Speech at Sub-Session on International Relations of 2023 TCF by Vladimir Norov

November 07, 2023

About the author:

Vladimir NorovDistinguished Fellow of Taihe Institute, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (2019-2021), and Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan (2006-2010, 2022).

Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I express my gratitude to the organizers for inviting me to the Forum dedicated to the challenges and opportunities in the changing global order, which is particularly relevant at this time.
Today, the world is in geopolitical uncertainty and faces challenges related to the growth of diverging national interests and instability of societies and governments. The current global configuration differs from the world structure of the second half of the 20th century. Despite the high interdependence of countries and nations, the world community continues to remain fragmented and divided into autonomous and self-determining structures that function according to their own rules. The return to strategic competition and growing instability pose serious threats to the global economy and security, which contribute to the growth of geopolitical tensions, conflicts, proxy wars, and arms races.
Currently, geopolitical tension threatens economic and financial fragmentation. The introduction of financial restrictions, the increase in uncertainty, and the cross-border outflow of credit and investment caused by escalating tension increase the risks of prolonging government debt and financing costs. Global wealth has grown overall in recent decades, but at the expense of future prosperity and exacerbating inequality. The global economy has created a significant gap in the level of prosperity between developed and developing countries, leading to economic inequality. The poorest half of the world's population owns only 2% of all global wealth, while the top 10% of the wealthiest own 76%. This leads to social unrest, political instability, and increased migration.
At the same time, there is a crisis of leadership in the field of Global Economic Governance. The growing economic power of developing countries, such as China and India, leads to a weakening of the resource base and authority of economically developed countries. In these conditions, maintaining leading positions in regulating the global economy becomes increasingly difficult for economically developed countries. However, instead of maintaining their positions, economically developed countries should strive for cooperation and dialogue with developing countries to ensure peaceful and stable development of the global economy and politics. According to the World Bank, immediate action is needed to mobilize financial assistance and accelerate efforts to alleviate the debt burden for poorer countries. 
The current gap between the rich and poor is not inevitable. The experience of many European countries and China, where levels of economic inequality are relatively low, shows that the right policies can make a difference.
At the same time, the impact of climate change is being felt around the world, with rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and ecological imbalances. Most stakeholders agree that global warming poses a serious threat to biodiversity, food security, and human health, exacerbates refugee crises, fuels the recruitment of terrorist organizations, puts a strain on weak governments, and creates new geopolitical conflicts. The impending climate collapse could lead to growing social upheaval and a real possibility of planetary collapse within the lifetimes of those who inhabit the Earth.
Meanwhile, rapid technological changes are disrupting traditional industries, leading to job losses and economic upheavals. This also creates serious problems in terms of cybersecurity and data privacy.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution differs from previous technological epochs for four key reasons: digital technologies have changed all aspects of human life; geopolitics is no longer defined solely by states, but also by large technology platforms, non-state actors and communities, and individuals mobilized in the digital space; the scale and speed of technological shifts are unprecedented, and now we live on a "platform planet," in which elements of society, such as identity, markets, and political participation, go beyond rigid boundaries.
The development of robotics, unmanned transportation, and artificial intelligence is changing our lives and the nature of work. Some professions will gradually disappear, but others will emerge, including new and not yet existing ones. The only thing that is certain is that education will be the key to success in the new realities. It is human capital, i.e. the combination of knowledge, talents, skills, and abilities of people, that constitutes the main wealth of a country. Тhus, the prosperity of developed countries is ensured by human capital by 68%, while in developing countries, it is by 41%.
At the same time, in the developing global landscape, interconnectedness has created new opportunities for trade, investment, and cultural exchange. This has led to accelerated economic growth and improved living standards for many people. 
Technological progress is driving innovation in various sectors, leading to the emergence of new products and services that enhance people's lives. This includes advances in healthcare, renewable energy, and transportation. Technological advancements have also made it easier to communicate with people from around the world, opening up new markets and business opportunities.
Globalization has created a more interconnected world, allowing for expanded cooperation and the exchange of ideas. The developing global order has created opportunities for countries to collaborate on issues of mutual interest, such as climate change, cybersecurity, and global health. In this context, countries and global institutions must adapt to changing conditions, seek new forms of cooperation between states, strengthen their role in the global economy and politics.
It is important to maintain dialogue and cooperation in the interest of the global economy and politics to ensure stability and security in the world. 
China is actively adapting to the changing global landscape and seeking to strengthen its role in the global economy and politics. China is promoting its Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to expand trade and economic ties with other countries, particularly in Central Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America. China is also actively participating in international organizations such as the UN and WTO, and despite all difficulties, continues to develop relations with other leading economic powers, including the U.S. and the European Union.
In a world where the need for mutual trust, justice, and solidarity, open and constructive dialogue is growing, the activity of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization demonstrates to the world that such dialogue is possible, said the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the SCO summit in Samarkand last year. The head of state proposed the "Samarkand Initiative for Solidarity in the Name of Common Security and Prosperity" to partners. The goal of the Samarkand Declaration is to involve everyone who cares about the future, who is ready to seek common solutions despite conflicts and disagreements, and who shares the principles of the "Spirit of Samarkand" in a global inter-civilizational dialogue.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the developing global order creates both problems and opportunities that require innovative solutions and cooperation between countries for their effective resolution.
I wish to all participants of the Forum very fruitful work.
Thank you for your attention.










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