Autor: Sven Grimm

Pandemic – Crystallising the need and challenges for policy advice

Photo: Stetoscope and Notebook

Bild by StockSnap / Pixabay

With a global pandemic like COVID-19, there is an obvious need for policy makers to get experts‘ input to take decisions. The slogan used during the Brexit campaign that „people are tired of experts“ never sounded hollower than currently.

A pandemic is a very clear case for evidence as a basis for political decisions. Obviously, virologists are needed to address these questions and communicate what they know. This is a time with very vivid illustrations for the need for and the workings of evidence-informed policy making: We need evidence and experiences, from multiple perspectives and we need to put things into local contexts; and we certainly operate based on our value-systems.

After one decade of G20 summitry: What future of global club governance in turbulent times?

Photo: Barb Wire with a Sigen that says "Private: No public right of way. G20 is an exclusive Club

By ASchrumm – CIGI Communications Dept, CC BY-SA 3.0

A decade ago the world was struggling with the repercussions of the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 that emerged in the interconnected transatlantic financial system. At this critical moment in time, the G20 was elevated from a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to the level of heads of states and government. By including a number of rising as well as middle powers non G7 countries the first G20 summit in Washington in November 2008 made clear that current cross-border challenges cannot anymore be dealt with by the old powers of the traditional establishment. At the subsequent summits in London (April 2009) and Pittsburgh (September 2009) the G20 displayed an astonishing level of international cooperation by agreeing on wide-ranging commitments that helped to calm down international financial markets and strengthen the crisis response of international financial institutions. These early initiatives led some optimistic observers to conclude that the system worked.

Multilateralism without future – or the future of multilateralism?

Photo: Header Picture of the article "Multilateralism without future - or the future of multilateralism?", Puzzle on a table in progress

https://pixabay.com/de/photos/puzzle-legen-sie-sie-spiel-spa%C3%9F-663279/

At the beginning of a new decade, we suggest to look at the longer-term. Let’s consider the world of multilateralism two decade from now, i.e. well beyond the timeline of the 2030 Agenda. The setting in 2040 is likely to differ substantially from today. Things change, and the job of scenario-building is to imagine different futures without merely projecting existing trends or historic examples. Scenario-Building also provides us with ideas about what we need to do to land in the space we see as most preferable.

The year ahead in 2019 – Think local when acting globally

Photo: Bridge and GlasballFor 2019, the global challenges are unlikely to become fewer than in 2018, based on the past experiences. The post-cold war international order as we knew it has taken a few blows again in 2018. Some key pillars and narratives are being shifted and challenge the stability of the international architecture. As often with foreign relations, it takes place in a context that consists of both global challenges and domestic priorities. Indicators for change will thus be located in domestic politics of some key countries. Without wanting to sound overly optimistic for a surely difficult year to come, some elements for a change are visible.

The G20 after the Buenos Aires Summit: It’s still relevant!

Photo: G20 Argentina Group

The assessments of global summits seem to be measured by new minimum standards, given the current state of international cooperation: The G20 concluded its summit in Buenos Aires on 1 December 2019 without any significant ruptures and with a joint declaration. This outcome was all but self-evident, after President Trump withdrew his consent to the communiqué of the last G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada, via Twitter while flying back to Washington. And at the recent APEC summit, the US and China clashed over trade issues and the meeting ended without a joint declaration – usually a diplomatic given. The recent intensification of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine as well as the international outcry against the killing of the Saudi government’s critic Jamal Khashoggi added to the challenges. G20 summitry watchers were therefore all but certain that the Buenos Aires summit could be concluded in an orderly fashion. It is a success for the Argentinian host that it did despite all the headwind.