Professor Walsh: We Are Actually Moving into A New World Order

Professor Walsh: We Are Actually Moving into A New World Order

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A senior professor of international development studies believes that the world is moving into a new order and multilateralism on an equal status across nations is an essential issue.

In an interview with the secretariat of the 2nd International Conference on the Decline of the United States, Dr. Patrick Paul Walsh, full professor of International Development Studies, shared his talks about the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“The world is in trouble,” Dr. Walsh noted, “so we want to work on pathways to sustainability in the environment. We like to talk about inclusion in society. We like to talk about the end of poverty. We like to talk about the end of war. But the reality is that we're still in the middle of COVID-19; we're living with COVID-19. The truth of it is that we've never been in such a dire situation as we are now.”

“The key thing to ensure is multilateralism on an equal status across nations,” Walsh said. “There should be no dominance of any country, there has to be a feeling that all countries have voices in a nice multilateral system, where obviously there should be a focus on nuclear disarmament and a permanent peace across all nations.”

Dr. Walsh believed that there is “a need to shift to sustainable and healthy diets and farming practices, which has basically gone wrong in a global sense.”

He also mentioned that “the focus now is on transforming cities, particularly looking at the digital [aspect] and the ecosystems that the digital systems offer us, including AI and all the other technologies.”

“It's just so important to embrace technology,” he added. “It can be used for good, but obviously there is a fear over privacy. But I would embrace technology, you just have to have the right governance. You have to have trust. You just have to have the right processes of doing something.” “Regarding financial programming,” he continued, “we need to make sure money is put in the right place. And that we do have to start redirecting money towards these sustainable development pathways.”

“Geopolitical cooperation is becoming vital,” Walsh asserted. “The rhetoric these days, unfortunately, is going in the wrong direction. People are talking about allies and who's with us, who's not with us? We are all on this planet together. We've got to embrace this idea that we all have something to contribute, there should be dialogue and cooperation. And there should not be the sort of alliances that escalate these dystopian pathways. People realize how dependent they are on nature, realize how dependent they are on people, not just in their own country, but also on people outside their country to build knowledge and to build a lifestyle, and to build a future where you coexist with honors and with nature in harmony, both within and outside of your country”.

“With all these dystopian threats,” he said, “no one country has any role to take leadership. If you look at Professor Jeffrey Sachs' recent podcasts, you see that he is highly critical of American foreign policy. [But] there is a need for people to start looking forward rather than focusing on the mistakes of the past.” In addition, he said, all people have to embrace the stable development education.

“We are actually moving into a new world order, which unfortunately we have to. This is the problem,” Walsh went on to say. “It's not like we have a choice anymore to keep going where we're going because it is absolutely going to end in humanity's extinction. That's where it's going to end. So that's our responsibility. Each and every person. But the nature has told us there is no one country who is in power here; that we all have to get together and to cooperate and to make sure that humanity can live in peace with nature. That is why there is an urgency that people embrace multilateralism. But it is absolutely right to say there has to be a feeling of mutual respect. There has to be a sense of equal participation to all of us across the different countries.”

“The world is full of unilateral actions,” he said, “and, of course, those with power and money have more opportunities to do these unilateral options, like private companies that are now becoming extremely powerful and pushing things in the wrong direction. They should come into dialogue in this kind of new vision for multilateralism. We all know that people are looking for reform of multilateralism.”

“Onus is on us to build the alternative pathway towards sustainable development,” Walsh believed, “and then, obviously, on people to use that alternative. But there is no doubt that everyone is better off if we can all learn to cooperate.”

“We have a broken multilateral system,” Dr. Walsh remarked. “We have a weak multilateral system, but it's up to each and every country to divert its resources and its rhetoric. Just say no. Let's build a multilateral system that we like. Let's put energy into that because there is a big return for humanity to do this. It’s brave people who will do this but we all know we have to do this because we're in a war with nature that we cannot win. So we have to do this.”

“Once all of us have a common mission,” Walsh concluded, “we all agree that we do not want to harm other people or nature whether intentionally or unintentionally, and we want to achieve our objectives in our own nation states. So I think what the pathways, sustainable development, ask of countries is just the values and ethics embedded in their political and economic and social systems and that they are consistent with not harming other countries, our nature. And then all countries can work together in a multinational structure to achieve sustainable development.”


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