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Doha Forum 2019: Reimagining Governance in a MultiPolar World

With adversities and inequality resulting from war and poverty, opportunities seem to lie in a worldwide transition from unipolarity to multipolarity. In a fight for justice, rule of law, and equality amongst others, such a shift is expected to dominate the foreseeable future. There are multiple dimensions to this paradigm-shift that go beyond just a political framework. With so many rising powers on the global stage, there is a need to explore the significance of this shift and reimagine a dynamic global governance system that is a relevant to our current situation. The legitimacy of only a few countries at the forefront of international conflicts has diminished. People, goods, and values are all transnational. No one state or group of states can manage current and emerging global challenges on their own. Are hegemons relinquishing their influence or consciously withdrawing from their responsibility towards the international community? We collectively need to think of a holistic governance system that is moral, cooperative, and practical.

Our new normal, is that nation states as well as non-state actors now compete for political, military, and economic influence. Countries range in their reach and relevance on the international landscape. Non-state actors, NGOs, socio-political and religious movements, transnational companies and virtual-world agents play key transformative roles. The uniqueness of what we are living rests on the contradiction of interconnectivity of the world amidst conflicts for what are perceived to be global values. Many global issues are affecting all of us and propagating to micro levels. For example, climate change is a threat to all of us and is related to the livelihood of people and the global economy. Migration is an international challenge that needs to be collectively managed while also ensuring the rights of refugees and displaced people. As a leading thought platform, this year Doha Forum will delve into topics of;

Trends and technology

Trade and investment

Human capital and inequality

Security, cybergovernance, and defense

International organizations, civil society, and non-state actors

Culture and identity

What should be the way forward? Global governance and leadership is vital to the sustainability of our systems and standard of life. Multilateral agreements are being challenged; regional organizations are being questioned. There is a need for alternative governance that can accommodate diversity, diplomacy, and dialogue.

In our current paradigm, how long lasting is the impulsion of certain countries to take unilateral decisions or positions? In a multipolar era, can we discuss and engage in a system in which sovereignty is respected and more emphasis is put on the flexibility of individual countries as well as inclusiveness in the decision-making process?

Cultivating on last year’s key contributions, Doha Forum will bring together this year a distinguished group of leaders, thinkers, and policy makers to tackle the above questions and reimagine a global governance that addresses our collective needs and priorities.