vigliotti1_Horst Galuschkapicture alliance via Getty Images_eib Horst Galuschka/picture alliance via Getty Images

Multilateralism and the Private Sector

In gatherings this summer and later this year, G20 member states will confront a raft of global issues that require their attention and cooperation. But while inter-governmental cooperation is crucial, so, too, are strategies to leverage the ingenuity and capacity of businesses and the financial industry.

BRUSSELS – In an age mediated by advanced technology, it is easy to forget that human beings – and life itself – depend entirely on fragile planetary conditions. Now that a growing number of serious – if not existential – threats are confronting us, this is a basic truth with which we would do well to reacquaint ourselves. Climate change, critical supply shortages, biodiversity loss, and devastating pandemics are exposing our societies’ vulnerabilities like never before.

No country can hope to escape these challenges or tackle them alone. Although multilateral cooperation is difficult on a good day, it is most important when times are tough. It is in moments of crisis that we must overcome narrow interests and focus on cooperation, pooling our resources, and improving how we make and implement collective decisions.

This month’s G20 meetings in Indonesia come at one of those moments. Owing to Russia’s war in Ukraine, drought, and other factors, millions of people around the world are facing critical shortages of food and energy, which are occurring alongside record-breaking heatwaves in Europe, China, South Asia, and other parts of the world. In the absence of concerted global action, these crises could easily escalate into large-scale humanitarian disasters.

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