Global Outlook

Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues

COVID-19 Pandemic Triggered Seafarers’ Odyssey Back to the Pacific Islands

By Eckart Garbe  |  02 April, 2021

Pacific sailors are used to being away from home for months. But this voyage unexpectedly turned out to involve a lot of drama and almost epic frustration. When the pandemic hit, seafarers found themselves stranded almost everywhere. Some were stuck on ships beyond the maximum end of their contracts waiting for fresh crews to arrive and replace them; when they didn’t, the sailors continued working without a break, while others couldn’t go home because of travel restrictions around the globe.

Myanmar’s Deadly Coup and the Responsibility to Protect

By Simon Adams  |  30 March, 2021

On Friday, 5 March, as the UN Security Council was meeting in its solemn chamber in New York, people across Myanmar held peaceful vigils to protest against the bloody reimposition of military rule in their country. Despite a strict night-time curfew, protesters came into the streets of Yangon and Mandalay to write “We Need R2P” and “R2P – Save Myanmar” in candlelight.

Artificial Intelligence Wars

By Denise Garcia  |  29 March, 2021

The 21st Century starts its third decade impaired by a debilitating pandemic that has cost the world economy 10 trillion dollars in 2020-21. This is no moment for sabre- rattling or peddling failed strategies. A genuinely groundbreaking 21st Century blueprint for the use of AI for the common good of humanity, in which the United States leads as the champion state, is in order.

India’s Growing Democratic Deficit

By Ramesh Thakur  |  25 March, 2021

In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Democracy Index published in early February, the world’s top five democracies are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada. North Korea sits triumphantly at the bottom. India is classified as one of the world’s 52 ‘flawed democracies’. Its score dropped from 7.92 in 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power to 6.61 last year, and its global ranking slipped from 27th to 53rd among 167 countries surveyed in 2020.

On the Way to an Arms Race and a New Cold War?

By Herbert Wulf  |  19 March, 2021

Exactly one year ago, on 23 March at the beginning of the pandemic, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, called for a global cease fire. He said: “Now is the time for a collective new push for peace and reconciliation. And so I appeal for a stepped-up international effort — led by the Security Council — to achieve a global ceasefire by the end of this year ... The world needs a global ceasefire to stop all ‘hot’ conflicts. At the same time, we must do everything to avoid a new Cold War.” His urgent appeal has gone unheard.

The UN Security Council at a Turning Point: Securitisation or Climatisation?

By Cesare M. Scartozzi  |  13 March, 2021

On February 23, the UN Security Council (UNSC) held a high-level open debate on the topic of climate and security. The meeting, convened by the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, was the latest in a series of open debates and Arria-formula sessions set to define the role of the Council in addressing threats to international security posed by climate change. Despite a decade-long discussion, the UNSC is still divided on a series of conceptual and procedural issues that, as it will be shown in this article, prevent it from defining its role in relation to climate change.

The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.