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Opinion: An Achilles’ Heel: UNCTAD’s War on Perspective

By TeleSUR at 11:33 AM 5/31/2020 (PDT)

As the UN Conference on Trade and Development settles on the issue of post-war development, there is an indisputable fatal flaw in their plans. The conference has decided to model their plan in response to the novel COVID-19, citing that it is similar to “a ‘war’ both developed and developing countries are fighting” (Delegate from China). However, this surely is an interesting way to approach post-war economic development. War and a pandemic are very different.

War yields political, economic, and social implications that are unlike those of a pandemic. A pandemic, where most of the stress is on allocating adequate amounts of medical resources is largely different from a war, where countries are allocating massive amounts of money and resources to the war effort-- albeit they do result in the same economic depression. While war leads to massive ideological tensions in a nation or region, it is safe to say that the pandemic has brought the nations of the world together in unity. The assumption that war and a pandemic are the same in essence was a foolish take that only emphasizes the economic aspects, not the numerous political and social tensions that are a product of war.

This right-wing approach to war will surely be the downfall of this conference’s resolution. While the resolution was already facing some struggles—like funding, support from developing nations, and a byzantine GDP allocation system—what they based the resolution off of in the first place has its own Achilles’ heel. I asked them about this in our Q&A session, where I was soon assured that they had incorporated other approaches to their method, making it “applicable to any war economy” (Delegate from UNCTAD). However, as their debates and their consequent solution became more and more convoluted, I can only anticipate that this right- wing standing on post-war economies will be their downfall in the long run.

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