COVID-19: An Impasse or an Opportunity for a Sustainable Global Order?

The world continues to be faced with a profound crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This extraordinary situation poses a major challenge for governments and multilateral organizations by deepening inequalities between developing and developed economies, giving a boost to nationalist ideologies, and disrupting global supply chains and economic relations. Given this, it can be said that the Covid-19 crisis exposed the failings and shortcomings of existing local and international institutions in protecting people in the face of both natural and human-caused disasters.

Historically, such seismic events have had transformative effects on political and economic institutions, often leading to a paradigm shift. Although the current crisis is still playing out, it is increasingly clear that that the pandemic advancing the call for a reordering of global institutions. Long-held beliefs and assumptions are fading away, while opinions that were once considered radical are gaining prominence. However, the direction of this transformation remains an open question. According to some observers, the Covid-19 crisis could present an opportunity to transform international institutions towards a more sustainable and inclusive structure. This session explores the potential pathways that global economic and political institutions may take in the near future and how policymakers can turn the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity for positive reform.