Ideas Conclave 2020 Held At Jinnah Institute

Jinnah Institute’s flagship event, the Ideas Conclave, kicked off Wednesday, with a conversation between Sherry Rehman and Peter Frankopan.

Parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Senate Sherry Rehman said disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have altered ways societies live and interact, and further constrained space for marginalised groups whose access to technology and social services was limited to begin with.

Jinnah Institute’s flagship event, the Ideas Conclave, kicked off Wednesday, with a conversation between Senator Sherry Rehman and notable historian Peter Frankopan.

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Sherry Rehman opened the session, titled “Global Re-Order in the Making” and mentioned that the accelerated development of technological breakthroughs such as artificial intelligence, algorithm-based sentiment and criminally exploitative modes of production and consumption only “exposed new faultlines in how societies deal with crises. “Instead of creating continental cooperation it has reinforced new nationalisms as well as isolationist tendencies of key states around the world,” she added.

While the pandemic had let to exposing the income divides and inequities within societies, the real ramifications of a lengthy healthcare crisis would be truly seen in the long-term, according to Peter Frankopan. “Economic pressures and issues such as job security primarily affected those that did not have access to quality healthcare or those on welfare. However, there were complexities that were not taken into account by most observers. “Pandemics are followed by the rise of the far-left and far-right or populist movements,” explained Peter Frankopan.

Sherry highlighted potential changes in global connectivity brought about by the effects of the pandemic, and how the Belt-Road Initiative differed from the historical silk route. “Pakistan has had a connectivity dream and (has looked) to leverage its geopolitical position,” she stated.

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But volatility on the border between Pakistan and India, and China and India had led to an overly militarised region. As a result, the “larger dreams of cooperation and regional interlinkages have not been realised,” she further added.

The discussion explored the conflict rising between China and the Trump administration in the US.

To a question related to trade wars, and the battle for supremacy on the South China Sea, Peter Frankopan highlighted the difficulty in attempting to predict future events.

He identified how the Cold War had seemed like an eternal conflict between two polar opposites, and yet the fall of the USSR led to the acrimony ending unceremoniously.

“China and the US can cooperate; they have reasons to find improvement in their relationship,” he added. Ideas Conclave is held every year by Jinnah Institute to cultivate thought leadership for Pakistan and South Asia. The Institute holds this Conclave to champion new ways of review and assessment, to move past blind spots, thought determinisms, academic or policy enthusiasms that have been disproven in this last year.

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This year’s Ideas Conclave is a three-day event, from November 25-27, with five sessions, on a range of issues. Leading policy experts are participating in a series of in-depth conversations, on a wide variety of themes such as technology in governance, regional futures with the Afghan peace process, inequities in wealth and journalists reporting on conflict and foreign policy spheres.

Originally published at The News

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