Of course, before entering into this topic, it may be more appropriate to ask when corona will leave and whether it intends to return after departure. Or, if the virus makes a comeback, will it be deadlier than it is today, and many other such questions that have not been answered by more specialized authorities, especially the World Health Organization, as the world’s number one body in charge of the case which has currently been turned into a battlefield for a tug of war between the United States and China.
These questions, and what has been raised in recent months about the future of the international community and the global economy, are completely legitimate, and as long as we do not know the duration of the crisis, its vastness and how to overcome it, trying to answer these questions will be random and accidental.
Of course, there is almost a general consensus on how the world and its dominant order that will prevail after COVID 19 will look like, especially that after this crisis a different order awaits the international community. But how to achieve this perception as to whether it monitors acceleration of the existing trends or paradigm shifts, or whether the next world is better or worse than the current world, we must patiently wait for the future to decide.
However, given the situation in which we find ourselves, we can see lessons from the crisis that are regarded as a shock to the global order by COVID19:
The first lesson is that the US-led international order that was established after World War II is no longer accepted as a reality of power relations in the 21st century. This order had been weakened even before the corona crisis, and some likened it to the era after the collapse of the Communist bloc in 1989.
The end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Socialist Soviet Union, and the rise of China upset the global balance based on the two pillars of the United States and the Soviet Union. The bipolar system was emerging in a multipolar disorder, with advantages and disadvantages that, at the very least, were better than before and intended to become a multilateral global government.
The next lesson suggests that the consequences of the health crisis shock have far-reaching implications, and in the early stages, China’s powerful emergence has upset the entire existing system and order. The World Health Organization’s delay in warning the international community about the dangers of COVID 19 has exposed Beijing’s dominance over the organization and its policy of joining the United Nations.
The rivalry and tug of war between China and the United States in accusing each other of being the origin of the coronavirus and the two superpowers often spend more energy fighting each other, even in the United States, rather than better managing the health of their people.
Another lesson is that the United States will lose its role as a world leader in the 20th century. Meantime, it is clear that the US role has been subjected to suspicion over the past several years and the current crisis has severely weakened this role. A European analyst said jokingly, “President Trump should be asked to accept and attend international conferences hosted by video conferencing and chaired by Mr Trump.”
The UN Security Council too, as responsible for world peace and security, has been almost crippled and has been unable to issue even a single resolution in recent months regarding the widespread COVID 19.
The European Union has finally failed to resist the onslaught of the coronavirus, and this overblown union, unable to predict the crisis and being disarmed against it, has failed to even establish the least solidarity among the member states which had the most contamination.
The self-centeredness of EU members and their return to national borders has jeopardized the two main pillars of European unity, the Schengen rules and the single market. The union, abandoned by the Americans and relying on China with cold relations with Russia, continues to pursue its multilateralism. Many proponents of European unity believe that if the EU intends to have a real and lasting impact on the global order after the corona crisis, and not just endure it, it must put its economic reconstruction, solidarity and unity on the agenda and work seriously from now on.
The Last Point
Changes in what is called the world order are happening so fast that it is very difficult to make any predictions or judgments about the future. It is clear that Iran’s COVID19 crisis diplomacy must be based on more creativity and regional and trans-regional cooperation and preparation for the day after the departure of coronavirus so that we would not be the mere country receiving the bill for the costs of future world order.