The United Nations (UN) General Assembly meets this week (Sept. 22-29) to celebrate its 75th anniversary and address significant global challenges. There is no shortage of them: a global pandemic, a devastating economic crisis, an unprecedented explosion in the number of refugees, and the beginning of a new normal of growing conflicts between the United States and China in the dispute for global hegemony.
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A feeling of collective insanity has overtaken the world since the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019) emerged in Wuhan, China. The virus—more lethal than influenza—was initially treated lightly by the West. This approach showed the lack of preparedness of many countries in dealing with the epidemics we are currently facing. Instead of implementing immediate measures to deal with the challenges imposed, some political and business leaders started labeling COVID-19 as the Chinese virus or Kung-Flu. Asian people around the world have been attacked or ostracized, enhancing racial discrimination and unfairness.
Once the traditional Western year-end celebrations are concluded, understanding some of the changes that will take place in this new decade of the 21st century become essential. The expression 20/20 is used in ophthalmology to reflect acuity in vision. Perhaps no time in recent history has required more acuity in long term vision and perspective regarding the significant changes to occur in the 21st century.
There is no doubt that China's 70th Anniversary celebration was the display of a new world superpower. From the military parade to the issuance of a paper reporting China's role in the New Era, it is clear that the country, whose current political system was established on 1 October 1949, is much different, more assertive and with a clear perspective of the role it wants to play in the international scenario. Everywhere in Beijing, the Chinese National Anthem was played, reminding the Chinese to: "Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves; with our very flesh and blood, Let us build our new Great Wall!"
If one opens the newspapers nowadays, Brazil will come out as a melting opportunity. The country is currently facing its largest economic crisis, mostly resulting from a negative political environment where the current Administration has been deeply swollen by Brazil´s largest corruption scandal, the so-called Lava Jato (Car Wash) Operations, whose investigations have brought to light the fact that billions of US$ dollars were being used for campaign financing, illicit enrichment and to secure political support for the government.