Agenda for change.

THE World Economic Forum has released its Climate Risk Report 2023. It does not have any good news for world leaders who manage global economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological challenges. It is frightening for everyone, but worse for Pakistan, already frequented by climate disasters. Most risks will transcend national boundaries and cannot be addressed effectively by any country alone. Regional approaches and international cooperation will be necessary for the sustainability of actions and their outcomes.

The Risk Report has outlined how the winds of change are blowing across the world and how they can be perilous for ill-prepared countries from the short- to long-term perspective of two to 10 years. The report provides an opportunity to financial managers in Pakistan to align the country's public policy decisions with the emerging risks, while tackling the growing risk of default, or managing an economic turnaround. They need to address both crises simultaneously, as there is no headroom for any sequencing.

WEF's Pakistan specific report is chilling. DevAeAloped by Mashal, it has listed the top 10 risks that pose the biggest threats to Pakistan in the next two years: i) digital power concentration and monopolies; ii) failure of cybersecurity measures (including loss of privacy, data fraud or theft, cybAeArespionage); iii) rapid and/or sustained inflation; iv) debt crises; v) state collapse; vi) lack of widespread digital services and digital inequality; vii) interstate conflict; viii) terrestrial biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; ix) terrorist attacks; and x) employment and livelihood crisis. Most of these risks were not on our horizon just a few years ago. We have often dismissed them simplistically as outcomes of fifth-generation warfare.

These threats were hardly mentioned in our natAional security or climate change polices. It shows that a new set of non-traditional security (NTS) threats have emerged and it is becoming more bewildering for policymakers. EnvironmeAntal issues are seldom debated in our public policy discourse and their cascading effects on the ecoAnomy and human security are rarely recogniAsed. Juxtaposed against the top 10 global risks in the next two and 10 years given in the Risk Report, it would appear that the risks slated for the next 10 years have already begun to visit us in Pakistan.

The 'Risk Report' outlines how the winds of change can be perilous for ill-prepared countries.


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