In less than four years, outgoing United States (US) President Donald Trump has achieved what, historically, only devastating wars had done: recast the global order. With his isolationism, wannabe authoritarianism, and sheer capriciousness, Trump gleefully took a sledgehammer to the international institutions and multilateral organisations his predecessors had built from the ashes of World War II and maintained ever since.
The American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech have announced that the COVID-19 vaccine they are jointly developing was more than 90 percent effective in early clinical trials. The news raised hopes around the world that life may soon return to pre-pandemic normal.Those hopes may not last long.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores just how tightly interwoven humanity has become. A single infected animal somewhere in China set in motion a chain reaction with effects that, nearly a year later, are still reverberating in every corner of the planet. This should not be particularly surprising. The history of pandemics tracks our unification as a species. The Black Death travelled on new trade routes forged between Europe and Asia in the Middle Ages.
Indonesia has the largest number of COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia. As a solution, the populous ASEAN member state has tried to obtain a vaccine as a way to minimise the spread of the coronavirus in its population of over 273.5 million.The recent visit of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan to China is one of Indonesia's steps to obtain a vaccine from the country.
As I write this, officials across the United States (US) in the 2020 US presidential election are faced with recounts and legal challenges. This is to be expected in a hotly contested election that generated a record turnout.While only citizens may vote for the US president, the outcome in the world’s most powerful country affects people everywhere. On the positive side, the US remains a robust democracy.
Buoyed by the success of hosting the Asian Games 2018, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo affirmed Indonesia's bid to host the 2032 Olympics, and is set to compete with Australia, Germany, India, Qatar, and a unified (North and South) Korea in the bidding process.“The 2018 Asian Games and Asian Para Games have been successfully held. It has improved our confidence and is an eye-opener for the world that Indonesia is capable of hosting international events.
At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, participants promised to advance the rights of women and girls everywhere. Part of that promise, set out in the historic Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, was to ensure education for all girls.
America’s allies should be forgiven if they are confused about where American foreign policy is headed. Who isn’t, given the go-it-alone recklessness of Donald Trump’s presidency? Over the past three years, Trump has sowed strategic chaos, and his foreign policy, if one can call it that, brought new meaning to incoherence. President-elect Joe Biden will be better almost by default.
Joe Biden has survived a gruelling election campaign and a cliff-hanger election. Next, he must fend off legal challenges from United States (US) President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Elections tend to bring differences to the fore. That is certainly true of the United States’ (US) recent presidential election. Among the most bitterly contested elections in the country’s history, the outcome will have profound implications for many aspects of US policy.