2017: Changes to Expect? What Next?

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact  that the old is dying and the new cannot  be born;

in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.’

– Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, circa 1930.

Antonio Donini is co-author of a soon to be published report: “Planning from the Future”, which offers a diagnosis of what ails the world at present and imagines what inevitable change might look like. In what is a summary preview of the report, the IRIN news agency published on 30 November 2016, an op-ed piece by Donini which impresses with its searing clarity.

“Long before the November 2016 US elections,” he begins, “there were clear signals that multilateralism was in crisis. In fact, Donald Trump’s election is just the continuation of a downward spiral that has been under way for some time.”

We offer here four quotes from Donini’s op-ed which, we hope, will encourage you to read the piece:


“From Afghanistan to Ukraine, from Libya to Yemen, from South Sudan to Syria: the UN Security Council is blocked, and there is no respite in sight for civilians.”


“Europe is externalising its borders and pursuing short-sighted and aggressive return policies, undermining refugees in places such as Turkey and the Dadaab camp in Kenya, and making aid to the Sahel and Afghanistan conditional on pushbacks or migrant suppression. Meanwhile, the Global South, including some of its poorest countries, continues to host 86% of the global refugee populations.”

Human Rights:

“The erosion of the International Criminal Court and… the general decline of international respect for human rights, may well signal the dawn of a “post-human rights era”, meaning that the enforcement and expansion of human rights standards through binding international law is in decline.”

Climate Change and USAid:

“Under a Trump presidency, these and other “morbid symptoms” are likely to intensify. This might include the United States distancing itself or even withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement, cuts to UN budgets and other “unfriendly” international agencies, and the slashing of US humanitarian and development aid, particularly to those countries “that hate us”.”

Donini looks at ‘Changes to Expect’ and proffers the question: “What Next?”

He concludes by stating:

“What is certain is that the current humanitarian system, broke, broken or both, won’t serve us well in the new international and political landscape we face. The challenge is to foster one that will.”

Donini’s full opinion piece may be accessed here:

The ‘Planning for the Future’ report can be accessed by clicking here:









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