A call for a blueprint for a gloomy, post-corona world: Op-ed

A call for a blueprint for a gloomy, post-corona world: Op-ed

Mehmet Öğütçü
A call for a blueprint for a gloomy, post-corona world: Op-ed

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Ravaging the four corners of the globe, the coronavirus has destroyed global markets beyond repair in a way that is incomparable to any global crisis in recent history.

Recovery is only possible through a collective global effort under the leadership of the United States, China and the European Union in cooperation with other major powers on the world stage.

This is not the first time that world governments have faced devastating crises and implemented large stimulus packages to prevent the economy and society from collapsing.
In these unsettling times, nations are rolling out emergency plans to save economies and support their populations in distress, but they are all “go it alone” and “me first” plans that are unlikely to generate the desired outcome in such a highly interconnected global system.

We cannot go back to the days of isolation and inward-looking strategies. We must reconnect because we, as the planet’s 7.8 billion people, are all in the same boat.

In this age of rapidity, and in light of the valuable lessons learned to date, it is sad to say that a common effort cannot be launched swiftly and that we must wait further until pain and hopelessness appear everywhere. This will create, it goes without saying, serious social and political disturbances that will exacerbate the current situation.

Hence, there is an urgent and pressing need now for a vigorous global campaign to rescue countries from the damage inflicted by the corona contagion and offer a more promising, “win-win” future.

Only through a well-calibrated, colossal effort can we effectively repair the global trading and investment system, restore the new equilibrium to reflect the changing balance of power economically and politically, offer a priori support for the disadvantaged segments of global society and foster greater international cooperation and partnership.

It is time to seriously consider a long overdue alternative global approach to how we live, work and survive in the decades to come on our planet.

It is not only a matter of how many trillions of dollars we must find and pour into faltering economies, it is also a matter of sustaining and creating new jobs to adapt to new ways of working, making new technological breakthroughs, ensuring much-needed supply security for energy, water and food, and boosting those less fortunate so that we can prepare for future natural and manmade calamities.

Such a gargantuan task cannot be achieved by national governments alone. It requires a powerful alliance of global leaders in government and business, represented by the United States, China and the European Union, but also soliciting the active involvement of other major powers like India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey.

With these thoughts in mind, I want to propose the establishment of a 12-member independent group (perhaps mandated by the G20 or the United Nations), to be tasked with developing such a creative and bold global blueprint for consideration by the world’s political and business leaders in these unprecedented times.

*Mehmet Öğütçü is a former diplomat and now chair of the London Energy Club and The Bosphorus Energy Club.