of Regional Strategies, Europe and Eurasia; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
Jonathan LavenderGlobal Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International
- In a post COVID-19 world, it will be more urgent than ever to find intelligent, data-driven solutions to the most pressing problems in Africa.
- Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and big data are fast-tracking the digital transformation in numerous sectors across the continent.
Nadia Hewett, Project Lead, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, World Economic Forum
- The impact of Covid-19 is particularly challenging for the Middle East and North Africa region.
- This is the result of lower levels of societal and economic resilience across the region due to high youth unemployment, swelling refugee populations and weakened regional economic integration.
- Public-private collaboration and stakeholder capitalism can build resilience.
Mirek Dušek, Deputy Head of the Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt
Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim
- An analysis of data generated by Chinese shoppers during and after the lockdown reveals several new trends.
- Big shifts are taking place in what consumers are purchasing – and how.
Vivian Yang, Senior Manager, Global Corporate Affairs, JD.com
Ella Kidron, Senior Manager, Global Corporate Affairs, JD.com
We are currently living through the largest global experiment in remote working. Despite it being hailed as the ‘future of work’ for years, COVID-19 has made working from home the new norm.
Rajeeb Dey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Learnerbly
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) could help governments respond to COVID-19.
- The pandemic shows it’s important for governments to proactively shape the development and deployment of AI technologies to ensure they are accountable and ethical.
- By utilizing public procurement, governments could support AI innovation and economic growth as well as set appropriate standards and regulations.
Sabine Gerdon, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Fellow, World Economic Forum, Senior Policy Adviser at the UK’s Office for Artificial Intelligence
Valesca Molinari, Automotive and Autonomous Mobility Fellow, World Economic Forum, Attorney-at-law at Baker McKenzie Germany,
- Business-model resilience will take on a new urgency in the post-pandemic world world of work.
- For changes to incorporate resilience and be sustainable, flexibility and a portfolio-based approach to work strategy must be at their heart.
- We need to use automation to create more work for humans, not to take it away.
Ravin Jesuthasan, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson