Wednesday July 24, 2024

‘Unified Global South can emerge as consolidating force in evolving world order’

By Jamila Achakzai
June 15, 2024
A panel discussion in progress at the Institute of Policy Studies on June 14, 2024. — APP file
A panel discussion in progress at the Institute of Policy Studies on June 14, 2024. — APP file

Islamabad: In the midst of a shifting global landscape, the Global South has a unique opportunity to unite and amplify its voice in international development, said experts during a panel discussion at the Institute of Policy Studies here on Friday.

They added that by embracing shared values such as mutual respect, collaborative governance, and inclusive development, those nations could effectively address challenges, navigate complexities, and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable global order.

The discussion was part of the 2nd International Scientific Conference on ‘New World Order: in Statu Nascendi,’ exploring the emergence of a new international order and its implications for the Global South's development.

The conference was co-organised by the Institute of Political Science University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland, and the Department of International Relations, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology. The two-day conference convened distinguished scholars, policymakers, and experts from across the globe to deliberate on the transformative dynamics shaping the new world order.

The event was presided over by IPS chairman Khalid Rahman and addressed by Social Protection Resource Centre executive director Dr Safdar Sohail, economist and former Planning Commission member Dr Syed Tahir Hijazi, security and defence analyst Brigadier (r) Said Nazir, and associate professor at the Sichuan University, China Dr Du Fang.

IPS associate Dr Azhar Ahmad moderated the discussion. Dr Safdar said achieving social stability is necessary for positive global participation in the developing world order. He identified four stages of social development – family, society, social mobility, and interstate social development and noted that Pakistan, in between the first and second stages, must resolve its social instability and governance issues.

Brigadier (r) Nazir said the need for this stability was exacerbated by the persistence of military alliances, war threats, and the influence of military-industrial complexes on global security frameworks.

He said there should be UN reforms and a global union to address conflicts, emphasising debt relief, climate change financing, and positive competition from the Global South. "The UN must ensure world peace or rely on the proliferation of nuclear deterrence to safeguard the peace, urging global cooperation and effective governance."

Dr Tahir highlighted the alarming trend in the emerging world order where, he said, multinational companies are exerting influence greater than states themselves. He criticised international financial institutions like IMF and World Bank for indebting nations worldwide, which, he said, has facilitated the power dynamics favouring MNCs.

"This century’s order will be defined by corporate interests and power and thus Global South must be proactive," he said. Dr Du Fang said China’s commitment to fostering a balanced global order underpinned its imperative of inclusive development.

“This is prominent within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which China envisions as a multilateral mechanism for peace without advocating military hegemony,” he said. In the concluding remarks, Khalid Rahman noted that the current phase of Global South evolution was based on amelioration and active agency.

He said China’s role in that context, particularly its paradigm of development centred on a shared destiny, was an opportunity for the Global South to rise collectively. The IPS chairman, however, acknowledged several challenges: the diversity within the Global South, the probability of a shift towards self-interest among leading Global South countries, security concerns, and the Western domination of IT technology. He underscored the importance of focusing on overarching paradigms rather than minor issues to address these challenges effectively.