On the whole, however, 2009 should see much less American hubris in international affairs.
No less a geopolitical chess player than Henry Kissinger believes 2009 "will mark the beginning of a new world order."
Leaders from the larger, G20 group of wealthy nations gather for a first-ever meeting in Washington in November to discuss the economic situation. (Associated Press) He draws attention to the contradiction between the way global economic forces today work without regard to borders and the old-fashioned way international governance remains locked into the prerogatives of single states.
A new framework for international decision-making is long overdue. Currently, the prospects for international cooperation are dimmed when bodies such as the UN Security Council, to which Canada is now seeking membership, can be routinely hamstrung by China and Russia acting as wary spoilers.
When you look around, you see that most of the big international projects are in abeyance. Competing national agendas have stalled international trade negotiations (the so-called Doha round), talks surrounding climate change and energy cooperation, and nuclear proliferation.