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Geopolitical outlook at Davos 2022: 'War is not the answer' 

Leaders from Poland, USA, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Finland and Pakistan discuss the global geopolitical outlook at Davos 2022

Leaders from Poland, USA, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Finland and Pakistan discuss the global geopolitical outlook at Davos 2022 Image: World Economic Forum

Lukas Bester
Writer, Forum Agenda
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • In a panel discussion at Davos 2022, foreign affairs leaders, and Andrzej Duda, president of Poland, shared their perspectives on the global geopolitical outlook.
  • Panelists emphasized that unity in the face of unprecedented challenges is crucial.

"I cannot accept that the world just turns a blind eye to the crisis in Ukraine - this war affects all of us," said president Andrzej Duda of Poland in an emphatic discussion with other foreign policy leaders at Davos 2022.

Highlighting the direct consequences of Russia's invasion on not just Ukraine, but the rest of the world too, panelists feared that self-serving politics could undo the global rules-based order.

Agreeing with Duda, Gregory Meeks, US Congressman and Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, stressed that "the camera of history is rolling on all of us now. In our interdependent world, none of us are safe until all of us are safe."

Taking a pragmatic stance, Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan noted that "the success of the global liberal order has been respecting and understanding the varying interests of countries. If we, the current global leaders choose confrontation at this critical period over collaboration - we will create a much, much more dangerous place for future generations."

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Panelists pointed not only to the Russia-Ukraine conflict as having a consequential impact on the current rules-based global order, but also the rise of new superpowers, and the looming food crisis. José Manuel Albares Bueno, Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, said that "the blockades of grain from Ukraine could have catastrophic impacts on our neighbours in North Africa. Already, immigration, poverty and terrorism is a major concern in this region - the food crisis will make things even worse."

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With Spain set to host the upcoming NATO summit, a question of values and cooperation was a constant theme for panelists. José Manuel Albares Bueno, Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs called from a strong response to the war in Ukraine from this "alliance of democracy that is NATO."

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Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, spoke enthusiastically on closer alignment with like-minded allies: "It is a tragedy that the European security system, which has been so well guarded, is now under immense pressure. Only a like-minded spirit in diplomacy will see us live up to the challenges we're already facing. I'm happy to say that, for the most part, diplomatic channels remain open and collaborative."

Hina Rabbani Khar discussing challenges facing global geopolitics at Davos 2022
Hina Rabbani Khar discussing challenges facing global geopolitics at Davos 2022 Image: World Economic Forum

These consequential changes to the geopolitical reality may lead to the emergence of new voices in the post-pandemic world. H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia said that "If the world continues to change as it is, we must find avenues and mechanisms to keep talking to each other. We need to understand each other's interests. Conflicts and food security are major issues. However, even if we have differences, we must rebuild and work toward having a global order that keeps the interests of all countries in mind - especially the developing ones."

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