Since it caught the world’s attention several years ago, the metaverse has been driving technology developments, corporate rebranding and a search for killer applications that facilitate access to virtual worlds. And now, in the age of increasing decentralization and VR/AR, the metaverse is beginning to shape and influence geopolitics.
Popular protests are on the rise, and they are increasingly going global. Over the past three years, popular movements demonstrating against fiscal austerity and corruption have brought down governments—in democracies and authoritarian regimes alike—from Europe and Latin America to Africa and Asia. And with the advent of new communication technologies and media platforms, what happens anywhere can be seen everywhere.
President Joe Biden took office with an ambitious foreign policy agenda summed up by his favorite campaign tagline: “America is back.” Above all, that will mean repairing the damage done to America’s global standing by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
The U.N. General Assembly will vote this week on a resolution marking the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling on Moscow to end the war. While the resolution is unlikely to affect Russia’s actions, it will allow Ukraine to demonstrate that it still enjoys broad international support for its struggle.
The SDG summit in September and several others in the years ahead offer the U.N. a chance to construct a plan of action for the future—and position itself at the core of both. But without a change in how the U.N. approaches the problems it must address, the summits could end up being another missed opportunity.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s recent meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden was framed as a reaffirmation of the two countries’ recently battered democracies. But if Lula seems like a good fit for Biden’s narrative of a global battle between democracy and autocracy, he also underscores the limitations of this narrative.
Acute water stress around the world has galvanized efforts to find new approaches and innovative solutions to access and maintain increasingly scarce water supplies. But critical questions about such trade, particularly with regard to the application of international trade law to untreated water, remain unresolved.
The United Nations’ ability to carry out its mission has been severely constrained in recent years by its member states. And many of its agencies are now facing funding shortages that could severely curtail their work. In fact, multilateralism of all stripes is under strain, from the International Criminal Court to the World Trade Organization—to the World Health Organization.
Why we pay so much attention to some tragedies, like this week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and not others is bound up in questions of cause and effect. There is nothing political about an earthquake, we tell ourselves. There are no perpetrators, only victims. But politics always plays a role in the impact of a natural disaster.
Resource extraction continues to be a major source of revenue for both developing countries and wealthier nations alike. But the windfalls don’t come without risks. Meanwhile, the environmental impact of fossil fuels is driving the development of renewable energy sources. But the transition is slow to develop.
Attempts to construct narratives of a golden age of U.S. support for free trade reflect anxieties that Washington’s current focus on subsidies and buy-American clauses could undermine the U.S.-led liberal international order. But this yearning for a golden age of free trade glosses over a much more complex reality.
Today, the leadership of many of the world’s most powerful countries is concentrated in the hands of septuagenarians, or older. Is this a good thing? The answer depends on who we are talking about. Still, there are some general conclusions to be drawn, and they point to a coming youth movement in global leadership.
Carbon markets are set to explode on the world stage. And while they are relatively small compared to regulatory compliance markets, voluntary markets are growing fast. Are they an effective way for companies—and the world—to achieve net zero emissions? The jury is out, with strong voices arguing for and against.
The impacts of climate change are advancing faster than experts had previously predicted, and they are increasingly irreversible. But persistent climate skepticism from key global figures, motivated in part by national economic interests, is slowing diplomatic efforts to systematically address the drivers of climate change.