Can the Coronavirus Restore the World’s Humanity?

Advocates of the New World Order had predicted that the end of the Cold War and the bipolar system would bring with it a long-lasting era of peace. This prediction was unfortunately never realized—three decades later, the world still feels the weight of war conflict. Despite globalization challenging the concept of sovereignty, and arguably moving the world towards a “global village,” a new world order based on cooperation, coexistence, and interdependence between all nations is still a far-fetched dream.

The common global challenges that the world has faced in the post-Cold War era have confirmed the importance of international cooperation. However, the world has failed to work together to address these challenges properly. Climate change is one such global challenge. It involves several complex risks that need be tackled through close, effective international cooperation.

In the new world order, the dangerous ideology of populism emerged, which is promoted by extreme right-wing trends in several countries worldwide. Populism is clearly an ideology that rejects international integration, opposes international cooperation in addressing common challenges, and gives prominence to the virtues of conflict and discord at the cost of those of cooperation and coexistence.

The ongoing wars and conflicts at the international level have generated a state of frustration in the global community, in the recognition that a genuine new world order has yet to be successfully established, an order that is based on cooperation between and among nations in the face of common challenges, as mentioned earlier.

Today’s crisis, however, may be a blessing in disguise. The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic poses an existential challenge to the entire world, confirming that all nations have a common destiny. The world is truly up to the challenge this time, even if it is forced to, as it has declared an unprecedented state of emergency to address and eliminate the risks of this pandemic. We hope this signals a new humanitarian approach in dealing with common challenges.

Some would say that the outbreak of COVID-19 has restored the world’s humanity, as it has become clear that every global citizen shares the same destiny. Hopefully all nations will emerge from this crisis with a higher sense of solidarity and they will reclaim their humanitarian principles, to be used as a standard in all international interactions.

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has covered the world with heavy shadows of sadness and sorrow. However, it has also provided the global community the opportunity to rediscover its humanity. Hopefully, this crisis will push the world to rearrange its priorities when it is over. Just consider that since the end of the Cold War, nations have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the manufacture and purchase of weapons. If this massive sum of money had been invested in building robust healthcare infrastructures and facilities, the world would now be in a far more capable position to deal with this pandemic.

The panic and danger experienced worldwide due to the coronavirus should lead to the “humanization” of international relations and to a greater adherence to the principles of cooperation and interdependence. Certainly, cooperation is the only path to address global challenges such as the current pandemic. The question is whether or not the nations of the world will continue working as a team to fight not only today’s common enemy but also those of the future.