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No clear leadership in int'l community; platform open for smaller nations
Updated: 2020-07-08 16:02:23 KST
Since the United Nations was founded 75 years ago, there have been no world warsproving what sort of role the UN plays in international order.
But at the same time, it is undeniable that international institutions have been losing trust and the meaning of international cooperation has regressed as more and more countries are prioritizing their own interests.
One notable example is the United States.
The U.S. served as an uncontested world leader, encouraging cooperation in all fields. But, after President Trump took office, the U.S. began to withdraw from international bodies.
Renowned political scientists have now coined the term "G-Zero" it means "every nation for itself".
For an in-depth look into the shifting world order, we have Professor Song Se-ryun from Kyung Hee University joining us in the studio today.
Welcome to the program.


Would you say the end of a single, superpower nation leading international institutions was inevitable? Did we see it coming? Or is it more to do with America being more focused on "nation-building" at home?

Looking at one of the UN's six principle organs, the Security Council which has five veto-holding permanent members are the victorious powers of 1945. But since then, a lot has changed in international order, and reform is perhaps needed not only for the UN and within, but also with other bodies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, or NATO. What needs to happen for power shifts to occur within international organizations?

This world disorder also comes a few years after we've acknowledged that there's a vacuum of power in international politics. Now, there's this new term "G-Zero" would you say that it's a by-product stemming from an absence in leadership?

Does this change at all if there's a new president in the U.S. following November's election?

While America has become tired of being a superpower, other countries have been busy not in the sense of replacing the U.S. but definitely pushing Washington out of position. The platform is now open for countries that have not been considered as traditional so-called super powers. Which states do you see playing an active role in leadership?

While there's been no clear leadership in international politics, we were faced with a global COVID-19 pandemic, which has undoubtedly highlighted the need for international cooperation.
Not only to develop vaccines, but also to recover from the economic fallout.
Is the coronavirus outbreak the last straw or rather an opportunity for a fresh approach?

The United States and China stand at opposite ends when it comes to COVID-19. The U.S. has long blamed China for the virus, and today, the U.S. decided that it will pull out from the WHO an organization which received criticism for, what was seen as, taking China's side. The recent move from the U.S. not only shows that there is a row between the two sides but also an absence of a superpower within the UN. What's your say?

We need international cooperation. Not just to overcome this pandemic, but also to deal with climate change, or nuclear proliferation. But it's not going to be formed overnight. How do you see this panning out in the future?

Alright, deep insight into shifting international order, thank you for your comments professor, we really appreciate it.
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