In the first quarter of the 21st century, humanity is facing a complex set of global challenges threatening the international system that resemble, in some way, the first half of the 20th century. Our major issues in the political agendas to address and to deal with have become global, such as the health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak; financial instability; climate change; artificial intelligence, global inequalities, etc. As the international system is anarchical, therefore, no global authorities are ruling over these issues, which leads us to the need of reinforcing and extending multilateralism and global cooperation.
In our planet, each day smaller and hyper-connected, every threat at a national or regional level is increasingly becoming global. To state a few examples: the 2008 financial crisis; the Syrian refugee crisis; and the COVID-19 crisis. Particularly, the pandemic has shown how the States’ political responses to deal with it clashed with reality. Even though we live in a globalized world, it is divided into almost two hundred countries taking uncoordinated measures to tackle this common global crisis. In an emerging, post-pandemic world, global cooperation, multilateralism and peace should be the lights at the end of the tunnel and we, as part of the Parliamentarians for Peace program (P4P), must advocate for them. However, any solution looks unfeasible in the long-term unless we are also able to promote the principles of federalism and democracy at the global level.
There are some broader impacts of the pandemic, however, a very important one is that virtuality has become a new reality. In this context, an innovative strategy to build on could be the creation of Transnational Parliamentary Groups on different global issues, such as Peace and Security; Climate Change and Regulation of Artificial Intelligence, among others. These groups could be formed by parliamentarians with the help of civil organizations and NGOs. Such a strategy could improve collaboration with parliamentarians and colleagues across different continents, contributing significantly to the global success in addressing cross-cutting challenges.
It is not easy to find a way forward to a more stable and peaceful world, but the Parliamentarians for Peace program is clearly on this path. I consider it a meaningful initiative to develop global policy solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. If we can gather parliamentarians from all around the world, all of them could have a key role to play within the decision-making process to influence the global political agenda, which would mean to achieve a significant key challenge for all of us.
As part of the P4P, we must raise global awareness about the main issues we are facing in this fast-changing and globalized 21st century. Therefore, we should continue working together to enable a better integrated and developed international system, by reinforcing and democratizing global and regional political systems and institutions. This should be our contribution to a more humane, peaceful and democratic world.
Fernando Iglesias is the co-President of the World Federalist Movement, the Director of the Spinelli Chair and a Member of the Argentinian Parliament.