Kategorie: Future of Globalisation

Multilateral Negotiations and ‘social distancing’

Photo: Empty Benches in a Park as a symbol for social distancing

The year 2020 should have seen many major international conferences, mandated to take especially important decisions to protect the environment. The Convention on Biological Diversity was set to convene in China in October for its 15th conference of the parties (COP). The 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) should have met in the United Kingdom in November and the World Trade Organization (WTO) was supposed to hold its Ministerial Conference in June. However, since March 2020, COVID-19 has led to the cancelation or postponement of those meetings. Many other multilateral conferences have been victim of the spread of COVID-19, with governments being forced to close borders and cancel conferences. Others, such as the G7, G20, the Petersberg Climate Dialogue or European Council meetings are taking place as video conferences. Whereas a teleconference with seven leaders might be a feasible solution, the two main options for multilateral negotiations – either delaying meetings or moving them online – both pose major challenges.

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.

Lessons for Global Cooperation from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Image: Numbers on a table of a stockmarket

Picture by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

The COVID-19 (or coronavirus) disease has led to a major pandemic that has spread to virtually all countries of the world. Although at the time of writing the epidemic has mainly hit South East Asian and Western countries (see Figure below), it is likely that Developing Countries (DCs) will also be heavily affected in the weeks to come.…

Photo: Sculpture "Tug of War", by falco on Pixabay

A quid pro quo to save the WTO’s Appellate Body

Emerging countries such as Brazil, Mexico, India, China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and to a lesser degree, Vietnam and Turkey have actively and successfully invoked the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system (DSS) to defend their commercial interests. With increased participation in world trade, their stake in an effective compulsory and binding mechanism for resolving…