Tackling global challenges in era of reverse globalisation
Terror is the biggest threat to all humanity” said India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking on the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. He has put forward a five point approach to tackle global challenges of the 21st century. This moment highlights that India is ready to take the lead role in combating global challenges facing the world.
In present times, the world is facing some of the most severe socio-political challenges including ethnic violence, civil wars, xenophobia, poverty, hunger and malnutrition, immigration, environmental degradation and climate change, trade wars and rising protectionism and terrorism among others. The most crucial aspect of these challenges is that solutions to them have to be global in nature. No single country can tackle them in their own capacities.
It is nobody’s guess that in order to effectively tackle these challenges collective efforts are required. However certain events in the recent past indicates a trend of disenchantment with globalism. Many scholars have argued that the world is witnessing reverse globalization where more and more countries are adopting inward-looking policies abandoning their collective responsibilities.
The most prominent attack on the globalization project has come not from a third world country but from the western world in the form of election of Donald Trump as US President. He has openly criticized the present global political structure and vowed to “Make America Great Again”. He has mocked United Nations, the most important pillar of the post-World War international order, as a ‘club for people’ to ‘have good time’.
Under Trump’s Presidency United States has withdrawn from Trans-Pacific Partnership, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, International Criminal Court, UNESCO and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Donald Trump has also fuelled the rising trend of protectionism in global trade and made the immigration laws more stringent. Since Trump became President, USA has engaged in a trade war with China and India.
The wave of reverse globalization is not just confided to USA, it has also swept away Europe. In 2016, Britons voted for Brexit (Britain’s exit from European Union) in the hope of protecting the jobs for the natives. Europe has witnessed an ascendency of right-extreme political parties and growing protests against acceptance of refugees from the Middle East, particularly at the peak of Syrian civil war. The future of European Union and its role in promoting globalization seems uncertain in these troubled times.
As reiterated by PM Narendra Modi, terrorism is the gravest threat to global peace and humanity. From Paris to Pulwama and Colombo to Christchurch, frequent terror attacks has shaken the global peace. However it is a sad commentary that the world doesn’t have a consensus even on its definition. As early as 1996, India proposed Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism in United Nations General Assembly. Even after 20 years of its proposal, consensus has eluded its adoption.
Global institutions such as United Nations and World Trade Organization seem to be incompetent to tackle these challenges. They needs major structural overhaul including reforms in United Nations Security Council. Major global institutions were established after the end of Second