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From the climate crisis to nuclear war and technological disruption: The future of security reassessed

From the climate crisis to nuclear war and technological disruption: The future of security reassessed,  European Leadership Network, Irina Ghaplanyan |Former Deputy Minister of Environment and Senior Advisor, World Bank Group , 29 Oct 21, ”……………….   as countries prepare to convene, it is becoming more and more evident that governments are dangerously off track to meet their Paris Agreement commitments, and the ambition needed to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees is significantly lacking. The Glasgow summit will be one important testing ground to assess global leadership’s ability to unite and meet the urgent challenge of the climate crisis. But more importantly, it will also tell us how effective, if at all, the models of the international fora and global negotiations are at assessing, presenting, negotiating and agreeing around not only the risks, but also the solutions, to global security and fundamentally the existence of humankind.

In many respects this is reminiscent of the negotiations of key stakeholders over the future of nuclear weapons and the potential of nuclear war. In the most recent meeting in June 2021 between US President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the two sides released a statement reaffirming the 1985 Gorbachev-Reagan statement that “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Yet this fundamental truth is followed either by counter-action – modernisation of nuclear stockpiles, thereby perpetuating the existing risks by another 50-100 years – or by insufficient action. This is similar to statements made in the framework of climate negotiations which are usually followed by a fraction of what is required in order to prevent irreversible damage to the planet.

The inaction over, and the continuous threat of, the potential of nuclear war is further exacerbated by the rapid development of cyber warfare. It is a war that has already begun, and its dimension and scale is beyond any conventional confrontation that humanity has ever faced. From meddling in elections of sovereign states -fundamentally undermining the very core institution of democracy – to cyber-attacks on civilian infrastructures, it is only a matter of time before cyber intrusion makes its way into the nuclear command and control – perhaps the most sensitive infrastructure in the world when it comes to security………………..

Pandemics, climate crisis, nuclear war and technological disruption have many general yet two definitive things in common. First, the evidence-based and conscious understanding by the world’s leaders that through inaction on all these security risks they are engaging in a process of collective suicide. Collective because these security risks are inherently global and know no borders, nationalities or political affiliations. Second, although the conventional international legal and policy instruments, from treaties (from the Paris Agreement to SALT) to norms, arguably could be considered insufficient, yet in the face of the transformed and emerging security risks they currently remain the only apparatus the global community has to hold each other accountable.

What will make a difference in accelerating action on pandemic prevention, climate disruption, nuclear threat and technological disruption is, first of all, the re-evaluation of metrics by which we measure human security, thereby arming ourselves with a broader and more interdisciplinary understanding of human wellbeing.

Secondly, the existing instruments for addressing these challenges must be improved as well as complemented by new solutions………
Third, non-traditional stakeholders must be more engaged and more accountable………

November 1, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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