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Home » From climate change to coronavirus, ‘frayed’ global order blocks problem-solving

From climate change to coronavirus, ‘frayed’ global order blocks problem-solving

From climate change to coronavirus, 'frayed' global order blocks problem-solving

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Addressing interconnected global challenges - from COVID-19 to climate change and inequality - will require rethinking international institutions, leadership and where solutions come from, governance experts said this week.

“The global order is really frayed - it’s disintegrating in front of our eyes. That’s a real threat to any attempt to sort things out,” said Mo Ibrahim, a businessman and philanthropist who has worked to improve governance in Africa.

An increase in nationalistic leaders in powerful countries was making solving the world’s problems harder, he and other experts told an online event on global challenges organised by the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Global Innovation.

“The real challenge for us is political. We are unable to work together as a society,” warned Ibrahim, whose foundation in 2007 launched a prize for retiring African leaders - but has at times struggled to find worthy recipients.

That is hampering efforts to tackle a range of big problems at once, from the pandemic and climate change to terrorism, surging migration and free-trade disputes, said Andrew Mitchell, a former British international development secretary.

“All require international cooperation and not narrow nationalism,” the British member of parliament said.

Wednesday’s inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden - “who appears to show some respect and have some belief in the international system” - is promising, Mitchell said.
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