In the last few weeks, the news of a 25-year comprehensive strategic agreement secretly signed by the Iranian government with its Chinese counterpart has gained an exaggerate attention from international media and some prominent political figures both within and outside Iran.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health emergency but a multi-dimensional crisis for Afghanistan, casting “a huge shadow” over daily lives, Deborah Lyons, newly appointed head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan told the Security Council on Thursday, June 25.
After 6-years of rapid development, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has entered a new era in terms of quality development. In this grand picture, cities acting as sub-state actors along the BRI, have gained new momentum for displaying geographic significance and economic attractiveness. This paper intends to define cities’ role in the joint promotion of BRI, exemplify how cities will prosper in the process and explore new opportunities of investment after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most countries along the BRI are developing countries and emerging economies. They account for 31 percent of the global GDP, but constitute about 62 percent of world’s population(1). At the same time, the ecological environment is very fragile, due to the distribution of most of the global biodiversity hotspots(2). 58 percent of the world’s deserts are also concentrated in this area(3). In a certain sense, the historical Silk Road is also an international transmission channel for dust and pollutants(4).
Warnings from the Arab world against the Israeli government’s plan to annex territories in the West Bank have been mounting in recent weeks. Various Arab leaders conveyed, in public and in private, messages that annexation will radicalize Palestinians, damage the peace process, prevent normalization of Israel-Arab ties, jeopardize regional stability, could ignite a religious war, and will be considered a crime.
Chinese officials have been repeatedly calling for closer cooperation with Europe, but the era of Covid-19 has made China-EU relations sour to an unprecedented low level since the two formally established diplomatic relations, 45 years ago.
The Covid-19 pandemic currently acts as a magnifying glass under which we can view the state of international cooperation. What we see there is cause for deep concern. We are observing a global health crisis to which only a few countries have reacted quickly, transparently and on the basis of facts. Too often, trivialisation, cover-ups or the spreading of conspiracy theories have prevented an effective response.
The global Covid-19 epidemic has abruptly changed our ways of life, our relationships, our work. Reduced mobility and safety measures have put a halt to conferences and many of the “social” activities that belong to a think tank’s daily life and work.
While about 10,000 people in Africa were registered as positive to the coronavirus as of April 7 – a marginal figure if compared to data coming from Europe, Asia or North America – the pandemic outbreak has already had huge, multilayered and sometimes hard-to-detect impacts on the continent.
In Latin America (LatAm), line ministries are usually responsible for sectoral policy development and in charge of infrastructure planning (long-term plans), programming (medium to short-term programs) and individual project appraisal. Furthermore, in most of LatAm countries, there are inter-sectoral development plans and programs, compiled by planning secretaries or ministries of economy and finance, which include the previous sectoral efforts.