2021: Year of Hope

We left behind a year that had come to symbolize of falls, disease, and destruction and now face 2021, a year with challenges, hope and construction. The political and social agenda has many challenges not only at the national level but also at the international level.

Climate change: The health crisis effectively suspended the environment’s claims on out attention, and 2020 was a lost year for the climate cause. America’s departure from the Paris agreements was a sting for climate struggle, but with the change in the American administration hope returns to movements like the #Fridaysforfuture. United States: On January 20, with the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new occupant of the White House and Kamala Harris as America’s first female vice president, the world’s eyes will be on this duo, hoping for a change in policy from the past four years. Internally, the immediate focus will be on managing the social emergency prompted by COVID-19. Internationally, reducing tensions and returning the United States to the international stage as a key player in restructuring multilateralism will be a key aim. Tony Blinker’s signing as Secretary of State is an encouraging sign for these priorities.

The European Union: The old continent has a historic opportunity with the management of the health crisis and the exit of the United Kingdom to recompose its structures. Europe has a project for itself and for the international system. This year the European Union must prioritise its international relations; this will mean defining the rules of the game with Russia and Turkey, and re-establishing constructive relations with the United States. Europe’s external relations will be marked by the already scheduled regional meetings with Africa and Latin America.

Africa: AFCFTA came into force on 1 January. The official launch of the African continental free trade area presages the creation of the world’s largest free trade area and experts expect great potential for this agreement. Africa is also facing political change this year through elections in Uganda, Ethiopia, Benin, Somalia, South Sudan, Zambia, Cape Verde, Chad, and Gambia. With the exception Somalia and South Sudan, these countries are expecting and hoping for quiet elections.

2020 was a year few would be keen to repeat, a horrible year in many ways, but however difficult this year has been and however difficult the months to come, recovery is the ideal opportunity to reshape society. We may never get a better chance for a better world.

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