The raging wars and distrust across the globe raises a serious question whether a multi-polar world is possible. Let’s find out what are the challenges and possibilities for building a multi-polar world…
Why is multi polarity failing?
Multi polarity has not been very successful due to three factors- globalisation has not benefited everyone equally, the balance of power is not the same as it was after the second world war, when current multi lateral structure were set up and there is reluctance to accept that change in balance of power which is causing lot of tension and thirdly there is tendency to see the world from own parochial interest of geography and nationalism which is affecting the efficacy of the multilateral institutions.
The reality is that reforms are very hard to get by. For any reforms at the global level there is need for a 2/3rd majority of the United Nations General Assembly apart from the approval of P-5 nations in the security council which makes the whole process very difficult. The need is to not only reinvigorate the existing system but also to bring about meaningful reforms and changes. Also the need is to see how the existing system can work well with new and parallel institutions. And if we can have some form of modicum of equality, democracy, and a mutual relation of give and take then we can be in a better position to perform well including on issues such as climate finance.
The current situation hitting smaller nations harder
The situation is significantly challenging for the smaller nations which comprises between half and two-thirds of the world’s states depending on the criteria used for classification. However their influence is not very high as compared to their number. They have not only got opportunities due to contemporary transnational developments but also faces several challenges making them more vulnerable to external economic and environmental influences, such as overexposure to one economic activity and the consequences of climate change.
The multi-polar world of the present day, with one dominant state and a couple of contender states, comprises small, mid-size and large states.
The fate of the world is closely associated with the fate of the smaller nations. Large nations should learn from the experiences of the successful small states and be more careful about their well-being.
G-20 as a driving force of multi-polarity
In this the G-20 is emerging as a very powerful platform for world progress and development. Amidst the global differences G 20 plays a pivotal role as it includes a large majority of permanent members of the security council, BRICS. If we take G-20 members and other invitees’ numbers into account then it comprises 14 nations with global south identity. So the global South is also inherently represented in G-20. So it is imperative that the G-20 talks about the welfare of the world without any kind of privileged exceptionalism.
Are we learning any lessons?
In fact the continuation of the Russia-Ukraine war and continuation of Israeli military strikes in Palestine is a grim reminder of lack of multi-polarity. The sanctions against Russia have only aggravated the economic situation around the world whereas unjust use of force on Palestine by Israel reminds us that multi-polarity in itself in its present form is not able to stop hostilities. This brings us to an important question whether the world is actually moving towards multi-polarity or is just divided in several political camps.