Strategizing Global Cooperation

Global cooperation over the past 70 years has been a critical component of global prosperity. 

In the globalized and inter-connected world of today, no country is shielded from the events emanating from outside of its geographical frontiers. The first two decades of this century have seen three major global disruptive events – the Global Financial Crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, and the War in Ukraine. One thing common between them is their local origins, but global reverberations. 

Common Challenges and Evolving Dynamics of Global Cooperation

The COVID-19 pandemic is a strong reminder of how countries cannot operate in isolation. Sharing of early warnings, relevant data / information and technical know-show is necessary if we are to prevent the next pandemic. 

Countries continue to tackle the common challenges of geopolitical turmoil, slowing economic growth, rising inflation, tight fiscal conditions, rising inequalities, rapid climate change, and disruptive technological advancements. As interconnected nations tackle these common challenges, there is an opportunity to reimagine, reboot, and reset global cooperation and partnerships for achieving global prosperity. There is also a need to update some of the normative frameworks. Such as classifying food as a global merit good which can help avert episodes of hunger affecting a number of countries. 

Some areas are seeing global cooperation emerging amongst new partners. While in some areas stress and deficit is a reality, and competition and conflict are overshadowing cooperation. 

Climate Change and Technology Cooperation

In tackling climate change, where global cooperation is a sine qua non, there seems to be an increasing division between the developed and the developing world. The flow of clean technology and green finance from where it is available to where it is needed seem to be currently broken due to limited cooperation. 

Technology is witnessing a potent mix of cooperation and competition. Like-minded nations are looking to cooperate on technology through platforms like Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) and the proposed D-10 (coalition of ten democracies to diversify technology supply chains). On the other hand, competition is driving more nations to look inwards to domestically build critical technologies and to also impose restrictions on who the technology can be shared with. 

As data becomes increasingly diffused, there are concerns over privacy and national security. 

Economic Interdependence

In the modern economic system where countries exchange not only final goods but also intermediates, the whole world is intricately linked through a network of economic transactions. Thus, there is no good alternative to global cooperation in ensuring that the benefits of economic progress are maximized for all. 

While regional groupings and issue-based coalitions of the willing and like-minded nations can help address some of the challenges, the rebooting of global cooperation is imperative for tackling global challenges and achieving global prosperity. This will have to be a mix of cooperation not only at the G2G level, but also amongst international bodies, private sector, and civil society. 

India’s Role in Global Cooperation

India’s Presidency of the G20 serves as a landmark moment in this context. The G20 Summit was formed fifteen years ago when countries joined hands to coordinate their macroeconomic policies to ensure that the Great Recession did not become another Great Depression. The bringing together of major advanced economies along with big emerging economies at the Summit in November 2008 in response to a crisis symbolized the spirit of global cooperation. 

India’s Presidency of G20 and the also the Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are well complemented by India’s leadership in building global cooperation for green energy transition and climate resilience through the founding and spearheading of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). Through its diplomacy India has emerged as a voice of the developing world, and a voice that matters on global issues.

What changes are required in the global institutional architecture for effectively preventing and tackling global challenges be it health, security, climate change, technology, or economic growth? Can regional groupings and groupings of like-minded nations be potent enough to replace them? What role can nations like India play in achieving this?

Find out at the Global Economic Policy Forum 2023

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