Bridges or walls: a competitive or cooperative planet?
On 1 October the Intellectual Forum was joined by Intellectual Forum Senior Research Associate and former diplomat Farukh Amil.
Farukh asked: as strategic competition ramps up, is the answer to global human security more collaboration?
He stated that, as the world becomes increasingly hotter and more crowded, the competition for resources and control has accelerated.
The existential challenges caused by human induced Climate Change and the clash of ideologies, each professing 'superior' values for global society, has led to competing visions for the future, he argued. Interventionist wars and population growth have fuelled increased human movement across the planet at a time when the rich have got richer and the poor have become poorer. Resurgent xenophobia and protectionism have eroded the recent romance with globalisation and have put the UN and the multilateral agencies on the defensive.
China's global vision for the 21st Century sees it reaching out with its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). But, Farukh asked, is it as inclusive in terms of shared development and prosperity as China claims?
He continued: the Western Alliance has not put forward a bold global development plan, arguably leaving the field to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Its response has been to criticize and fear China's initiative and only offer up plans on paper - primarily designed to lure countries away from the BRI, describing it as exploitative.
Until recently the West's response was spearheaded by former President Trump's 'America first' centred vision - which includes ending 'endless wars'.
But is this approach dissipating as his critics would like to think?
More about the speaker:
With 35 years of diplomatic experience, Farukh Amil has served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Japan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva and Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York. He also served in Washington, Ankara and Cairo.
Prior to leaving the world of formal diplomacy, Farukh has held several key positions including Chair of G-77 (2018), Chair OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference, 2017-2019), President UNCTAD Commission on Investment, Enterprise and Development (2018). He also served on Human Rights Council (2018) and Conference on Disarmament (2017-18) was elected Asia-Pacific Member of Human Rights Council Working Group on Situations (2018) and elected as President of CCW (Certain Conventional Weapons 2019).
He can now be heard speaking at international seminars, thinktanks, the UN and many universities across the world on multilateral topics ranging from sustainable development goals to LAWS (Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems).
A recording of the talk is available on the College YouTube channel.