An essay written in the Leaders section of Economist today on June 18, 2020 argues that world powers must step in to lead the United Nations (UN) and other multilateral institutions as the clueless US President Donald Trump pulls out of every relevant entity that it had been engaged in for more than 70 years.

In the essay “The new world disorder: If America pulls back from global institutions, other powers must step forward,” the author stresses “the threat to the global order weighs on everyone, including America. But if the United States pulls back, then everyone must step forward, and none more so than the middling powers like Japan and Germany, and the rising ones like India and Indonesia, which have all become accustomed to America doing the heavy lifting. If they hesitate, they will risk a great unraveling—much like the nightmare in the 1920s and 1930s that first impelled the allies to create the UN and its siblings.”

The global order is worth saving, it noted, and quoted Dag Hammarskjold, a celebrated UN secretary-general, who argued the UN “was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.”

“That is because, left to themselves, countries drift into antagonism. Witness the fatal clash of Indian and Chinese forces this week over a border dispute both sides are too proud to defuse. Multilateral endeavors like the UN, NATO and Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) cannot ensure peace, but they do make war less likely and more limited. France and its allies are helping contain the conflict spreading across the Sahel,” the essay stressed. “Without a multilateral effort, old problems are likely to deepen—even Syria, after nine bloody years, will one day be ready for the un envoy’s plans for peace. Meanwhile new problems are more likely to go unsolved. The pandemic is an example. The virus not only calls for global solutions, like treatments and vaccines, but it also aggravates local insecurity. It is the same with climate change and organized crime.”

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@2020 by The Financial District