We urgently need major cooperation on global security in the COVID-19 era

Published in World Economic Forum

By Robert Muggah

The world is entering a volatile and unstable new phase. Scientists are increasingly confident that the COVID-19 pandemic threat will persist, possibly for years. The global economy is headed for an economic nose dive that could rival, even exceed, the Great Depression. With supply chains fragmenting, food supplies coming under strain, and prices rising, the lights are flashing red. Not only will this translate into rising unemployment and food insecurity, but it could quickly escalate into political unrest, violence, and conflict.

While some forms of crime have decreased, tensions are already flaring around the world, and not just in war zones. Protests, many of them violent, have broken out from Brazil and India to KosovoMalawi and South Africa. Police repression is also increasing from Kenya to the Philippines. Signs of fragility are not confined to poorer countries or even to marginalized communities in wealthier cities. The yellow vests movement has taken to the streets of Paris, while armed protesters have marched on state assemblies in the US denouncing the lock-down.

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