The “World Happiness Report 2022” was published on March 18, 2022, by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative of the United Nations.[i] This was three weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and nearly three years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The first report was issued in 2012. These reports are written by a group of independent experts and the views expressed in the reports do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization, agency, or program of the UN.
In the military context, the word “retreat” means “the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position”. In a broader context, it is defined as “an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable”. [i] For obvious reasons, the word is anathema to politicians. They prefer expressions like “revision” or “updating” of policy. But in Türkiye, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) avoids even using such expressions as they might be conceived as an admission of error. It prefers to refer to its foreign policy reversals as “normalization of relations”. How we ended up having an abnormal state of relations with others is not an issue.
With the war in Ukraine, “the emerging world order” has become a current topic with conflicting opening gambits.
The West argues for the rules-based international order, the body of rules, norms, and institutions that govern relations. Among those are treaties, international law, formal structures, institutions, and values at the center of which are democracy and respect for human rights.
In another ten days, it will be six months since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The news of the war no longer makes the headlines. Because it only takes time for the most unexpected, for the worst to become the new normal, like in Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
Last Monday, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told reporters that nothing about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible trip changed US policy toward Taiwan. He said, “We have been clear from the very beginning that she will make her own decisions and that Congress is an independent branch of government. Our Constitution embeds a separation of powers. This is well known to the PRC, given our more than four decades of diplomatic relations. The Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and a Speaker of the House has visited Taiwan before without incident, as have many members of Congress, including this year.” He was referring to House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s visit to Taiwan in 1997.
Last Friday President Erdoğan flew to Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi where he was welcomed by President Putin as a “dear friend”. [i] Two weeks ago, in joint remarks to the press following the Astana format summit in Tehran on July 19, 2022, he had addressed both President Raisi and President Putin as “dear brother”.