The COVID-19 pandemic has undermined the stability of the international financial architecture while exacerbating existing issues within the global financial system. On the one hand, it has pushed public debt levels around the world to historic high. In the G7 advanced economies, the debt-to-GDP ratio will reach 138% in 2021. In emerging Asian markets, this ratio will get almost to 72%, while in Latin American and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, it will inflate up to 75,6% and 56% respectively.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected countries globally regardless of regime type. Nonetheless, for an extended period throughout this pandemic, non-democratic regimes seemed to have performed better than democracies.
It seems that not only the economy and health care systems, but also human rights and democracy have proven particularly fragile during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even in more consolidated democracies, governments did not always succeed in ensuring that all the restrictions were necessary and proportionate to the threat to the lives of their citizens.
On the 23rd of July 2021, the Communist Party of China (from now on, CCP) will officially turn 100 years old—an event that marks the achievement of the first ‘Centenary goal’ set by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Despite Covid-19-imposed international mobility restrictions, posts and videos on social media platforms like Weibo or Douyin conjure vivid images of the ‘red fever’ currently running through the country.
Today, celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are being held in Beijing.
Looking back at how major international magazines commented on Xi Jinping’s rise as General Secretary in 2012 is a helpful exercise in understanding what the international community was expecting.
Climate change is a quintessentially global problem which, to be properly addressed, requires a collective solution with the collaboration and commitment of all countries at all levels of government (local, regional, and international). However, this does not imply that all regions around the world are equally affected by this phenomenon. Africa, for example, is among the regions that are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of global warming and climate change.
At last, Ethiopia will have its federal and regional council elections on June 21st. Amid an ongoing conflict in Tigray, heightened international pressure, worsening economic situation due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, boiling tensions with Egypt and Sudan, and increased ethnic divisions within the country, this election takes place at a critical juncture in Ethiopia’s contemporary history.
When it comes to Iran, the European approach has always been characterized by a degree of pragmatism. Contrary to the US policy of isolation and containment, the European Union has been advocating for engagement since the beginning of Iran’s reconstruction era in 1989. Even with ups and downs, the EU has tried to maintain dialogue, either in the form of “critical dialogue” or “comprehensive dialogue”.
The coming Iranian June 18th presidential election that is expected to herald a conservative victory will have implications not only for Iranian domestic politics and internal consolidation but also for the Saudi Iranian rivalry that has played out in the wider Middle East. Recent revelations about clandestine security-led Saudi-Iranian meetings orchestrated and held in Baghdad, point to a tactical recalibration away from the period of heightened regional tensions and acrimony experienced under the turbulent Trump years.