Transcript: How Divided Will the World Be in 2021? | Jan 11, 2021

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and brown tie.

A caption on screen reads "How divided will the world be in 2021? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says 2021 IS BARELY A WEEK OLD, BUT ALREADY IT'S SHOWN ITS POTENTIAL FOR MAJOR INTERNATIONAL NEWS. TURMOIL SOUTH OF THE BORDER IN THE DYING DAYS OF A TRUMP PRESIDENCY, GLOBAL ECONOMIES STYMIED BY THE PANDEMIC, AND CHINA AND RUSSIA JOCKEYING FOR POSITION IN A SHIFTING WORLD ORDER. AND SO, AS IS OUR ANNUAL TRADITION HERE, LET'S FIND OUT WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE COMING MONTHS. JOINING US NOW: IN CAZENOVIA, IN UPSTATE NEW YORK: JAMES STEINBERG, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HILLARY CLINTON AND A DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. HE IS NOW A PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY...

James is in his sixties, with short gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing glasses and a blue shirt.

Steve continues IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL: PEGGY MASON, PRESIDENT OF THE RIDEAU INSTITUTE AND FORMER CANADIAN AMBASSADOR FOR DISARMAMENT TO THE UNITED NATIONS...

Peggy is in her sixties, with short wavy blond hair. She's wearing a patterned purple blazer.

Steve continues AND IN THE DOWNTOWN CORE OF OUR PROVINCIAL CAPITAL: SHUVALOY MAJUMDAR, POLICY DIRECTOR FOR FORMER FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN BAIRD, NOW MUNK SENIOR FELLOW FOR FOREIGN POLICY AT THE MACDONALD-LAURIER INSTITUTE.

Shuvaloy is in his forties, with short black hair and a stubble. He's wearing a black suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues GREAT TO HAVE YOU THREE WITH US HERE ON WHAT I HOPE IS A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR EVERYBODY. I WANT TO START WITH JUST... LET ME ASK YOU ALL TO PUT YOUR NEWSPAPER EDITOR HATS ON BECAUSE WE HAVE A HEADLINE TO START OUT WITH AND THEN WE'LL GET INTO MORE DEPTH. JAMES STEINBERG, START US OFF. IN TERMS OF WORLD TRENDS, GIVE US A BIG HEADLINE FOR 2020. WHAT'S YOURS?

The caption changes to "James Steinberg. Syracuse University."

James says THE CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO RESPOND TO THE COVID CRISIS. WE'VE SEEN BOTH COUNTRIES, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD FAIRLY TO MEET A CHALLENGE THAT WAS PREDICTABLE AND REALLY REQUIRED SIGNIFICANT COOPERATION ACROSS BORDERS, AND RESULTS HAVE JUST BEEN CALAMITOUS.

Steve says SO FAILURE TO LAUNCH MIGHT BE YOUR HEADLINE. PEGGY MASON, WHAT'S YOURS?

The caption changes to "Peggy Mason. Rideau Institute."

Peggy says MINE IS: RETHINKING SECURITY: WE NEED FUNDAMENTALLY TO REALIGN OUR SCIENTIFIC, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL RESOURCES TO COLLECTIVELY ADDRESS THE HEALTH CLIMATE, ECOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR DANGERS THAT THREATEN US ALL. SO THE VERY SHORT VERSION OF THAT IS: THE PANDEMIC PIVOT. ESSENTIALLY, THIS HEALTH CRISIS HAS DEMONSTRATED THE LACK OF UTILITY OF THE VAST QUANTITIES OF SECURITY SPENDING, DEFENCE SPENDING, THAT WE HAVE FOCUSED ON FOR SO LONG IN THE NAME OF SECURITY.

Steve says SHUVALOY MAJUMDAR, YOUR TURN.

The caption changes to "Shuvaloy Majumdar. Macdonald-Laurier Institute." Then, it changes again to "Warning signs."

Shuvaloy says GLOBAL DISRUPTION: AN AGE FEATURING THE RISE OF CHINA AND THE PANDEMIC ACCELERATED KNEW ALIGNMENTS, RANGING FROM POPULISM...

Steve says LET'S FOLLOW UP ON ALL THOSE. JAMES STEINBERG, FOLLOWING UP ON YOUR HEADLINE, WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS BEEN COOPERATING SO POORLY AS IT RELATES TO TACKLING COVID-19?

The caption changes to "COVID-19 continues."

James says I THINK THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM... WELL, TWOFOLD: WHICH IS, ONE, I THINK INDIVIDUAL STATES HAVE FOCUSED IN A VERY KIND OF NARROW AND SELF-DIRECTED WAY ON TRYING TO SOLVE THEIR OWN PROBLEMS WITHOUT RECOGNIZING THAT EACH OF THESE PROBLEMS CAN'T BE SOLVED BY ANY COUNTRY ACTING ALONE, NO MATTER HOW POWERFUL, WHETHER IT'S THE UNITED STATES OR CHINA OR ANYBODY ELSE. AND SECOND, WE FAILED TO ADAPT THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND STRUCTURES THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS WORLD OF INTERCONNECTEDNESS AND GLOBALIZATION. WE NEED NEW KINDS OF INSTITUTIONS, NEW WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS TOGETHER. AND THAT COMBINATION OF THIS INWARD-DIRECTED AND THIS SELFISH NATIONAL THING WE'VE SEEN ENCAPSULATED BY TRUMP'S "AMERICA FIRST" APPROACH HAS MADE IT DIFFICULT TO COOPERATE AND WE DON'T HAVE THE INSTITUTIONS THAT COULD MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR COUNTRIES TO COME TOGETHER.

Steve says PEGGY MASON, I DON'T WANT TO LET GOVERNMENTS OFF THE HOOK HERE, BUT GOVERNMENTS ARE ELECTED BY THEIR PEOPLE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS INSIDE THEIR BORDERS FIRST AND FOREMOST. COUNTRIES WOULD WANT TO TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDS OF THEIR POPULATION BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE.

The caption changes to "Peggy Mason. Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the U.N."

Peggy says WELL, ACTUALLY, I WOULD BEG TO DIFFER A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE. I MEAN, I'M LOOKING AT CANADA IN PARTICULAR. BUT I WOULD SAY THAT CANADA WAS VERY ACTIVE FROM THE OUTSET IN SUPPORTING THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION IN HELPING TO SET UP AND FUND... I MEAN, WE'VE GIVEN 865 MILLION DOLLARS TO DATE, TO FUND MECHANISMS FOR HELPING DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO GAIN EQUITABLE ACCESS TO EQUIPMENT, TESTS, TREATMENT, AND NOW VACCINES. AND WE ALSO MAINTAIN SUPPORT FOR THE W.H.O. DESPITE, YOU KNOW, ATTACKS, ONGOING ATTACKS. SO I WOULD SAY THAT WHILE THE MEDIA NECESSARILY FOCUSES IN EACH COUNTRY ON THE NATIONAL RESPONSE AND ON PROBLEMS WITH SUPPLY, AT THE SAME TIME THERE HAS BEEN AN EXTRAORDINARY INTERNATIONAL EFFORT, LED BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND THE U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL, TO RALLY... TO MUSTER EFFORTS TO ENSURE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO TREATMENTS AND VACCINES. SO, YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY IT'S LESS SELFISH THAN PERHAPS THE DAY-TO-DAY MEDIA COVERAGE HAS SUGGESTED.

Steve says SHUVALOY, IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE ONE ON EACH SIDE HERE. DO YOU WANT TO BREAK THE TIE?

The caption changes to "Shuvaloy Majumdar. Former Canadian Foreign Affairs Policy Director."
Then, it changes again to "A globalization rethink?"

Shuvaloy says I THINK INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION HAS BEEN CLEARLY DISRUPTED. NATIONS ARE ACTING IN THEIR OWN INTERESTS, AND THE MECHANISMS FOR COOPERATION HAVE COMPLETELY FAILED. WE DON'T SEE COLLABORATION ON TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN COUNTRIES. YOU DON'T SEE COLLABORATION ON VACCINE DISTRIBUTION THAT SEES CANADA SUCCEEDING IN THIS MESS. 15,000 CANADIANS DEAD AS A RESULT OF IDEOLOGICAL DECISION BY THE GOVERNMENT TO NOT ESTABLISH A BORDER EARLY AND TO ENSURE PEOPLE TRAVELLING TO CANADA WERE LESS LIKELY TO TRANSMIT COVID. I SEE A DIFFERENT WORLD THAN PEGGY DOES BECAUSE I THINK DESPITE BEST EFFORTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THEY HAVE FAILED TO PROVIDE NOT JUST A PANDEMIC RESPONSE BUT ALSO THE KIND OF VACCINE DIPLOMACY THAT WOULD SEE HOW THE WORLD CAN SURVIVE THE PANDEMIC MORE FRUITFULLY.

Steve says PEGGY, YOU SEEM TO BE OUTNUMBERED HERE. I'LL GIVE YOU ONE MORE CHANCE TO COME BACK AND TRY TO CONVINCE THEM, IF YOU LIKE?

Peggy says WELL, I DON'T WANT TO HAVE ROSE-COLOURED GLASSES. I MEAN, IT'S BEEN... IT'S BEEN A ROCKY ENOUGH ROAD, THERE'S NO QUESTION, AND AT THE SAME TIME, YOU KNOW, WHILE THIS INTERNATIONAL EFFORT HAS BEEN GOING ON, YOU KNOW, THERE'S BEEN THIS COUNTERACTION. I MEAN, IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, WE HAVE THE LEADING OPPOSITION PARTY, THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY, ATTACKING ANY EFFORT TO COOPERATE WITH THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. SO, YES, THE LACK OF FULL PREPAREDNESS AHEAD OF TIME AND JUST THE UNPREDICTABILITY AND THE DIFFICULTY AND THE SCALE OF RESPONSE, YOU KNOW, HAS REALLY CHALLENGED EVERYONE. BUT I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THAT MAKES IT ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT, THAT SO MANY COUNTRIES WITHOUT THE LEADERSHIP OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE BEEN WORKING VERY HARD TO FUND THESE EQUITABLE ACCESS MECHANISMS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. YOU KNOW, IN SPITE OF ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES AND ONGOING UNDERMINING FROM OPPOSITION PARTIES, FROM POPULIST SENTIMENTS, FROM NATIVIST SENTIMENTS.

Steve says SHUVALOY, I DO WANT TO COME BACK TO YOU AND FOLLOW UP WITH THIS BECAUSE I THINK I SAW YOU SAY ONCE UPON A TIME THAT IN 2020 WE WITNESSED THE STATE REASSERTING ITSELF. TELL US WHAT YOU MEANT BY THAT.

Shuvaloy says I THINK, YOU KNOW, GLOBALIZED PROJECTS WHICH WERE BASED ON IDEOLOGY OF NATIONS THAT BORDER US, THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY ACTING TOGETHER TO ADDRESS A COMMON CAUSE, WE SAW A DEPARTURE FROM THAT TYPE OF THESIS OVER THE LAST YEAR OR TWO, PRINCIPALLY WITH STATES REASSERTING THEIR BORDERS, WHETHER IT'S RESPONDING TO MIGRATION CRISES FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, ACROSS EUROPE, TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC MANAGEMENT AND HOW COUNTRIES HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SERVE THEIR OWN CITIZENS FIRST AND THEN COOPERATE WITH OTHERS OF LIKE MIND ON THE BASIS OF COOPERATION THAT IS TRUSTWORTHY. AND SO WHAT WE'VE SEEN IS THE CONCEPT OF THE NATION STATE, INDELIBLE AS IT HAS BEEN SINCE WESTPHALIA, IS BEGINNING TO RYE REASSERT ITSELF ON ISSUES WE HAVE NEVER DEALT WITH BEFORE AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S NECESSARILY A BAD THING. I SEE THE RISE OF POPULISM HAS GOOD ASPECTS AND BAD ASPECTS AND A LOT OF GOOD ASPECTS OF IT IS A REASSERTION OF THE NATION STATE AND THE WORLD ORDER.

Steve says JAMES, DO YOU SEE IT THAT WAY AS WELL?

The caption changes to "James Steinberg. Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State."

James says I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THE DIAGNOSIS. I THINK THAT WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH THE ONSET OF THE PANDEMIC IS THAT THERE WERE TWO FUNDAMENTAL CHOICES THAT COULD BE MADE: EITHER COUNTRIES COULD RECOGNIZE THAT THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM EFFECTIVELY WAS TO COOPERATE TOGETHER, OR THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE IS A BETTER THY NEIGHBOUR APPROACH WHICH IS TO FOCUS ON SOLVING THE PROBLEMS AT HOME AND NOT ON HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO DO IT. AND I THINK FOR THE LARGE PART, THE CHOICE WAS TO FOCUS INTERNALLY AND TO THINK THAT THERE WAS A WAY TO SOLVE THESE TRANSNATIONAL PROBLEMS BY ACTING WITH A NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE. CLEARLY, I AGREE THAT STATES ARE THE CORE OF THE RESPONSE, BUT UNLESS STATES RECOGNIZE THAT THEIR CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS... AND NOT JUST PANDEMIC DISEASE BUT NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, CLIMATE CHANGE, THE PROBLEMS OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY... REALLY RECOGNIZE THAT EACH COUNTRY ACTING ALONE IS SIMPLY NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO SOLVE THESE KINDS OF PROBLEMS. AND I THINK NOW LOOKING TO 2021, THE QUESTION IS: CAN WE STEP BACK FROM THIS AND SAY, YOU KNOW, THIS RESPONSE THAT WE SAW IN 2020 IS INADEQUATE, UNSUCCESSFUL. IT WON'T WORK. EVEN IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT PROTECTING THE INTERESTS OF YOUR OWN NATIONAL POPULATION, THAT ULTIMATELY WE'VE JUST GOT TO FIND WAYS TO WORK BETTER TOGETHER.

Steve says WELL, WE DO NEED TO TALK ABOUT AMERICAN LEADERSHIP FOR A BIT HERE BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY IN THE PAST WHEN THE WORLD WANTED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS, IT OFTEN LOOKED TO THE UNITED STATES FIRST AND FOREMOST TO HELP LEAD THAT EFFORT. WE ARE COMING TO THE END OF FOUR YEARS OF, WELL, FILL IN THE BLANK, USE WHATEVER ADJECTIVE YOU LIKE: BIZARRE, ERRATIC, WHATEVER KIND OF BEHAVIOUR SUPPOSEDLY FROM THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. SO WE WANT TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING NOW WITH JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS MOVING INTO THE WHITE HOUSE. WILL THE UNITED STATES, IN YOUR VIEW... PEGGY, START US OFF... CONTINUE TO BE SEEN AS A LESS-THAN-RELIABLE LEADERSHIP PARTNER IN THE WORLD GOING FORWARD BECAUSE OF THE LAST FOUR YEARS?

The caption changes to "Peggy Mason, @MasonPeggy."
Then, it changes again to "America's standing."

Peggy says WELL, NO, I THINK IS THE SHORT ANSWER. I MEAN, THE COLLECTIVE SIGH OF RELIEF, THE INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIVE SIGH OF RELIEF AT THE DEPARTURE OF TRUMP IS GOING TO MEAN A LOT OF GOODWILL FOR BIDEN COMING IN. BUT OF COURSE THE REAL TEST WILL BE IN HIS FIRST 100 DAYS IN PARTICULAR. HE'S PLEDGED TO DO A LOT. AND WHAT I'M PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN AND TAKEN WITH IS HIS PLEDGE TO ELEVATE DIPLOMACY AS THE PREMIER TOOL OF AMERICAN GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT, AND THAT GOES BACK TO MY POINT ABOUT SECURITY RE-THINK. I MEAN, HOW DO YOU BUILD AN ENDURING SECURITY AND FOCUSING SOLELY ON MILITARY RESPONSES AND ON EVER BURGEONS DEFENCE SPENDING HAS PROVEN TO BE, IN THE FACE OF THE REAL CHALLENGES, FACING THE REAL GLOBAL CHALLENGES, TO BE A TOOTHLESS TIGER FOR ALL OF ITS COST. SO I THINK BIDEN, THE PRAGMATIST, BUT BIDEN FOCUSING ON... REALLY FOCUSING ON DIPLOMACY, AND HOPEFULLY FOCUSING MUCH MORE ON PARTNERSHIP MORE THAN LEADERSHIP. OF COURSE, THE UNITED STATES WILL EXERCISE A LEADERSHIP ROLE. BUT REALLY EMPHASIZING WORKING... WORKING CONSTRUCTIVELY, NOT JUST WITH ALLIES. THE... THE IMPERATIVE TO WORK CONSTRUCTIVELY WITH CHINA AND RUSSIA, YOU KNOW, THAT'S... THOSE ARE TWO OF THE FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES THAT HE REALLY FACES. BUT ELEVATING DIPLOMACY IS THE WAY TO DO THAT.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says WELL, JAMES, WE TEND TO, I THINK, LOOK BACK TO THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION OF THE SAME PARTY TO FIND CLUES AS TO HOW A SUCCESSOR PRESIDENT WOULD GOVERN, SO NATURALLY I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LOOKING TO JOE BIDEN'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO SEE HOW HE WOULD RUN FOREIGN POLICY HIS OWN WAY. DO YOU THINK HE WOULD DO THINGS DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENTLY FROM THE WAY IT WAS DONE IN THE OBAMA... I ALMOST SAID THE O'BIDEN YEARS. IN THE OBAMA YEARS?

James says I THINK WHAT YOU SHOULD REALLY LOOK TO IS THE LONG HISTORY OF JOE BIDEN HIMSELF, NOT JUST AS VICE PRESIDENT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA BUT HIS RELATIONSHIP ON HIS LONG AND DISTINGUISHED CAREER IN THE LEGISLATURE. ONE OF THE HALLMARKS OF BIDEN'S TIME IN PUBLIC OFFICE HAS BEEN HIS STRONG COMMITMENT TO WORKING WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. HE PLAYED A CRITICAL ROLE TO HELP SHAPE AND TRANSFORM NATO AFTER THE COLD WAR. HE'S PLAYED A CRITICAL ROLE IN REACHING OUT TO OUR FRIENDS AND PARTNERS IN EAST ASIA. HE'S SOMEBODY WHO HAS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE AND RESPECT IN WORKING WITH OTHER COUNTRIES AND UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT. IN THAT SENSE I AGREE WITH PEGGY, THAT DIPLOMACY IS THE NATURAL MODE OF OPERATION FOR JOE BIDEN, BOTH DOMESTICALLY, WORKING ACROSS THE AISLE, BUT ALSO INTERNATIONALLY, WORKING WITH PARTNERS. SO I THINK THAT WILL BE A HALLMARK OF HOW HE OPERATES. BUT I ALSO THINK THAT THIS ISN'T GOING TO BE JUST A BACK TO THE FUTURE PRESIDENCY. THINGS HAVE CHANGED NOT ONLY SINCE 2016, BUT THE WORLD IS CHANGING IN FAST WAYS. AND SO I THINK THE INSTINCT, HIS COOPERATIVE INSTINCT, THE SENSE OF TRYING TO USE ALL THE TOOLS THAT AMERICA HAS, NOT JUST THE MILITARY, IS GOING TO BE VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. BIDEN HAS BEEN VERY, VERY CAUTIOUS AND CAREFUL ABOUT THE USE OF THE MILITARY ALL THROUGH HIS CAREER. SO I THINK THAT WE NEED TO LOOK TO HOW THOSE BASIC INSTINCTS WILL BE ADAPTED TO A WORLD THAT IS VERY DIFFERENT TO THE ONE THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA INHERITED IN 2008.

Steve says SHUVALOY, AS MUCH AS MANY PEOPLE WERE KIND OF DISGUSTED WITH THE WAY PRESIDENT TRUMP SEEMED TO PREFER THE COMPANY OF DICTATORS INSTEAD OF DEMOCRATS, AND IN PARTICULAR KIM JONG-UN AND VLADIMIR PUTIN, THE WAY HE RELATED TO THEM. IT'S PROBABLY WORTH PUTTING ON THE RECORD HERE THAT HE DID HAVE SOME FOREIGN POLICY SUCCESSES AND I INVITE YOU AS JOHN BAIRD'S FORMER ADVISOR TO MAYBE PUT THOSE ON THE RECORD FOR US RIGHT NOW. WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT HE DID?

The caption changes to "Shuvaloy Majumdar, @shuvmajumdar."

Shuvaloy says LISTEN, I THINK SEPARATE THE ODIOUS NATURE OF THE INDIVIDUAL FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES, AND YOU'LL SEE A PRESIDENCY THAT HAS SEEN CHINA FOR THE STRATEGIC CHALLENGE THAT IT IS AND MOBILIZE AT LEAST THE UNITED STATES AND THROUGH THE POWER OF ITS OWN ECONOMY OTHERS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF THAT, TO VARYING LEVELS OF SUCCESS. THE ABRAHAM ACCORD...
[AUDIO DIFFICULTIES]
ACCOMPLISHED THAT I THINK WILL HAVE HUGE CONSEQUENCES. SINCE NIXON HAS GONE TO CHINA, SINCE 9-11, WE HAVEN'T SEEN SUCH A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE REORDERING OF GLOBAL RELATIONSHIPS AND THE NORMALIZATION OF ISRAELI-ARAB RELATIONSHIPS IS A REALLY POWERFUL ADVENT. AND THE LANGUAGE, THE LEXICON OF THE INDO PACIFIC. THE AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION, ACTING WITH A UNITED BIPARTISAN CONGRESS HAS SEEN THE INDO PACIFIC REGION AS A CENTRE OF GRAVITY FOR GLOBAL GROWTH FOR TIME TO COME AND IS BEGINNING TO ASSEMBLE THE SECURITY, DIPLOMATIC AND ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIPS WHICH I THINK WILL ADVANTAGE THE REST OF US FOR A LONG TIME TO COME. SO THESE ARE ALL OPPORTUNITIES.

Steve says JAMES, AS MUCH AS IT MIGHT BE A FOOLHARDY MISSION FOR ME TO TRY TO GET SOMEBODY WHO WORKED FOR HILLARY CLINTON TO SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT DONALD TRUMP, WOULD YOU GRANT THAT HE'S MOVED THE YARDSTICKS FORWARD IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

The caption changes to "The Arab world."

James says SO I DON'T DISPUTE THE FACT THAT SEEING RECONCILIATION BETWEEN ISRAEL AND SOME OF THE ARAB STATES IS QUITE IMPORTANT. I DON'T WANT TO SOUND CHURLISH, BUT THIS WAS A PHENOMENON THAT HAD BEEN LONG IN PROCESS. MOST OF THE ARAB STATES, FOR BETTER FOR WORSE, ARE VERY UNFOCUSED ON ISSUES LIKE THE ISSUES OF THE PALESTINIANS AND VERY FOCUSED ON DEALING WITH IRAN AND THE CHALLENGES THAT ARE REPRESENTED THERE AND THE ALIGNMENT, THE NATURAL ALIGNMENT IN THAT RESPECT BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE GULF STATES HAS BEEN LONG IN THE MAKING AND IT'S JUST BEEN LESS VISIBLE. SIMILARLY WITH RESPECT TO THE INDO PACIFIC. I MEAN, THIS IS AN INITIATIVE THAT BEGAN WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, WITH THE PIVOT TO ASIA, IS SOMETHING THAT I CERTAINLY SUPPORT AND AGREE WITH AND I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE UNITED STATES TO CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON THAT. BUT WHAT WE SEE IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WAS A RHETORIC ABOUT THE INDO PACIFIC AND THEN TREATMENT OF OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES THERE THAT WAS BASICALLY INDIFFERENT TO THEIR INTERESTS, WHETHER IT WAS DEALING WITH JAPAN OR SOUTH KOREA. WE DIDN'T SEE A PRESIDENT WHO UNDERSTOOD THAT IN ORDER TO MAKE THE UNITED STATES SUCCESSFUL IN THE INDO PACIFIC TO DEAL WITH THE CHALLENGE OF CHINA THAT WE HAD TO BUILD STRONGER TIES WITH OUR ALLIES, NOT TRY TO BULLY THEM OR TRY TO ACHIEVE SHORT-TERM NARROW NATIONAL INTERESTS.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says PEGGY, START US OFF HERE ON SOME DISCUSSION ON WHAT WE MIGHT CALL THE CANADIAN WAY OF RELATING TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. CANADIANS HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF CONTRIBUTING TO INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. HAVING SAID THAT, TO THE EXTENT THAT WE HAVE ANY INFLUENCE AT ALL ON THE WORLD STAGE RIGHT NOW, AND WE CAN DISCUSS HOW MUCH OR HOW LITTLE WE ACTUALLY DO HAVE, DID OUR INFLUENCE GROW OR RECEDE IN THIS PAST YEAR?

The caption changes to "The Canadian way."

Peggy says THAT'S A TOUGH ONE. I WOULD SAY THAT GIVEN... GIVEN THE ROLE... WELL, FIRST OFF, WE CANNOT OVERSTATE THE IMPORTANCE OF CANADIAN RHETORIC IN SUPPORT OF MULTILATERALISM, THE U.N. AND GLOBAL SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL PROBLEMS, AT A TIME WHEN THIS WAS UNDER SUCH ATTACK FROM THE U.S. ADMINISTRATION. SO THAT, ALTHOUGH I, AS A FOREIGN POLICY PERSON IN CANADA, HAVE OFTEN CRITICIZED THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE GAP BETWEEN ITS RHETORIC AND ITS ACTIONS, THAT SUPPORT, THAT RHETORICAL SUPPORT FOR MULTILATERALISM, HAS BEEN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. AND WE FOLLOWED THAT UP CONCRETELY, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, WITH OUR PANDEMIC DIPLOMACY. AND SO I WOULD SAY THAT... AND ALSO NOW IT WILL BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE MORE... ONE OF THE MORE TRADITIONAL ROLES THAT CANADA PLAYS IS WORKING VERY HARD TO SUPPORT AMERICAN, CONSTRUCTIVE AMERICAN ENGAGEMENT, FOR EXAMPLE... CONSTRUCTIVE AMERICAN ENGAGEMENT WILL BE SEEN... THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL SEE THAT WE WILL BE PLAYING THAT ROLE AGAIN. SO I WOULD SAY... ON BALANCE I WOULD SAY, OVER THE LAST YEAR, IT HAS IN FACT... IT HAS IN FACT RISEN DESPITE OUR LOSS AT THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL CAMPAIGN, WHICH IS A WHOLE OTHER ISSUE WHICH BASICALLY HAD TO DO WITH COMING IN VERY LATE AND CHOOSING TWO OF THE MORE POPULAR LIKE-MINDED COUNTRIES YOU COULD IMAGINE TO RUN AGAINST.

Steve says WELL, LET ME SET UP THIS NEXT QUESTION TO SHUVALOY BY NORMALLY THIS TIME OF YEAR WE HAVE ENGAGED THE SERVICES OF MATTHEW FISHER WHO I THINK WAS AT THE TIME THE LONGEST SERVING FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT ANYWHERE IN CANADA BUT HE IS RUNNING FOR OFFICE RIGHT NOW, SO IT WOULD BE UNFAIR TO PUT HIM IN THE SPOTLIGHT RIGHT NOW... UNFAIR TO HIS COMPETITORS, THAT IS. SO ALL THAT BY MEANS OF SAYING, HE HAS AN EXPRESSION WHICH IS: THERE'S NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD THAT DOES LESS AND SAYS MORE THAN CANADA. AND I WONDER WHETHER, SHUVALOY, DO YOU AGREE WITH HIS OBSERVATION?

Shuvaloy says HE'S A FRIEND. I'M AN ADMIRER. HE'S ONE OF CANADA'S GREAT WAR CORRESPONDENTS. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO HIS OPPONENTS, I HAVE A LOT OF TIME FOR MATTHEW FISHER. I ALWAYS MEASURE RHETORIC WITH THE NUMBER OF TIMES IT'S REPEATED, WHERE IT'S REPEATED, AND HOW MUCH MONEY IS ATTACHED TO IT. WHEN YOU SEE CANADIAN RHETORIC, YOU CAN SEE THAT IT'S PRINCIPALLY DOMESTICALLY FOCUSED BECAUSE IT HAS NOT RESULTED MATERIALLY IN ANY OBJECTIVE INFLUENCE ON ANY CRITICAL ISSUE OF 2020. IN FACT, ACROSS THE SPATE OF ISSUES THAT CANADIANS AND OUR COUNTRY HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH, WITH A DISRUPTIVE WASHINGTON, WITH THE ADVENT OF CHINA WEAPONING COMMERCE AND BEING OPAQUE ABOUT ITS OWN PARTICIPATION IN THE PANDEMIC, WE'VE SEEN THAT THE RHETORIC HAS BEEN TORQUED UP TO DOMESTIC AUDIENCES AND DIMINISHED CANADA'S ROLE GLOBALLY, AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, A REAL RE-THINK AROUND HOW CANADIANS ADVANCE THE SECURITY INTERESTS, THE ECONOMIC INTERESTS, AND OUR VALUES AROUND THE WORLD IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FROM ALL QUARTERS OF POLITICAL LIFE. IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL AND IT IS UP TO CANADIANS TO THINK INDEPENDENTLY ABOUT ITSELF, ABOUT ITS TRADITIONAL PARTNERSHIPS, AND ABOUT THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE US.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says JAMES, I DON'T WANT THE FACT THAT THOUSANDS OF CANADIANS ARE WATCHING THIS RIGHT NOW TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO INGRATIATE YOURSELF WITH THEM. GIVE IT TO US STRAIGHT. CANADA ON THE WORLD STAGE, AT ALL RELEVANT? WHAT ROLE DO WE PLAY, ET CETERA?

James says I DO THINK RELEVANT. AND ON THIS ONE I SIDE A BIT MORE ON PEGGY'S SIDE. I THINK THE VOICE IS IMPORTANT. I CAN'T JUDGE HOW IT PLAYS DOMESTICALLY IN CANADA. BUT I THINK THAT WHEN CANADA SPEAKS, CERTAINLY IN THE UNITED STATES, I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR CANADA. IT SEES CANADA AS A COUNTRY THAT SHARES A LOT OF INTEREST WITH US. WHEN IT SPEAKS TO THE NEED FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, TO STRENGTHEN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, FOR THAT KIND OF CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT, I THINK IT REINFORCES THOSE IN THE UNITED STATES WHO SHARE THAT SENTIMENT. I THINK IT'S REALLY CRITICAL GOING FORWARD THAT CANADA, WHICH HISTORICALLY PLAYED A LARGE ROLE IN U.S. POLICY FOCUSED MORE TOWARDS EUROPE THAN THE PACIFIC, PLAY A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN THE PACIFIC ARENA. I THINK THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH TRANSPACIFIC INSTITUTIONS THAT CANADA IS INVOLVED IN, ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SECURITY, FOR CANADA TO BECOME A VOICE IN CREATING THIS NEW COMMUNITY OF THE INDO PACIFIC, AND I THINK THAT'S A REAL OPPORTUNITY FOR CANADA TO GO FORWARD, TO TALK ABOUT HOW DEALING WITH THE CHALLENGES OF CHINA, DEALING WITH THE PROBLEMS OF TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES LIKE NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AND NORTH KOREA AND THE LIKE, THAT WE NEED STRONG COOPERATION AMONG LIKE-MINDED COUNTRIES, AND CANADA'S VOICE FOR DOING THAT I THINK HAS BEEN IMPORTANT IN THE PAST AND WILL BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IN THE FUTURE.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. LET'S GET TO CHINA SINCE IT'S BEEN MENTIONED NUMEROUS TIMES, AND CLEARLY ONE OF THE KEY QUESTIONS IN THE WORLD TODAY IS: IS AN EMBOLDENED CHINA A THREAT TO OUR WAY OF LIFE? SHUVALOY, START US OFF ON THAT. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "An emboldened China."

Shuvaloy says I HAVE TO REJECT THE IDEA THAT CHINA IS INTERESTED IN COOPERATING WITH US, AND WHEN I SAY CHINA, PRINCIPALLY I MEAN THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN CHARGE OF IT, NOT THE PEOPLE. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN CHINA IS A PROJECT IN LIFETIME RULE THROUGH PRESIDENT XI JINPING IN WHICH IT WOULD SEE THE MIDDLE KINGDOM, CHINA, RISE AND REPLACE THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF THE POST-WAR ERA. I THINK THAT WHAT BEIJING SEES WHEN IT LOOKS AROUND THE WORLD IS A COLLECTION OF HALF HEGEMONIES THAT FEED ITS ONLY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC AND MILITARY GROWTH. IT SEES ITSELF TO BUILD A NEW SYSTEM TO RIVAL THAT OF THE WEST. UNTIL OTTAWA AND OTHER CAPITALS MAKE THIS DECISION, AND I SAY THIS WITH GREAT CONCERN ABOUT EUROPE AS WELL WITH THEIR NEW DEAL WITH CHINA, UNTIL DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISTS UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A GENUINE THREAT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM, TO THE WAY OF LIFE THAT WE'VE WORKED SO HARD TO FASHION AND FORGE, THAT UNTIL THAT COOPERATION... UNTIL THE UNDERSTANDING OF THAT IS ACCOMPLISHED THEN COOPERATION WILL BE LIMITED. AND SO I THINK THAT CHINA HAS REPLACED RUSSIA AS THE WEST'S PRINCIPAL RIVAL. IN MANY WAYS IT'S TURNED RUSSIA INTO A GAS STATION SUPPLYING ITS OWN ENERGY INTERESTS, AND WE NEED TO BE VERY LUCID AND VERY CLEAR ABOUT THE THREAT THAT CHINA POSES TO THE WORLD ORDER.

Steve says PEGGY, RIVAL OR ENEMY?

Peggy says RIVAL. ABSOLUTELY. AND I THINK THAT IT'S TIME TO REALLY CALL OUT THIS CONFLATION OF CHINESE INTERNAL AUTHORITARIANISM WITH EXTERNAL AGGRESSION. IT HAS... ITS DEFENCE STRATEGY DISAVOWS DEFENCE SUPERIORITY, HEGEMONY, AND IN STRAIGHT DEFENCE TERMS... I MEAN, CHINA HAS 320 NUCLEAR WEAPONS, THE UNITED STATES... WARHEADS IN THE UNITED STATES IS AROUND 5,000. THE UNITED STATES' DEFENCE BUDGET DWARFS CHINA'S. IT'S BIGGER THAN THE NEXT 10 COUNTRIES COMBINED, INCLUDING CHINA. THE UNITED STATES HAS 800 MILITARY BASES AROUND THE WORLD ENCIRCLING CHINA. CHINA HAS ONE FOREIGN BASE, NAVAL BASE, TINY BASE IN DJIBOUTI. LET'S LOOK AT THE CAPACITY OF THE COUNTRY, LET'S LOOK AT ITS STATED INTENTIONS. CHINA HAS A NO FIRST USE NUCLEAR POLICY. AND I THINK THAT THIS HYPING... THIS HYPING OF THE CHINA THREAT, WHEN CHINA IS BEHAVING FUNDAMENTALLY LIKE A GREAT POWER, IS, YOU KNOW, SERVES THE INTERESTS OF THE DEFENCE LOBBY BUT ILL-SERVES A GLOBE WHERE ENGAGEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ON HEALTH, TO NAME TWO, AND THERE HAS BEEN GOOD COOPERATION ON HEALTH IN SPITE OF ALL THE HYPE, ARE GLOBAL IMPERATIVES. THOSE ARE THE GLOBAL IMPERATIVES.

Steve says WELL, OKAY. LET ME... I'M GOING TO SET UP SHUVALOY TO COME BACK AT YOU HERE BECAUSE I SAW HIM SHAKING HIS HEAD IN THE MIDST OF THAT ANSWER. THE FACT THAT THEY'RE HOLDING TWO OF OUR PEOPLE HOSTAGE AND SHARE VERY FEW OF OUR VALUES MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT. SHUVALOY, DO YOU WANT TO COME BACK AT WHAT YOU JUST HEARD?

Shuvaloy says I THINK THE UNDERSTANDING OF THREATS PROBABLY REQUIRES A BIT OF AN UPDATE. I MEAN, WE'VE SEEN CHINA BE A BELLIGERENT ON THE INDO CHINESE BORDER. WE'VE SEEN CHINA BE A BELLIGERENT IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND USE FISHING VESSELS TO HARASS THE AUSTRALIANS, TO WEAPONIZE COMMERCE TO HARASS THE AUSTRALIAN, THE UYGHURS. WE HAVE SEEN CHINA NOT COOPERATE ON HEALTH IN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. THEY HAVE ONLY RECENTLY IN THE LAST WEEK REJECTED ANOTHER... TRYING TO FIND FACTS AROUND THE ORIGIN OF THE PANDEMIC THAT HAS GROUND THE WORLD TO A HALT. WE HAVE NOT SEEN CHINA COOPERATE IN THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL, AND WHETHER IT'S THE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANIZATION OR THE WORLD TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION. THERE'S BEEN NO EVIDENCE AT ALL THAT CHINA IS ACTUALLY ACTING AS A GREAT POWER THAT WOULD BE A PARTNER OF THE WEST IN OUR SHARED MUTUAL INTERESTS. IF ANYTHING, WE'VE SEEN CHINA BECOME A BELLIGERENT GEOPOLITICAL RIVAL AT THE EXPENSE OF CANADIANS LIKE MICHAEL SPAVOR AND MICHAEL KOVRIG, AT THE EXPENSE OF 200,000 CANADIANS WHO ARE IN HONG KONG. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ANY REMOTE EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN AMERICAN POWER AND CHINA'S ASYMMETRIC POWER PROJECTION, AND I THINK THAT WHEN WE THINK OF CANADA'S ROLE IN IT, WE'RE NOT CAUGHT BETWEEN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES. WE ARE CLEARLY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER DEMOCRACIES AROUND THE WORLD, AND WE SHOULD MAKE THOSE PARTNERSHIPS MORE ACCESSIBLE TO NEW PARTNERS LIKE INDIA, JAPAN, AND OTHERS.

Steve says JAMES STEINBERG, WHERE ARE YOU ON CHINA'S ALLEGED HEGEMONIC INTERESTS?

James says I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S HEGEMONIC BUT I CERTAINLY SEE IT AS A GREAT POWER THAT DOESN'T SHY FROM HARASSING PARTNERS TO GET ITS WAY. THAT'S WHAT IS TROUBLING ABOUT CHINA'S FOREIGN INTERNATIONAL POLICY. BASICALLY CHINA HAS DECIDED THEY'RE GOING TO GET THEIR WAY WHATEVER WAY THEY CAN, AND IF THEY CAN GET IT THROUGH COERCION AND INTIMIDATION, THEY WILL DO THAT. WHEN THEY WANT CAN'T GET THAT WAY DO THEY TURN TO TRY TO COOPERATE WITH OTHERS. I THINK WE DO FACE A CHINA THAT IS VERY UNCONSTRAINED IN ITS WILLINGNESS TO THROW ITS WEIGHT AROUND, IT'S ECONOMIC WEIGHT, ITS POLITICAL WEIGHT, ITS ECONOMIC WEIGHT, ESPECIALLY IN THE INDO PACIFIC TO TRY TO GET ITS WAY. THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH THAT AND RESIST IT, AND I THINK IF WE'RE CLEAR AND RESOLUTE IN HOW WE DEAL WITH CHINA'S ATTEMPT TO THROW ITS WEIGHT AROUND, IT'S POSSIBLE THE CHINESE MAY RE-THINK THIS. BUT FOR THE MOMENT, THEY FEEL THAT THEY'VE GOT THE UPPER HAND IN MANY CASES AND THAT THEY'RE GOING TO USE THAT WHENEVER THEY CAN TO PURSUE WHAT THEY THINK ARE THEIR NATIONAL INTERESTS.

Steve says WE'VE GOT SO MUCH MORE TO TALK ABOUT HERE AND WE'RE RUNNING SHORT ON TIME, AND I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT TEN THINGS, AND I MAY HAVE TIME FOR ONE OR TWO. SO, ALL RIGHT. LET ME CALL AN AUDIBLE HERE AND SAY I KNOW THIS ISN'T PERHAPS AS TOPICAL AS RUSSIA RIGHT NOW, BUT THE FACT IS, TEN YEARS AGO THE ARAB SPRING SPRUNG, AND AS WE LOOK A DECADE LATER, IT LOOKS AS IF ONLY TUNISIA IS THE COUNTRY THAT IS REALLY SNUGGLING UP TO DEMOCRACY, WHEREAS SYRIA AND LIBYA ARE IN RUINS AND SO MUCH OF THE ARAB WORLD HAS HAD ITS HEART BROKEN AT THE LOSS OF POTENTIAL THAT THEY SAW COMING. SHUVALOY, WHY DON'T YOU START US OFF THERE. WHY DID THE ARAB SPRING FAIL SO BADLY?

The caption changes to "The Arab world."

Shuvaloy says IT'S A VERY COMPLEX QUESTION, AND I DRAW FROM SOME OF MY EXPERIENCE HAVING WORKED WITH ARAB DEMOCRATS BETWEEN 2006 AND 2010 IN THE REGION DAY TO DAY. WHAT I THINK HAS HAPPENED IS THAT WE'VE SEEN, WITH THE ARAB SPRING, THE MOST EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS THAT WERE ABLE TO MARSHALL POWER, RESOURCES, AND PEOPLE WERE EITHER MILITARY AND AUTOCRATIC ONE OR ISLAMIST ONES FUELED BY REGIONAL POWERS THAT SOUGHT TO SEE THE EMERGENCE OF MUSLIM BROTHERS OR FUNDAMENTALISTS ALTERNATIVES. ARAB DEMOCRATS NEVER HAD A LOT OF OXYGEN TO ORGANIZE, NEVER HAD A LOT OF MONEY TO BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER COALITIONS THAT WOULD BE COMPETITIVE, AND IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE DECADE THAT WE'VE SEEN, WE'VE SEEN A REGION THAT HAS BEEN COMPLETELY AFIRE AS A RESULT OF A LACK OF CIVIL SOCIETY AND SPACE FOR ARAB DEMOCRATS TO SUCCEED AND SURVIVE. WHAT WE ARE STARTING TO SEE TODAY, THOUGH, IS THE EMERGENCE OF COUNTRIES IN THE REGION THAT ARE DETERMINED TO PURSUE MODERNITY, PERHAPS THROUGH AN AUTOCRATIC MODEL, AND COUNTRIES IN THE REGION THAT ARE MORE DEDICATED TO BEING MEDIEVAL IN THEIR MINDSET, AND THAT SPLIT CREATES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT, LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS THAT CAN SEE THIS YOUTH BULGE ACROSS THE REGION TRY AND FIND SOME SORT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES THAT WILL PROVIDE THEM LONGEVITY, LIVELIHOODS, SECURITY, NOT JUST IN PERSON BUT ALSO IN FOOD, IN HEALTH AND A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT DEMANDS THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS THE REGION WISH. SO I THINK THAT WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN THE HOPE OF THE ARAB SPRING WAS A DECADE OF TOTAL DISORDER, ABSOLUTE DESTRUCTION, HORRIFIC LEVELS OF DEATH. MAYBE THERE IS A SILVER LINING THAT HAS BEEN EMERGING IN THE LAST QUARTER OF LAST YEAR IN A WAY THAT SEES THE FORCES OF MODERNITY COOPERATING BETTER.

Steve says PEGGY, DO YOU SEE ANY SILVER LINING?

Peggy says WELL, I THINK THERE IS NOW A MUCH BROADER RECOGNITION OF THE NEED FOR CONCERTED DIPLOMACY TO NEGOTIATE AN END TO THE ONGOING CONFLICTS. I MEAN, LIBYA, WHICH WAS THE CLEAREST EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A STRONG MAN IS OUSTED AND A VACUUM IS LEFT AND WE SEE COMPETING ARMED FORCES, SUPPORTED BY OTHERS, BY OUTSIDE ACTORS, STATES, EXACERBATING THE INTERNAL CONFLICT. BUT IN LIBYA, WE NOW SEE THERE IS... YOU KNOW, THERE'S BEEN SOME PROGRESS WITH THE SUPPORT OF IMPORTANT COUNTRIES TOWARDS A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT. THAT'S WHAT'S GOT TO HAPPEN WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA AS WELL AND THAT'S WHERE... THAT'S WHERE THE UNITED STATES REALLY ENGAGING IN TERMS OF GETTING ALL OF THE ACTORS INVOLVED, AND IF WE LOOK AT YEMEN, ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST HUMANITARIAN DISASTER AND WHAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS JUST ANNOUNCED, NAMING ONE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONFLICT, THE HOUTHIS ON THE TERROR LIST, ALL OF THE MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME, HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS HAVE SAID THIS IS JUST GOING TO MAKE NEGOTIATING... FINALLY NEGOTIATING AN END TO THAT TERRIBLE CONFLICT FAR MORE DIFFICULT. SO THE SILVER LINING I THINK IS THAT IT'S BECOME SO CLEAR THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE IS NO MILITARY SOLUTION IN THESE CASES, AND WE HAVE TO HAVE A NEGOTIATION WHERE ALL OF THE PARTIES ARE AT THE TABLE, ALL THE INTERNAL PARTIES BUT ALSO KEY... YOU KNOW, THERE'S A NEGOTIATION THAT TAKES ACCOUNT OF THE INTERESTS OF KEY REGIONAL ACTORS. AFGHANISTAN COMES TO MIND THERE. IT'S NOT JUST ALL THE INTERNAL PARTIES IN AFGHANISTAN THAT HAVE TO BE AT THE TABLE. THE BROADER INTERESTS, INDIA, PAKISTAN, OTHERS IN THE REGION, HAVE TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.

Steve says JAMES, ON THE ARAB SPRING, HOW DISAPPOINTING?

James says YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IT'S ENCOURAGING IN THE SENSE THAT IT REMINDS US THE ASPIRATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, FOR SELF DETERMINATION IS A UNIVERSAL ONE. IT TRANSCENDS BORDERS AND CULTURES. I THINK THE FOCUS, AS WE HEARD EARLIER, NOW NEEDS TO FOCUS ON THE ECONOMIC SIDE. I THINK IN THE LONG TERM, THE ABILITY TO BUILD MODERN DEMOCRACIES DEPENDS ON A LEVEL OF ECONOMIC PROSPERITY AND STABILITY THAT ALLOWS CIVIL SOCIETY TO FLOURISH. I THINK THAT'S WHERE WE NEED TO FOCUS, AND I THINK THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH THE EARLY EXPRESSIONS OF THE ARAB SPRING IN 2009, 2010, WAS THE PROBLEM THAT THE POLITICAL [inaudible] MOVED FORWARD BUT THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS LACK OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, LACK OF FUTURE THAT WENT WITH IT, SO IT DIDN'T CREATE THE BASE THAT WAS NEEDED FOR THE LONG-TERM SUCCESS OF THESE PROJECTS. SO I THINK WE NEED TO FOCUS ON HOW CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAN SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG WOMEN, FOR... ACROSS THE BOARD TO TRY TO BUILD THAT BASE THAT WILL ALLOW THESE FREEDOMS TO FLOURISH.

Steve says WITH A MINUTE LEFT, LET ME GIVE 20 SECONDS TO EACH OF YOU TO PUT YOUR REPUTATIONS ON THE LINE, AS IT WERE. LET'S GET SOME PREDICTIONS ON THE RECORD HERE WHICH WE WILL PLAY BACK IN A YEAR'S TIME AND SHOW HOW EITHER BRILLIANT OR FOOLHARDY ALL THREE OF YOU WERE. GO AHEAD, SHUVALOY. ONE MAJOR PREDICTION FOR THE YEAR AHEAD. WHAT DO YOU SEE?

The caption changes to "Making predictions."

Shuvaloy says CONTINUED DISRUPTION AND CONTINUED DISORDER. I DON'T THINK THAT IN 2021 WE WILL SEE THE EMERGENCE OF A FRESH START THAT WE ALL WISHED FOR AFTER 2020, AND I THINK THAT WE CAN COUNT ON THIS YEAR BEING AS UNPREDICTABLE AS THE PREVIOUS ONE.

Steve says PEGGY MASON?

Peggy says WELL, MY PREDICTION IS IN THE FORM OF A HEADLINE: "UNITED STATES REJOINS THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL, SIGNALING THAT THE DEAD END MAXIMUM PRESSURE POLICY OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WILL BE REPLACED BY RESPONSIBLE DIPLOMACY" AS A FIRST STEP TO A REBALANCING AND A REBUILDING OF A NEW SECURITY, OF A NEW REGIONAL SECURITY ORDER IN THE MIDDLE EAST, WHICH ENCOMPASSES BOTH IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA.

Steve says LAST WORD TO JAMES.

James says A REENERGIZATION OF THE MOVEMENT TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM OF CLIMATE. I THINK WITH THE UNITED STATES REJOINING THE PARIS AGREEMENT AND A REAL CONCERTED EFFORT WITH SOME STRONG LEADERSHIP FROM THE PRESIDENT AND FORMER SENATOR KERRY, THAT THE UNITED STATES BEGINS TO FIND NEW WAYS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INSIGHTS WE GOT FROM COVID AND THE CHANGING STRUCTURE OF OUR ECONOMY TO REALLY BEGIN TO GET THE WORLD BACK FOCUSED ON WHAT IS THE PREEMINENT CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME.

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says JAMES STEINBERG FROM SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, PEGGY MASON FROM THE RIDEAU INSTITUTE ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, SHUVALOY MAJUMDAR MACDONALD LAURIER INSTITUTE. REALLY GOOD OF ALL THREE OF YOU TO JOIN US ON TVO TONIGHT. THE BEST OF THE NEW YEAR. LET'S HOPE ALL OF YOUR OPTIMISTIC PREDICTIONS COME TRUE.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Shuvaloy says HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Watch: How Divided Will the World Be in 2021?