Changing World: Multipolarity, COVID & Climatic Change


“We are moving towards a world that is reordering itself and that may appear more ordered at some periods of time, but I see no sign that we are moving towards a world order in my definition of it – namely, a system which is accepted, which is internalized by the majority of the key participants.” – Henry Kissinger
In the 21st century, the world order is clearly changing, which is an important fact. If we apply the lens to the cold war, block system, and bipolarity, then the outcome would be erroneous. Here change means there is no defined doctrine. Conversely, a significant chunk is still in the prisons of the cold war. In the process of history, the Cold War is just a phase comprising around five decades. Multipolarity is a common type of world order where the world has some competing powers. Most within and other countries because that world was not a global village. Further, the shifting in the power balance defined world politics, meaning the alliances are not permanent. Internal weakness would lead to economic dependency, e.g., FATF, IMF, and internally strong country can pursue her interests more efficiently. In simple terms, there is no “either” and “or” in foreign policy and regional politics.
COVID-19 has determent of society and the world. It is the antithesis of the pre-COVID world, and now the world is synthesizing (Politico-Socio-Techno-Ecologically). COVID has exposed and accelerated differences within society and the world. The multilateral system means International Organizations, e.g., the UN, had been affected by the pandemic, its significance had been reduced, and self-centred policy prevailed in the beginning phase. The international cooperation for the more significant cause of humanity was limited. The major powers like the USA did not utilize its influence as COVID diplomacy. However, China’s influence increased during the pandemic because of its political capital and wealth surplus, e.g., the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccine supply.
The ability to deal with the crisis depends on the capacity of implementation. In a nutshell, the pandemic told the world to focus more on human capital and the social sector.
The youth has discontent with the existing political-democratic structures. The idea is to redefine the notion of democracy. Globally number of events happened USA, black life matters; In JNU, students were protesting; in Sweden, Greta talked about climatic change and in Britain, the Extinction Rebellion. Climatic change is an existential challenge directly related to economic security. For example, Pakistan has essential aspects such as monsoons, the Himalayas, and the Indus river system. If this equation is disturbed, then Pakistan would be on the verge of disaster. Moreover, by adapting climate policy, we can benefit from saving energy and water. For example, approximately 1 litre comes out of a tap in 1 minute; if 100 people turn off the tap while brushing teeth, we can save 100 litres in the morning/per day. In addition, the critical problem in the developing world is that environment and climate are not popular issues due to a lack of awareness. So, the point is to inculcate this in youth. These 100 people are not just a hundred; practically, they belong to a hundred families. In a contemporary world, youth is the most potent driving force
globally, so one can hope it will prove to be the first drop of rain. Lastly, Climatic threats are beyond the political systems, religions, and countries, and it has no immediate solution—so precautionary measures by applying adapting climate policy.

Written by Mr. Ghuhar Iftikhar, Lecturer, Ali Trust College, Islamabad & Ph.D. Scholar Department of History & Civilization Studies, Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), Multan.