From the editor

The increasing power, confidence and reach of the Global South are undeniable. In this issue, we examine how its countries are allying in new blocs and institutions, why the West urgently needs to change course, whether the Commonwealth will rise to the moment – and much more.

The World Today Published 2 February 2024 Updated 21 March 2024 1 minute READ

Roxanne Escobales

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

The Global South is rising. Many geopolitical events have led to this moment, including most recently the number of abstentions in 2022’s United Nations vote against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and the International Court of Justice case of genocide brought by South Africa against the mighty western ally, Israel, for its assault on Gaza. 

The West has taken for granted relationships built on its colonial past, argues Catherine Ashton, as she follows a trail of missed opportunities to meaningfully engage middle- to lower-income countries while offering ways to improve relations. Kishore Mahbubani charts the economic and political growth of the South, and Arif Lalani maps out the new geographies and alliances forming outside the Euro-Atlantic halls of power.

One longstanding group, the Commonwealth, looks ahead to appointing a new leader, reports Helen Fitzwilliam – and members hope this injects new life into what is seen as a tired organization. Meanwhile, South American countries must leverage the geopolitical advantages the Lithium Triangle brings, writes Jewellord Nem Singh.

Our columnist Daniel Drezner calls out the hypocrisy that stains relations between the West and South. In Sudan, the civil war threatens the stability of the region, says Alex de Waal. Meanwhile, Israel’s war against Hamas shows the futility of decades of conflict management in the region, argues Yossi Mekelberg. Crisis Group head, Comfort Ero, tells me what gives her hope in an age of increased conflict.