Resident columnist Dickson Igwe

Fleeing destructive super power dominance

It is time for small countries and non aligned states to drive a new world order

The rules based international order is on ‘’life support.’’ The global COVID 19 pandemic has so far infected 16 million people leading to approximately 640 000 deaths. The reason for much of the preceding has been the abject failure of the Western World’s leading states led by the USA to effectively coordinate a scientific response to the deadly pandemic.

The one piece of good news is that half of those infected can be expected to make a full recovery, and there are promising signs a vaccine may be on the horizon.

Now, the pandemic is expected to plunge over two hundred million people into abject poverty, as it continues its killing spree into the near future. It is further expected to send much of the world into economic depression if a cure is not found shortly.

And what the pandemic has highlighted most of all is the absence of effective international crisis management architecture.

Professor Robert G Patman, of New Zealand’s University of Otago has stated that today, the United Nations Security Council has been largely marginalized, and the World Health Organization weakened by the withdrawal of the USA.

Professor Robert G Patman, of New Zealand’s University of Otago. Photo courtesy OTAGO University

Patman has further asserted that the whole world in the Era of Covid is, ‘’ confronted by security, economic, environmental and health challenges, that do not respect borders, and that cannot be resolved unilaterally by great powers.’’

The pandemic has exposed authoritarianism and populism as Paper Tigers. Countries such as the USA, Brazil, and the UK, led by populists have fared ‘’horribly.’’ These countries’ leaders have proven to be incompetent and ineffective in the war against the pandemic, condemning their own citizens to widespread infection, and high death rates.

Alternately, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Singapore, and New Zealand have become benchmark nations by acting early and swiftly heeding WHO advice, following the directives of science, and working together in fighting against the spread of the virus.

The simple reality is that the world can no longer rely on the traditional powers for leadership.

A new multilateralism will demand that non-aligned, and like-minded nations come together to decide how the future of the world will be determined outside the ambit of the super-powers.

This will mean constraining or even abolishing the UN veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council who can no longer manage global affairs prudently, and redefining global institutions to allow smaller countries a greater say in how the world moves forward.

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