Geopolitics: the most relevant global risk

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In the midst of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos, Switzerland, the report assessing the main global risks was presented

Geopolitics: the most relevant global risk

Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published issue number 14 of the report that collects global risks. Thus, among the main concerns that this report presents are geopolitical and geo-economic tensions, the environmental crisis and now the crisis due to cyber attacks. However, the increase in geopolitical tensions is the most urgent threat in 2019.

Leer en español: Geopolítica: el riesgo global más importante

Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, reaffirms the above because the geopolitical and geo-economic tension of the world's leading powers is increasing. "These tensions represent the most urgent global risks at present. The world is evolving towards a period of divergence after a period of globalization that profoundly altered the global political economy. The reconfiguration of the relationships of the deeply integrated countries is fraught with potential risks, and trade and investment," said Brende.

He also stressed that due to these geopolitical tensions, it is more difficult to move forward on different issues or global challenges, such as protecting the environment or "responding to the ethical challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution." He also added that the growing nationalism of world politics could be considered as a risk that increases fastly.

Could the world be asleep in a crisis?

That is the question that the report poses within the risk of geopolitics. Although global risks are intensifying, there is a deficiency in how to deal with them. The product of the above is the desire to regain control, either in national issues (power struggle within the country) or in the international arena (as multilateral or supranational organizations). This is how it is proposed that the more a state is involved in the recovery of national control, the more risk there is in the face of possible global solutions.

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Globalization: a double-edged sword

While globalization has benefited in different respects the relations of different countries, the fact that each one is fighting for their interests puts them at higher risk of "making the reconfiguration of relations easy." Similarly, the report, which is based on the results of a survey of 1,000 experts from different fields, 85% of respondents concluded that in 2019 the "political confrontations between the major powers" will be presented, which will make it difficult international cooperation

The previous is evident in the current global crisis. From the commercial wars (such as the one in the United States and China) to the dissolution of the arms treaties, they are just little sketches that cooperation between countries is in decline and that focusing attention on these crises is the key to avoid a major disaster not only in the political sphere, but in the economic, environmental and even cybernetic.


The types of risks

In the Global Risk Report, risks are classified concerning probability, impact, interconnections, and trends. The main risks for 2019 by probability are extreme weather events (floods, storms, etc.); failure of mitigation and adaptation to climate change; major natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.); a massive incident of fraud/data theft; and large-scale cyber attacks.

Meanwhile, the main risks by impact are weapons of mass destruction; failure of mitigation and adaptation to climate change; extreme weather events; water crisis; and great natural disasters.

Finally, among the risks due to interconnections and main trends are: extreme weather events; failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; large-scale cyber attacks + disruption of critical infrastructures and information networks; high structural unemployment or underemployment, among others.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Geopolítica: el riesgo global más importante"

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