Coronavirus: Should the world sue China? - Vusi Thembekwayo

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Vusi Thembekwayo 11 May 2020

Should the worlds’ economies not sue China(fashioned like a class action suit) for the impact of this virus on the livelihoods of ALL global citizens?

An image of the map of China & icon of the Coronavirus

Economies irreparably scarred.
Businesses destroyed.
Lives lost.
Jobs gone.

Globalization brings untold economic & social opportunities. But all OPPORTUNITIES have a RISK equal in measure. That’s how the universes balance itself. So all countries then enjoy the upside of globalization but must have a responsibility to manage its downside risk.

The world clearly needs a legal framework & institutions to manage the risk of globalization. This can be a system of law that is universal & compulsory. Its bodies must have jurisdiction across ALL countries of the world, regardless of their agreement.

This is a wild suggestion because it flies in the face of “national sovereignty”. Perhaps the most important right of a nation-state.

But the idea of a nation-state & its subsequent rights were conceived before globalization was entrenched.

So where does globalization end & national sovereignty begin? If we agree that globalization needs a “universal risk management framework”, then it follows that globalization needs a “universal accountability mechanism”.

Consider Trump’s withdrawal of funding intended for the WHO & what that means for our collective fight against the virus. Is that not gross negligence by his administration? Does that not increase global risk? Therefore, should that not be a premise for a global legal action?

Donald Trump at a MAGA Rally.

You could argue a case against the WHO & whether or not it acted with transparency & commensurate speed. But where would that case be heard? Who would have jurisdiction? How would justice be achieved? Should a case like this not be heard through this mechanism?

As for China itself & the Coronavirus: how would you ensure that there is accountability after this calamity? You would need a global mechanism through which you could summon China, test & lead evidence & arrive a judgment that restores global equilibrium. My limited understanding is that the UN does this for signatory nations in times of conflict & war. But how would you do this all nations that part of the globalized (not westernized) world?

The United Nations in full sitting.

You would need a Standard for defining “globalization” & quantifying countries that are “net beneficiaries” from the system. Having made that standard, you would then force upon those countries’ participation & adherence with this “universal mechanism of accountability”.

Here is why this is important:

Coronavirus is a sign of things to come. It is a prelude or trailer to the movie that is the new world.

When countries develop artificial intelligence, whose responsibility is it to ensure that these new forms of intelligence aren’t turned against the citizens of the world? Who protects the nations & citizens of the emerging world yet to develop defenses?

When countries abuse their disproportionate power gained through capital, trade, aid, technological or medicinal advances and/or political bullying who protects the most vulnerable nations? Indeed who protects the globe from tyrants?

The lesson of history is that where power goes, accountability must follow.

Globalization is the new power with AI, Viruses, data in its arsenal. It’s disproportionately dispersed & justice carries by the fallible human eyes. You need a “universal mechanism of accountability”.

Share your thoughts, please.

V|T
Speaker. Investor. Leader.