The year 2020 is now upon us and there are many people out there who are already looking to what will happen this year. But the world doesn’t stop spinning. While there are so many unknowns out there, 2020 is yet another year where global leaders will need to deal with many emerging issues. Well, in this post, we take a look at three possible crises the world could face this year.
First, there is a real possibility that the world may actually see an increased proliferation of nuclear weapons. There is also the matter of climate change and the idea of restoring confidence and faith in the United Nations. But preserving the current nuclear regime seems like the most important and perhaps the most immediate concern. This is one issue that could have catastrophic consequences on the planet.
Ever since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War, the world has worked very hard to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and so far things have worked out just fine. Much of this success has been down to many things, but the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or the NPT has been one of the most important factors.
The treaty came into force over 50 years ago but just recently its effectiveness has been called to question by global powers. The NPT was based on three crucial pillars. First, it is designed to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by a non-nuclear state. Secondly, it aims to promote access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The treaty also creates a framework for gradual disarmament of nuclear weapons by all the powers.
So far, the first two pillars seem to have worked well albeit with a lot of challenges. But there is concern that the gradual disarmament process has hit a snag. Nuclear states have not only increased their arsenals of nuclear weapons but have improved the weapons they already have significantly. The escalating tensions between Pakistan and India, in particular, will be a major concern since these two nations are nuclear-armed.
It will also be interesting to see how global powers deal with Iran. The Persian nation has restarted its nuclear program after Trump disbanded an earlier deal struck by former President Barack Obama. Besides the NPT holds a review meeting every five years and there is one due in May 2020. We will get a clear direction on how effective the treaty might be moving forward during this meeting.
Climate change will also be a hot issue in 2020. There is a meeting planned for March 23 this year that may bring in a new legally binding climate change agreement by all UN member countries. There is likely to be more ambitious climate targets this year too but the commitment of the United States will be key in it.
Finally, there’s also talk that 2020 may just be the year the UN will be reinvigorated. The body has off late become very toothless and member states seem to be losing confidence in it. This may change this year if all goes well.