Covid-19 and the crisis of multilateralism

SDA Bocconi Insight - Zoom On - A. M. Hiedemann


“We are in a world in which global challenges are more and more integrated, and the responses are more and more fragmented, and if this is not reversed, it’s a recipe for disaster.” These are the words of UN Secretary General António Guterres during his speech at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos on 24 January 2019.


Just over a year and a half later, listening to these words again as the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, they are more timely than ever, revealing clearly and categorically what has failed in the measures adopted by the governments of the countries hit by this emergency. Measures which align, but lack cohesion, and joint efforts to bring about unified, coordinated and structured action on a global scale. Measures in which, with the extraordinary political interventions being implemented, one plus one does not always equal two. In other words, what was lacking was a response capable of offering a truly multilateral approach for dealing with the emergency.



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