Weakened International Cooperation Damaging Collective Will to Tackle Global Risks
16 Jan 2019
· Rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions are the most urgent risk in 2019, with 90% of experts saying they expect further economic confrontation between major powers in 2019
· Environmental degradation is the long-term risk that defines our age, with four of the top five most impactful global risks in 2019 related to climate
· Rapidly evolving cyber and technological threats are the most significant potential blind spots; we still do not fully appreciate the vulnerability of networked societies
London, United Kingdom, 16 January 2019 – The world’s ability to foster collective action in the face of urgent major crises has reached crisis levels, with worsening international relations hindering action across a growing array of serious challenges. Meanwhile, a darkening economic outlook, in part caused by geopolitical tensions, looks set to further reduce the potential for international cooperation in 2019. These are the findings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019, which is published today.
The Global Risks Report, which incorporates the results of the annual Global Risks Perception Survey of approximately 1,000 experts and decision-makers, points to a deterioration in economic and geopolitical conditions. Trade disputes worsened rapidly in 2018 and the report warns that growth in 2019 will be held back by continuing geo-economic tensions, with 88% of respondents expecting further erosion of multilateral trading rules and agreements.
If economic headwinds pose a threat to international cooperation, efforts will be further disrupted in 2019 by rising geopolitical tensions among major powers, according to the report. Eighty-five percent of respondents to this year’s survey said they expect 2019 to involve increased risks of “political confrontations between major powers”. The report discusses the risks associated with what we describe as a “multiconceptual” world order – one in which geopolitical instabilities reflect not only changing power balances but also the increasing salience of differences on fundamental values…