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A GZERO pandemic

This week, the World Health Organization’s governing body agreed to begin multinational negotiations on an agreement that would boost global preparedness to deal with future pandemics. The WHO hopes that its 194 member countries will sign a treaty that helps ensure that the global response to the next pandemic is better coordinated and fairer.

The specifics remain to be negotiated over the coming months – and maybe longer – but the stated goal of those who back this plan is a treaty that will commit member countries to share information, virus samples, and new technologies, and to ensure that poorer countries have much better access than they do now to vaccines and related technologies.

Crucially, backers of the treaty insist it must be “legally binding.”

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What you need to know about this weekend’s G-20 meeting

On 30-31 October, the world's top leaders will gather in Rome for this year's G-20 Summit. After the pandemic forced them to meet last year by videoconference, the heads of state will once again be attending in person, allowing for the type of parallel, one-on-one meetings that have proven more productive in the past. Still, many critics of the G-20 have come to see the forum as a talk shop, a place where a lot is said but nothing really happens. Will this year be any different, given the long list of challenges the world faces, from COVID to climate change? We talked with Eurasia Group expert Charles Dunst to set the stage and find out where things are going.

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Does the UN have any actual authority?

76 years after the United Nations was founded, amid an unending pandemic and growing climate and refugee crises, today's UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stark words for member nations: "In our biggest shared test since the Second World War," Guterres says, "humanity faces a stark and urgent choice: a breakdown or a breakthrough." But if something as immediate and catastrophic as a deadly pandemic can't spark a renewal of global cooperation, then what can? On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer explores the question: if the United Nations doesn't have the authority to force its members to take drastic measures to avoid global catastrophes, what is it actually good for? (Quite a lot.)

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: UN Sec-Gen: Without trust, catastrophe awaits

What we learned, and didn’t, from (virtual) Munich

A year ago, the annual Munich Security Conference was the last major international event to take place before the world locked down following the appearance of a mysterious new virus in Wuhan, China. Close to 2.5 million COVID deaths later, world leaders again gathered on Friday, this time virtually, to discuss the future of global cooperation, particularly between the US and Europe, in the post-Trump era. Here are a few takeaways.

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Climate, Biden, and signs of hope for 2021: World Bank's David Malpass

We're only a few weeks into 2021 and that 'fresh new start' that so many had been hoping for at the end of 2020 has not exactly materialized. But what gives World Bank President David Malpass hope for the coming year? "The promise of humanity and of technology, people working together with communication, where they can share ideas. It allows an incredible advance for living standards." His wide-ranging conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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A GZERO pandemic