The disintegration of multilateralism and further fragmentation and anarchy of global governance is a harbinger of a more anarchic world where the rules of the jungle will once again prevail, writes He Yafei, Distinguished Professor and Former Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of China (2008 – 2009).
The year 2020 has suffered a continuing shock unprecedented in history, wreaking havoc with global governance and globalisation, making the world topsy-turvy and setting it adrift in a sea of changes. Thomas Friedman commented, as always, wisely, that there are two worlds: one before the pandemic and one after, with Covid-19 as the dividing line.
We are witnessing the emergence of a new world, where global governance, specifically public health governance, including crisis management, is in disarray. The cooperation between the major powers in providing global commons has been weakening for some time and the pandemic has served as a catalyst that has escalated the fragmentation and anarchy of global governance.
Globalisation seems to have been pushed back to the years prior to the 1980s, as countries have locked down and sealed their borders, with the pandemic spreading globally for months now. That was the first shock of 2020.