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Analysis

Emergency, exception, risk for democracy (by Marco Emanuele)

The pandemic is just the latest pretext for a debate that needs to be shared. I intervene in this reasoning with a critical and free spirit but considering the recent reflections of the philosopher Massimo Cacciari as absolutely acceptable.

I taught Totalitarianism and Democracy at the university and I know that the “Weimar risk” is no stranger to our liberal democracies today in crisis. Hannah Arendt, like many other thinkers, has written memorable pages on this subject.

The Global Eye’s research intends to focus on the risks facing the world today and, in particular, on the risks that increase the democratic crisis. Democracy is a fragile construction, we know, and it must be continuously looked after and never considered completed: this is its beauty and, at the same time, its tragedy.

To enter into the merits, and whatever the triggering cause, the endless extension of the state of emergency risks turning into a state of exception. We must be very careful because the state of exception is typical of authoritarian regimes, realities that deny everything that is guaranteed in a democracy.

Cacciari’s reflection is a warning. We must not live in the anxiety of risk but knowing that the same is “around the corner” and can materialize in our lives with an impact that could be dangerous.

An element that must be carefully considered is the growing incapacity of the State to face emergencies in the ordinary nature of its institutions. Already when we invoke “extraordinary actions” we take a step into danger, essentially declaring that the institutions are unable, in their ordinariness, to face the risks that, more and more, become intangible and unpredictable. If the risk has entered into metamorphosis (think of cyber), the State has remained unreformed: and this is a risk within the risk.

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Technologies and religions at the risk of paradoxes (by Marco Emanuele)

Paradoxes generate risks. If we are in a global and globalized society (very different adjectives in terms of meaning), logic would like everyone to share openness as an essential condition. Open societies should prevail.

Well, that’s not the case. We live the paradox of a world in flames (not only from an environmental point of view but also from a political and economic ones, apart from the pandemic) and the “geostrategic actors” seem to be playing to protect themselves from the open sea of ​​planetary destiny.

One of the most dangerous characteristics of the present time is the return of nationalisms or, better said, the desire for self-sufficient closures. Whether it is done out of real or induced fear, or by tactical choice, nationalisms are the negation of the cultural and political value of the nation as an ineliminable identity of every people.

Two elements with a planetary dimension, such as religions and technological innovations, risk being dragged into the paradox of nationalisms. In doing so, both religions and technological innovations risk being placed at the service of the exasperation of closures within borders: as if our territory were not – in the third millennium – extended to the entire planet and, by now, to space.

Taking away global dimension from religions and technologies runs the risk of emptying them of meaning. Religions are very often exploited in the name of political reasons that would like to crystallize a mythical, fixed, inviolable reality; they would thus be religions without dialogue, rites to be followed slavishly in the name of an imposed political order.

Technologies, equally exploited, risk turning into mere instruments of geopolitical struggle: it is for technology, in fact, that new competitions are developed for new wars of power at the international level.

The reflection continues.

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Analysis

Risk and human factor in the “glocal where” (by Marco Emanuele)

Persone In Piedi Sul Marciapiede Durante Il Giorno Di Pioggia

In the twenty years following September 11, the world seems not to have understood the lesson of that event. In fact, there have been no substantial political investments on the central theme of global rules to bring planetary governance towards objectives of sustainability, equity and security. In global forums, discussions and proclamations abound  while, in reality, the world is on fire.

Today everyone has (or should have) an understanding of the complexity of crises, of their interconnectedness. We live in the urgency of climate change, to safeguard global health, to govern mass migration and human mobility, to underline the demographic factor, to overcome inequalities, to “save” liberal democracies: all this, however, becomes possible if the great proclamations of the various G7, G20, etc. descend into the different realities in the evolving worlds.

Today, in addition to the risk in metamorphosis, we introduce two further elements: the importance of the human factor (complex and often unpredictable as it is in the nature of each of us) and the centrality of the glocal where.

In essence, it is a question of placing the where life of each of us takes place at the center of our reflection: if we are citizens of the world, first of all we are citizens in our territories. This is the reason why we believe that cities are the places where a glocal project for humanity can be rethought.

If, as Carlo Ratti said when interviewed by The Science of Where , cities and not states can be seen from space, the interest in cities is geostrategic.

It is in cities, in fact, that technologies evolve to organize and govern (considering risks and opportunities) public services and coexistence (the science of where); it is in the cities that international relations of the third millennium are evolving, relations of glocal proximity that take into account the human factor in an open where.

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The symbol and the risk (by Marco Emanuele)

Change, Board, Door, New Beginning, Risk, Sign, Restart

After twenty years, September 11, 2001 (which we have raised as a symbol that traces a new era) still speaks to us.

We look at that date with the fear due to an event that has left us stunned, speechless. That day, in fact, we all thought: how is it possible to attack the heart of America, the most powerful and (we thought) safest in the world? Yet it was possible.

We want to look at September 11 from the point of view of the metamorphosis of risk, starting from these pages a path of reflection and research on the risk we live and how we face it.

We realize that this is a huge theme, with infinite facets but, on closer inspection, it is the theme-of-themes for those who intend to re-find paths of historical judgment in reality, of understanding (in complex and profound terms) of what happens.

Since then, the world has been dangerously ablaze. In these days we read numerous analyzes on the theme of war on terror, infinite also because terror has embodied the metamorphosis of risk. Everything has been digitized or is being digitized. Where do the risks come from? Here is the problem. Here are some points we would like to develop:

  • the risk has become unpredictable, intangible, asymmetrical. And it comes from parts of the world we weren’t used to knowing. Today the risk is from space to Earth and back, cyber has become the watchword: defense and security are reconfigured and concern military activities as much as the structure of our cities;
  • crises have intertwined and we could speak of a complexity of crises. Indeed, it is no longer possible to face one crisis at a time, separate from the rest: climate change, mass migration, democratic and political weakness (here understood in the sense of thinking / acting), inequalities, and so on, are inseparable parts of a single planetary mosaic, wrapped as we are in what Edgar Morin calls planetary destiny;
  • where” acquires more and more importance and, with it, geographic thinking. This is coupled with technological innovation, with emerging technologies that look to the “where” of the human as the place of choice: the science of where
  • geographical thinking is not enough if it is not combined with critical and complex thinking. This is the era in which linear thinking shows all its structural limits, as well as the causal approach that does not take into account the unpredictability that govern historical processes and our own lives.

All this is accompanied by the geostrategic information that, every day, we publish in The Science of Where; there we try, always with complex thinking, to show the close link between technological innovation and the evolution of international relations in evolving worlds, our “where”.

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Il simbolo e il rischio (di Marco Emanuele)

Change, Board, Door, New Beginning, Risk, Sign, Restart

Ebbene si, dopo vent’anni l’11 settembre 2001 (che abbiamo elevato a simbolo che traccia una nuova era) ancora ci parla.

Guardiamo a quella data con il timore che si deve a un accadimento che ci ha lasciato basiti, senza parole: quel giorno, infatti, tutti abbiamo pensato: com’è possibile che si possa attaccare il cuore dell’America, il Paese più potente e (pensavamo) più sicuro del mondo ? Eppure è stato possibile.

Vogliamo guardare all’11 settembre dal punto di vista della metamorfosi del rischio, iniziando da queste pagine un percorso di riflessione e di ricerca sul rischio che viviamo e su come lo affrontiamo. Ci rendiamo conto che si tratta di un tema enorme, dalle infinite sfaccettature ma, a ben guardare, è il tema-dei-temi per chi intenda ri-trovare percorsi di giudizio storico nella realtà, di comprensione e di com-prensione di ciò che accade.

Da allora il mondo si è pericolosamente incendiato. In questi giorni si leggono numerose analisi sul tema della war on terror, infinita anche  perché il terrore ha incarnato la metamorfosi del rischio. Tutto si è digitalizzato o si sta digitalizzando. Da dove vengono i rischi ? Qui c’è il problema. Ecco alcuni punti che vorremmo sviluppare:

  • il rischio si è fatto imprevedibile, impalpabile, asimmetrico. E proviene da parti di mondo che non eravamo abituati a conoscere. Oggi il rischio è dallo spazio alla Terra e ritorno, il cyber è diventato la parola d’ordine: la difesa e la sicurezza si riconfigurano e riguardano le attività militari tanto quanto l’assetto delle nostre città;
  • le crisi si sono intrecciate e potremmo parlare di una complessità delle crisi. Non è più possibile, infatti, affrontare una crisi per volta, separata dal resto: il climate change, le migrazioni di massa, la debolezza democratica e della politica (qui intesa nel senso di pensare/agire), le disuguaglianze, e così via, sono parti inseparabili di un unico mosaico planetario, avvolti come siamo in quello che Edgar Morin chiama destino planetario;
  • il dove acquista sempre più importanza e, con esso, il pensiero geografico. Questo fa il paio con l’innovazione tecnologica, con tecnologie emergenti che guardano al dove dell’umano come luogo di elezione: the science of where;
  • il pensiero geografico non basta se non si abbina con il pensiero critico e con il pensiero complesso. Questa è l’era in cui il pensiero lineare mostra tutti i suoi limiti strutturali, così come l’approccio causale che non tiene conto delle imprevedibilità che governano i processi storici e le nostre stesse vite.

Tutto questo si accompagna con l’informazione geostrategica che, ogni giorno, pubblichiamo su The Science of Where; lì cerchiamo, sempre con pensiero complesso, di mostrare lo stretto legame tra l’innovazione tecnologica e l’evoluzione delle relazioni internazionali nei mondi-che-evolvono, il nostro “dove”.

 

 

 

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Analysis

The Internet doesn’t recognize borders (Konstantinos Komaitis, Marco Emanuele, The Science of Where Magazine)

The Science of Where magazine meets Konstantinos Komaitis, Senior Director for Policy Strategy and Development at the Internet Society

The theme you wrote about with Justin Sherman, US and EU tech strategy aren’t as aligned as you think (Brookings) , is of enormous importance. With respect to the issue of the rules of the internet, and more generally of the digital society, what are the substantial differences between Europe and the United States?

The main difference is how to set the rules for the Internet. In the United States, the market sits at the driver’s seat and determines the rules of the road. On the contrary, in Europe, governments are more skeptical about the ability of the market to self-regulate and we see a more decisive and pervasive intervention. Both approaches have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages and they must always be evaluated in the context they apply. The unfortunate thing in both of them however is the fact that considerations about the Internet as an infrastructure are rarely considered and we are now finding ourselves in the position of tech strategies between allies not being fully aligned.

How do you judge the perspective evoked by some experts of a digital Bretton Woods?

To be honest i am not sure what this would achieve. Bretton Woods was an outcome of two world wars that had left devastation and had crippled the economic system. i don’t think we are there with the Internet. At the same time, I also do not think that a model where a set of western countries that form alliances of top down control works any longer. What is important for the future of the Internet is that we stop talking about it as if it were a monolith and remind ourselves that it is a tool that recognizes no boundaries and should be used by everyone that wishes to participate in it.

How and to what extent does the phenomenon of digital sovereignty affect international relations? How are China and Russia moving?

Digital sovereignty is a reflection of international relations. One thing we must understand is that the way state actors approach issues in the Internet is not inherently different to how they approach the environment or issues of global health. State actors want to have their own right to sovereignty over the Internet just like they do for other issues. The main issue here is that the Internet is a global communications medium that is predicated on not recognizing borders. So, sovereignty automatically creates stress to the way networks can talk to one another.

In terms of China and Russia – their approach is fundamentally different, driven by different motivations, but the notion of sovereignty constitutes a key pillar behind their decisions.

Finally, I would like your opinion on the topic of cyber wars and the need for growing cybersecurity. How much do cyber wars and cybercrime proliferate in the absence of rules?

There is no denying that with the evolution of the Internet — all the tools and services that have been created — cybercrime activity increased. This is somewhat inevitable because crime (and war) are part of human nature. The important thing is to understand this and not treat them as “Internet problems”. What I mean is that of course we need rules. But, these rules should not be about attempts to seize control of the Internet or its management. And, they should be informed, proportional and consistent to addressing the real problem and ensuring that they do not cause disruptions to the ability of networks to interoperate.

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Analysis

Data governance strategies (Arindrajit Basu, Marco Emanuele, The Science of Where Magazine)

The Science of Where Magazine meets Arindrajit Basu, Research Lead at the The Centre for Internet & Society, India, where he focuses on the geopolitics and constitutionalty of emerging technologies.

The challenge of data governance is decisive in this historical phase in which one of the pillars of the post-pandemic is the digital transition. What is your general opinion?

Data governance, and associated concerns of power asymmetries and inequality were crucial well before the pandemic struck. It has certainly been amplified by the pandemic, with remote working across the world necessitating greater access to the internet for routine daily existence.Universal standards for governing data in line with the principles of sovereign equality, human rights, and other public international law regimes are imperative for the world to move forward in combating this pandemic,and enabling a smooth transition to our new digital existence.

However, we must remember that this digital transition is exacerbating existing fissures across societies, particularly in the developing world. By virtue of digital connectivity being unequal worldwide, this pandemic is exacerbating these inequalities rather than playing the ‘great leveller.’ As classes go online, what happens to children who do not own a laptop, or do not have stable internet connectivity? What happens to those who live in cramped houses, and benefit greatly from the space and interactions that school provides them with? As digital solutions are retro-fitted to societal or infrastructural problems such as allocation of hospital beds or vaccine appointments, what happens to those who lack access to or awareness of how to use these platforms?

My point is not that we must shy away from this digital transition. Instead, it is that global conversations about data governance need to evolve to acknowledge these new realities.

What is the position of India, certainly a global player, on data governance at the global level (in particular, within the WTO)? What are the main differences between India, China, USA and Europe?

Let me start with a brief history of e-commerce negotiations at the WTO, which have now morphed into larger questions of data governance.This conversation started in the 1990sAt the Geneva ministerial in 1998, members adopted a global declaration on e-commerce that set up a comprehensive work programme at the General Council,and imposed a moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. The point of the work programme within the General Council is that it operates on consensus, that is every single state must accept a decision imposing a trade related obligation. This is an important mechanism for preserving sovereign decision-making-to ensure that all states consent to an obligation that limits its decision making power on trade.

However, by 2017, several some states were dissatisfied with progress being made through this Work Programme and consequently started a Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) to “initiate exploratory work together toward future WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce.” The 86 member process discussed issues such as market access and data flows, consumer and personal data, and e-commerce measures and regulations, and put out a Consolidated Negotiating Text towards the creation of a legal framework for governing electronic commerce at the WTO in December 2020.The US and EU were a part of this process. China,Brazil and India chose not to be arguing that it would threaten their sovereign autonomy. India and South Africa also put out an objection to this plurilateral initiative. A complementary initiative is the Osaka Track, former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s push to promote “data free flow with trust” which China, the EU and the US signed on for the Osaka Track, while India, Indonesia and South Africa opted out.

Finally, there are three regional trade agreements:the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP),and the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). Each of these contains obligations on the location of computing facilities and cross-border transfer of information by electronic means, along with exceptions to these obligations. Interestingly, some countries like China which have data localization laws have opted into trade agreements like RCEP and it will be interesting to see how China amends its policies to fit the RCEP requirements or justifies them as fitting within the the exceptions-”legitimate public policy objective” or “essential security interests.”

The key divide across data governance negotiations hinges on two points-restrictions on cross border data flows and freedom of access to source code. The countries opposing the JSI and e-commerce negotiations believe that they should retain the ability to take calls on these restrictions-such that their citizens and open source communities benefit. The proponents however want to set uniform rules of the road to promote stability.

A hotly debated issue is the sovereignty of States in this data governance process. Doesn’t investing heavily in sovereignty risk leading us into dangerous forms of techno-nationalism?

This is a very important question. I fear that ‘data sovereignty’ has gained a bad name both in policy and media questions because of the repressive behaviour of the governments that have promoted it. This is because sovereignty is being used as an excuse to justify draconian surveillance and censorship practices and restricting the ways in which their citizens can benefit from accessing and using the internet.However, this sort of usage, seen in Russia,China and even sometimes in India, is an inappropriate one.

The actual principle of sovereignty is much simple: the fact that countries should retain the ability to assert sovereignty over data generated within its borders or the way in which digital infrastructure within its borders is governed. So,both on data localization and intellectual property, the global community must consider the reasons why certain countries are objecting to the ideas being pushed by the EU or US through the JSI-and figure out ways to respond to them. While I personally dont believe data localization is a well thought out policy prescription, some of the reasons underpinning this push-whether it is law enforcement access to data or the hegemonic tendencies of companies located in the US- are concerns that should not be dismissed. The best antidote to techno-nationalism is to engage with the concerns raised by the developing world on access, inequality, and digital hegemony, and attempt to reach consensus rather than dismissing them and steam-rolling the e-commerce negotiations.

Now, here lies the rub. The idea of sovereignty is that a community of people (citizens of a state) decide that a group of individuals (the government) will govern in a manner that benefits the citizens. Sovereignty is a key principle of international law but so is the principle of universal human rights. So, when states clamping down on digital activism or dissent and argue that we dont need to care about universal principles, I find that a massive problem-which delegitimizes the valid concerns I raise above. You can ask for restrictions on cross-border data flow as a state but if your state also has a draconian surveillance regime that is not in line with human rights principles, you are bound to be criticised.

So, to conclude, I dont think ‘sovereignty’ as a principle is the problem.The problem is the way it is applied by states who often dont have laws and policies meant to protect digital rights in place, which then leads to the dangerous techno-nationalism you mentioned. So, as a global community, its important to segregate-engage with valid concerns about the undermining of digital sovereignty while continuing to apply pressure to prevent its misuse.

Our magazine deals with “science of where”, geolocation. How can artificial intelligence help organize and process the infinity of data we generate? This theme is very important, for example, for tracking the pandemic: I am thinking of India and the very difficult phase the country is experiencing.

Another great question which takes me back to my first answer. The problems being caused by the pandemic are socio-economic ones that require robust socio-economic and scientific responses. Technology could be a part of the solution but only after understanding where deployment of that technology may be useful from a socio-economic perspective. Contact-tracing apps in India have been largely done away with as over half the population does not have access to smart phones, so they are not a particularly effective tool for tracking the pandemic. They have also been criticised for being tools that might enable unwarranted surveillance. Even as we enter this difficult phase with the second wave, the problems regarding oxygen supply or access to ventilators are problems that technology and AI cannot solve.There have been some technological interventions for the allocation of hospital beds or vaccine appointments, which of course negatively impacts those who dont have digital access. More importantly, it cant solve the infrastructural problems that are the primary concern-an app cant do anything if we dont have beds or vaccine supplies.

My point is not that we should be averse to technology but policy-makers often see technology and AI in particular as a magic wand that will solve all societal problems. If anything, the pandemic is showing us the opposite.Technology,particularly in the developing world needs to be built only after a specific gap is identified, and it is determined how technology can fill the gap.

Let me give you an example of what I consider a successful AI use case. In the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Microsoft partnered with research institutions and the state government to develop an app that would help farmers improve their crop yield by alerting them on weather conditions, soil fertility, and other factors that would enable them to make decisions.Given the digital divide, the app generated text messages that were sent to feature phones rather than manifesting itself as an app on a smart phone. Importantly, human beings were at the centre of decision-making, and ultimately it was the individual farmer who had the autonomy to decide.

This is very different from when governments or companies use technology to track people,predict crimes, or generate profiles for the purpose of advertising revenue. The entity operating the technology is in control, the technology is the medium for controlling.And this is perhaps a good note to end on. The battle for data governance is primarily one of control, and how this control can be resisted.

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Geopolitical reasons and unresolved conflicts (Anil Trigunayat, Marco Emanuele, The Science of Where Magazine)

The Science of Where Magazine meets Anil Trigunayat, Distinguished Fellow at the Vivekananda International Foundation, former Ambassador of India to Jordan, Libya and Malta, Secretary of the Association of Indian Diplomats.

As you write in The Palestinian Dilemma, the upcoming elections in Palestine represent an important moment. How is the situation of the political movements involved and what are the current relations with Israel?

Yes 15 years is along time and the fact that the legislative and presidential elections in Palestine were called for May this year was a welcome development since the main politico-religious parties. Fatah & PLO in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza had agreed to contest the elections and hopefully have a unity government, if possible. It will be recalled that last time in 2006, Hamas had won unexpectedly and the western countries and Israel refused to recognise and terming it as a terrorist organisation led to the estrangement of the Palestinian movement. This had also placed the fight for the Palestinian cause and the two State solution to the back burner. This time there are around 30 Lists of candidates in the fray and general public seemed more enthusiastic even if they felt that with regard to their independent state resolution may still be slow and painful.

However as Israel has not given the permission for the vote to take place in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories the elections have been postponed by the ageing President Abbas. He is 86 and facing internal dissensions in his own party. Already splinter groups have emerged confronting and challenging Abbas’s authority. Some regional actors like UAE would like to see Mohammed Dahlan to take over who has been working to help Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere during the pandemic. Hence the decision to postpone was also driven by Abbas’s personal politically uncertain situation. Palestinians are unhappy and fight and frequent strikes between Gaza and Israel continue leading to greater uncertainty. However , President Trump’s rabid decisions like de facto recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel ; giving Golan heights to Tel Aviv; insincere Deal of the Century; and accepting the illegal constructions in the West Bank created a greater mistrust among the Palestinians. But with the onset of President Biden there is some hope as he is trying to bring back the Palestinians on some kind of negotiations with Israel. Even Egypt has been trying to work on it. Relations between Palestine and Israel remain confrontational despite security cooperation between Ramallah and Tel Aviv and Qatar trying to defuse the situation between Gaza and Israel as far as pandemic and other assistance is concerned. Since after 4 elections in 2 years Israel still does not have a proper and stable government the situation has been further compounded by the hawkish approach of PM Benjamin Netanyahu who has just lost the chance to form yet another government. Hopefully the next government will take a more constructive approach for ensuring peace and security in the region.

The elections in Palestine must be contextualized in a very troubled phase, apart from the pandemic, for the Middle East. How would you explain to our readers the evolution of relations in that tormented and strategic area? What are the main global players involved? What role is Biden’s USA playing, and will it play?

Middle East itself has changed a great deal. Despite all the oddities rightly or wrongly President Trump was heavily engaged in the region. He considered Iran as a major threat and pulled out of the JCPOA Nuclear deal nearly causing a war in the region after killing IRGC Commander Gen Soleimani. But he was also working to bridge the differences between the Arabs and Israel. Hence the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, UAE and Bahrain and later with Sudan and Morocco paved the way for formal normalisation of ties. This also indicated that the Arab countries had developed a fatigue due to their own internal challenges and changing global dynamic. Hence the vehement support among the leadership of major West Asian countries for the Palestinian cause has been severely compromised. One only witnesses proforma reactions. This gives Tel Aviv a certain level of comfort which was evident when the key Arab countries asked Palestinian leaders to come to table under the aegis of the one sided “Deal of the Century’. It is a fact that much water has flown down the River Jordan. A splintered Palestinian establishment will find it difficult to contend with unified and strong state of Israel and the to address the injustices of Sykes-Picot Agreement despite the three wars and Camp David, Madrid or Oslo Agreements or for that matter the Saudi Arab initiative.

No serious effort has been made in last two decades. Now realising the eroding regional and international support Palestinians are hoping for an International Conference to be organised by President Biden and the Quartet with wide participation. Biden has shown inclination by reversing some of the decisions by Trump like extending significant financial assistance to UNRWA including to fight the pandemic and allowing the PA embassy in Washington DC. They have also expressed displeasure on Israeli settlements. Hence , it is imperative that US , still the major security provider in the region, takes the lead to bring the equitable resolution of the Palestinian issues since there is unlikely to be peace unless it is resolved.

You were Ambassador of India to Libya. How do you assess the evolution of the situation in that country?

Libya in my view has turned into another Iraq. External intervention under the garb of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) without any post regime change in 2011 has been disastrous. Scores of militias and multiple simultaneous governments and fight between Eastern and Western Libya were perpetrated and sustained by their regional and international benefactors. Libya is the single biggest failure of the international community. In fact while France, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and UK and Russia have been supporting General Haftar and the Tobruk government in exile, Turkey, Qatar and Italy have cast their lot with the Tripoli based government. Foreign forces and militias as well as role of General Haftar would be the key factors for future of Libya. However, post Berlin process and Tunisian Agreements, the installation of a Government of National Unity with the task of holding general elections on December 24, 2021 give some hope. Currently some movement between Egypt and Turkey is visible which might be helpful. I sincerely hope this time round the international community will rise to the occasion as a decade has been wasted for sheer complicity and negligence and myopic choices for geopolitical influence.

Finally, the global post-pandemic phase focuses on two major transitions: the digital one and the ecological one. From your point of view, also looking at the growth of inequalities and the need to safeguard the integrity of peoples, how would you draw the map of the world in the coming decades?

Corona Pandemic should be a good lesson for the humanity. Ofcourse geo-politics and geo-economics as well as big power rivalries can not be wished as multilateralism has taken a big hit due to unilateralism and lack of balance of power. New domains of competition will emerge as power dynamic and security matrix emerges. Even there is a threat of a Cold War 2.0 in a new Avatar which is looming large as an ambitious China embarks on its unsolicited journey to displace USA as a numero uno power at least in the economic and technological domain. Another techno-industrialisation train is on tracks within the AI driven IR 4.0 digital space. Many small and big powers are in the race. However, Covid has dampened the pace and the global economy has been badly hit. In my view 5 Hs are extremely important today – Hunger, Health, Hygiene, Habitat and Hitech. The world has to evolve and agree on a sanity quotient for the sake of humanity and accept that global challenges like Climate Change, Pandemic and Terrorism require a global standard and solidarity. We have to believe in one world since the other alternative will undermine the world itself.

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Ultima chiamata, Italia (Marco Emanuele, The Science of Where Magazine)

Il Piano Nazionale di ripresa e resilienza (PNRR) rappresenta, pandemia compresa e a parte, l’ultima chiamata per il nostro Paese.
Qui si esprime soddisfazione per questo obiettivo dichiarato. Ora arriva la parte complicata, la realizzazione. Chi ha esperienza del sistema Italia, Draghi per primo, sa quanto i prossimi mesi e anni saranno – al contempo – difficili e fondamentali. Perché il PNRR non rappresenta solo un elenco di progetti atti a migliorare il Paese Italia ma è, sia chiaro, la possibilità di ripensare completamente il suo assetto complessivo.
Nessuna delle parti del PNRR è neutra. Se lo si legge con attenzione, il che dovrà avvenire in questi giorni a opera di quanti si dicono sensibili al “bene comune” richiamato ieri dal Presidente del Consiglio, si scoprirà quanto ogni singola parte del documento sia interrrelata con ogni altra: è un documento complesso e nessuna realizzazione potrà avvenire senza attenzione al quadro generale, proiettato negli anni a venire e, dunque, transgenerazionale.
Auspico che, finalmente, con questa occasione nel nostro Paese la parola “riforma” venga tolta da una pericolosa retorica per essere collocata nel quadro di un progetto sistemico. Tutti siamo chiamati a collaborare: dai comportanti individuali alle decisioni strategiche (non solo politiche).
Mi preme sottolineare, tra gli altri, tre aspetti del piano e delle comunicazioni del Premier al Parlamento: la transizione digitale, la transizione ecologica, l’attenzione per il Sud.
Vorrei sottolineare come le due transizioni sopra richiamate rappresentino condizioni di sostenibilità (parola che manca nel titolo del PNRR …), di ripresa e di resilienza non solo per l’Italia ma per tutti i Paesi del mondo e per il pianeta nel suo complesso. Chi, come me, frequenta quotidianamente i think tank a livello globale, sa che vi è un grande dibattito planetario sulle transizioni digitale ed ecologica e su ciò che esse rappresentano in chiave di sviluppo equilibrato, competitivo-cooperativo, il più possibile giusto. Le due transizioni, in sostanza, sono una sfida epocale nel cambio di era che stiamo vivendo.
Ho richiamato l’attenzione per il Sud perché, nel quadro sistemico del PNRR, la progressiva riduzione dei divari territoriali è fondamentale per fare in modo che il sistema Italia cresca insieme. Per troppi anni, infatti, abbiamo “parlato” del Sud: ora è tempo di agire, al fine di considerare il Mezzogiorno d’Italia parte di una unica questione nazionale. Non esiste una questione meridionale. Questo tema, inoltre, colloca il Piano nel quadro locale e globale del contrasto alle crescenti disuguaglianze (e quelle territoriali sono decisive …) in ogni ambito.
Infine, mi si consenta una proposta. Riguardo al PNRR, farebbe bene il Governo a interessare le Università italiane per aprire canali di comunicazione e di collaborazione al fine della formazione delle giovani generazioni e per collaborare in termini di ricerca e di proposte strategiche alla sua realizzazione. L’unica strada per fare in modo che i giovani italiani si sentano parte del destino del proprio Paese è di coinvolgerli progettualmente (non per dare un premio ai migliori) in un lavoro che li comprenda come cammino per diventare classi dirigenti.
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