Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015
Comment of the Day

December 03 2014

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from the World Economic Forum which will form the basis of discussions at next year’s event. Here is a section: 

What we see today is a pattern of persistent, multidimensional competition and the simultaneous weakening of established relationships, a trend that trickles down and spills over into multiple sectors and issues. In this fluid, amorphous world order, we must manage both asymmetric and symmetric challenges together. The changing relationship between world powers has reduced the political energy available for tackling shared problems like climate change and global health, not to mention second-order crises. Chaos has festered.

Yet in the face of potential globalization (and indeed de-globalization), rising nationalism and a deepening disbelief in multilateralism, the most important lesson from 2014 is that we cannot remain passive. We need more international cooperation, not less.

?Regional and global intergovernmental organizations will be put to greater tests; meanwhile institutions like the World Economic Forum must continue to create a confluence of private and public actors, civil society and academia to impress upon political leaders the importance of collective reflection. Far from improving conditions for its participants, the current pattern of geostrategic competition threatens to harm us all.

Eoin Treacy's view

Here is a link to the full report .

Ballooning revenues from high commodity prices paper over a lot of cracks for energy producers; not least those with kleptocratic or despotic tendencies. Governance is Everything and with lower energy prices, pressure will inevitably come to bear on those countries incapable of the reforms needed to spur continued growth in the absence of surging oil revenues. 

At the recent OPEC meeting it was Venezuela that pleaded most fervently for a cut to output. Considering that nationalisation of production reduced its capacity to increase supply, lower energy prices suggest an additional devaluation of the Bolivar is likely. 

The government have been highly supportive of aspiring communist/socialist regimes in its hinterland over the last decade. Disputes with Colombia over support for the FARC rebels, vocal support for Cuba, spearheading the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, close ties with Ecuador’s Rafael Correa among other foreign policy initiatives have been a lot easier with the dividend from high oil prices and may be unsustainable. Public protests that have been ongoing for the last year reflect just how much pressure the administration is under as oil prices decline. 

It is inevitable that lower commodity prices will contribute to increased geopolitical tensions and not just in Russia. 


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