Yangon - All politics are local, goes the old aphorism. Today, we can say that all problems are global. As world leaders meet at the G8 Summit in Italy, they will have to update their politics to grapple with problems that not one of them can solve alone.
The last few years have been a cascade of interconnected crises: financial panic, rising food and oil prices, climate shocks, a flu pandemic and more. Political cooperation to address these problems is not a nicety. It is a global necessity.
The intensity of global interconnectedness is stunning. The H1N1 influenza was identified in a Mexican village in April. It has now reached over 100 countries. The collapse of Lehman Brothers last September was transmitted worldwide within days. Soon, even the most remote villages in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were feeling the shock of reduced remittance income, cancelled investment projects, and falling export prices. In the same way, climate shocks in parts of Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas contributed to soaring food prices that hit the poor and created instability and hardships in dozens of countries.
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