IENNA – In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world almost beyond recognition. And yet the international cooperation that is so essential to confront a shared threat has been nowhere to be found. This should not be a surprise: our failure to respond effectively to the COVID-19 crisis reflects deeply entrenched – and severely skewed – values and priorities.
In 1952, the American statesman Adlai Stevenson declared: “The great enemies of man are war, poverty, and tyranny, and their assaults on human dignity, which are the most grievous consequences of each.” Nearly seven decades later, those enemies remain as powerful as ever.
War continues to dominate – and disrupt – the human timeline. Despite the horrors we have collectively experienced, violence remains our default response to differences. Three decades after the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons – and the terrifying doctrine of mutual assured destruction – remain a pillar of global security.