2021: A year of Hope and Healing

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for 2021 to be a “year of healing” and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the snowballing effects of climate change. Both of these challenges are of global significance and require global solidarity and action to overcome, and moving towards a sustainable future. Even though the global community pitched in their great efforts to fast track the vaccine development but at the same time, World Health Organization warns us of a much bigger catastrophe if stern measures were not taken by the global community. This requires allocation of abundant resources to the healthcare, like training the health workers, investing in healthcare and biotechnology, informing citizens about their safety and thinking ahead of time. Similarly, climate action is mandatory in the forthcoming year to safeguard the rapid extinction of the biodiversity of our planet and reverse the damages we wrecked on this green planet. This will require binding obligations and agreements, otherwise, the carbon-free and the plastic-free world is unimaginable. Another great peril the world is facing is the socio-economic disruption fashioned by the technology, which will affect on many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. At one end, it is making humans more contended but on the other, it is at a cost, the whole world will be paying. For example, technological developments like AI will not only alter the job markets but entails the ethical and moral debate. At one end it is pacifying the international relations and mitigating the threats of misadventures but on other hand, it is yielding a weapon system we have never imagined before. It is not clear where these tensions will lead us, but our path in this increasingly technology-dependent world will be decided to a great extent by the social, political, and economic choices we make now. Climate change, recovery from coronavirus, and mitigating the impacts of technological disruptions should be the focus of the decision-makers. Let’s call this year, a year a recovery and healing but with a call to action.

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