Last week’s annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and G20 finance ministers illustrated that despite a historic debt crisis sweeping across developing countries and their urgent need for external financing for health and economic recovery, global economic institutions governed by rich countries do not possess the political will to deliver meaningful solutions. The inadequacy of the G20’s debt relief framework, which has failed to restructure sovereign debt since its inception, stands without change or any fresh effort to mobilize private sector participation in debt relief.
The guardians of the global economy convened in Washington this week to discuss their latest global growth forecasts. The World Bank-IMF Board of Governors meetings have been squarely focused on the global response to COVID-19, with economists warning of slowing momentum in wealthy nations and grossly uneven recoveries across the developing world.
Following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments about the need to promote ‘Pakistaniyat,’ a debate has been underway on what constitutes this ideology and what unites Pakistanis around the world. While this may be a contentious and polarising debate, one thing is for certain: the game of cricket is something which brings us all together.
Over the past decade, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) from China have carved out a niche as owners and operators of electric utilities in South American countries through acquisitions of energy grids. As SOEs shift from their previous role as mostly builders to investors in large energy assets, policymakers in South America and in Washington should consider the implications of having these companies at the helm of such services.
It’s now almost three months since the United Kingdom entered into a new trade agreement with the European Union.
During that time, we’ve seen traders struggle to get to grips with the new arrangements. From lorry drivers having their sandwiches confiscated
by Dutch customs officers to estimates of additional paperwork costs of $7 billion a year
, and pig breeders watching their meat rot on the quayside
for want of the correct forms.
Globalisation’s beginnings are symbolised by Ferdinand Magellan’s near circumnavigation of the world half a millennium ago. But its history is not simply of connection and trade, but also of intolerance, exploitation, slavery, violence, aggression and genocide.
The United Nations is using the digital government technology behind vaccine passports to help developing countries provide essential services to their vulnerable populations.
After a year of Zoom meetings and with vaccinations slowly rolling out, international travel is making a come-back.
After being undermined by decades of financial liberalisation, developing countries now are not only victims of vaccine imperialism
, but also cannot count on much financial support as their COVID-19 recessions drag on due to global vaccine apartheid
WHO and UNICEF have a long, deep and very special relationship. Neither of us could do what we do without the other.
UNICEF’s success is WHO’s success, and we are proud to be your partner on so many issues: Ebola, polio, maternal health, nutrition, infection prevention and control, primary health care – the list is long.
The incoming Biden administration is under tremendous pressure to demonstrate better US economic management. Trade negotiations normally take years to conclude, if at all. Unsurprisingly, lobbyists are already urging the next US administration to quickly embrace and deliver a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
For 2021, Italy has been given chairmanship of the Group of 20, which brings together the world’s 20 most important countries. On paper, they represent 60% of the world’s population and 80% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While the shaky Italian government will somehow perform this task (in the general indifference of the political system), the fact remains that this apparently prestigious position is in fact very deceiving: the G20 is now a very weak institution that brings no kudos to the rotating chairman. Besides, it is actually the institution which bears the greatest part of responsibility for the decline of the UN as the body responsible for global governance, a task that the G20 has very seldom been able to face up to.
When it comes to international environmental diplomacy, America has a chequered past. It stood at the forefront of the international battle to fix the ozone hole and has shaped many key international agreements.
Sadly, US positions are not always built on solid political ground at home. Twice, in the climate change process, this has led to the United States forging an agreement, only to then walk away. This happened with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which then Vice-President Gore flew to Japan to sign in the full knowledge that a Republican dominated Senate would never ratify the deal. It happened again five years ago, with former President Obama closing that landmark deal (and John Kerry signing at the UN), only for President Trump to tear it up a few weeks later.
There is a longstanding belief that virtually everything in this world is stacked up against the poor and the downtrodden.
The Covid-19 vaccine is no exception because some of world’s richest nations, including the US, Canada and UK, seem to have cornered most of the supplies -- whilst marginalizing the world’s poorer nations.
The holding of this Special Session (the 37th in the history of the UN) is of considerable importance. It is a unique opportunity to define and implement joint actions at the global level to fight the pandemic in order to ensure the right to life and health for all the inhabitants of the Earth. As the President of the UN General Assembly wrote in his letter of convocation: "Let us not forget that none of us are safe until we are all safe".
As the world’s leading economies direct trillions of dollars towards Covid-19 recovery packages, a significant proportion is going to fossil fuel industries without climate stipulations, according to the 2020 edition of the Climate Transparency Report
– which has assessed the climate performance of G20 countries.
The United Nations’ renamed World Social Report 2020
(WSR 2020) argued that income inequality is rising in most developed countries, and some middle-income countries, including China, the world’s fastest growing economy in recent decades.
While overall inter-country inequalities may have declined owing to the rapid growth of economies like China, India and East Asia, national inequalities have been growing for much of the world’s population, generating resentment.
As a 10 year-old newly arrived in Lagos from England, I recall listening intently to how the Yoruba language - my father's language - was spoken. I would constantly repeat in my head or verbally repeat what I thought I had heard. I was not always successful. Many times, what would come out of my mouth would throw my friends into fits of laughter.
An anecdote tells, never sufficiently confirmed, that in the hardest moments of the Second World War when Stalin was dictating his orders of battle to his subordinates, he was told that perhaps it would be advisable to consult with the Pope. The Soviet dictator replied: "And how many armored divisions does the Pope have?"
The world is currently counting more than 42 million confirmed cases of the COVID-19
and over 1 million deaths since the start of the pandemic.1