Are there any recipes for addressing these challenges and how the United States and the European Union act?
The International Economic Forum, held annually in Davos, is dedicated, as its name suggests, to economic issues. However, the discussions at Davos 2024 revealed a paradoxical picture. The situation in the global economy looks relatively good, or not as problematic as it was thought to be a year or two ago. The main topics of discussion were problems that are not purely economic, but which have been diagnosed as critical challenges for the modern world and, accordingly, for the global economy.
The number one problem is geopolitical risks. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the world has entered an era of "conflict and confrontation, fragmentation and fear." Her conclusion: "Without a doubt, we face the greatest risk to the global order in the post-war era."
The second challenge is artificial intelligence and the dramatic consequences of its introduction into various spheres of public life.
The third challenge is the fear of the potential challenges of a new pandemic, the notional disease "X.”
We have a diagnosis. But are there any recipes for solving these problems?
The easiest way is with the so-called "X" disease. By the way, the term is not new, as reminded by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, who called on the world to prepare for future unknown diseases that could threaten humanity - the so-called "X" diseases. The WHO has been using this term since 2018 - it is a conventional designation for diseases that we do not yet know about. At the time, however, the potential problem was not paid enough attention to. Everything changed after the Covid-19 pandemic. "You could even call Covid-19 the first X disease, and it could happen again. It is best to anticipate what might happen and prepare for it," the WHO director-general emphasized. This is, in fact, the thesis statement of the recipe for solving the problem. But it seems to me that there is a clear institutional interest in this recipe. The WHO obviously enjoyed playing the role of global crisis manager, and it wants to retain this role in the future. However, I suspect many people will disagree with this, especially with many different and rather strict epidemiological restrictions. However, mechanisms for a rapid and global response to conditional disease "X" will be developed, taking into account, among other things, the experience of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Armed conflicts are beginning to develop according to the principle of a chain reaction
Another challenge, artificial intelligence, is more complex. The scale of the problem is only being realized. In addition, it is not only a risk and a threat (in different senses, from the loss of a considerable number of jobs to the unpredictable consequences of introducing artificial intelligence in various areas of social development), but also a new, powerful development tool. It will no longer be possible to prohibit further introducing artificial intelligence into our lives, and it will be difficult to limit it. On the contrary, global competition is already beginning in the field of artificial intelligence. At best, this process will be at least relatively controlled.
The most familiar and traditional problem seems to be the geopolitical challenges. However, international problems and armed conflicts are no longer just accumulating; they are beginning to develop according to the principle of a chain reaction. The old world order has been largely destroyed, and no one knows what the new one will be like. The contradictions of interests in forming new rules of global coexistence are only growing. There are no universal, mutually acceptable recipes, and those offered contradict each other.
Russia is imposing an order based on the dominance of aggressive military power of several great powers, with spheres of influence divided among them.
China is using Russia as a battering ram to destroy the old international system, while it is gradually forming the organizational framework and network of its global influence.
Ukraine, together with some of our partners, proposes, first of all, stopping and punishing the primary violator of international rules - Russia - and modernizing the global system of international security. The United States and the European Union are not yet ready to take decisive action. At best, they are trying to extinguish the existing crisis fires and stop their spread. However, warnings about the threat of a future war with Russia, and possibly with China, and calls for the need to prepare for such a war are becoming more frequent in the West. If these trends continue, even spontaneously, we will inevitably face a confrontation between a coalition of democratic states and the "axis of evil" of the most aggressive totalitarian regimes (Russia, North Korea, Iran). China will not join this "axis of evil" for some time, but will use it in its geopolitical confrontation with the United States.
At the equator of the Davos Forum, there was an awareness of another potential challenge with a specific name - Trump. After Trump's landslide victory in the Iowa Republican primary, the probable prospects and consequences of Trump's victory in the US presidential election were discussed on the sidelines of Davos, including at Ukrainian venues. The spectrum of assessments ranges from apocalyptic assessments (political crisis in the United States, crisis of unity and weakening of the Western world, US withdrawal from NATO, etc.) to restrained complacency (it is possible to live with Trump, but we need to prepare a special strategy and tactics for relations with Trump and his team). However, everyone agrees that Trump's likely victory in the US presidential election will be a real political earthquake with global political consequences that we should prepare for now. This will be another significant factor in the continuation, and possibly growth, of global political turbulence.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine