We are witnessing new and organic bilateral and multilateral relationships emerging in the vacuum of global institutional leadership.
An informal grouping of countries that swiftly responded to COVID-19 have been quietly convening during the crisis to swap notes on the virus and share thoughts on the recovery ahead.
It comes as the UN Secretary-General António Guterres himself criticized a lack of global leadership and pandemic coordination— and as the EU considers restricting entry for American travelers.
The informal group that began convening in March includes Austria, Australia, Denmark, Greece, Norway, the Czech Republic, Israel, Singapore and New Zealand.
These nations— sharing few political or policy similarities— were brought together by Austria. Their key commonality is their fast-moving, early response to the pandemic.
Having mostly contained the virus, the group has begun sharing ideas on how to reopen— to each other.
Travel bubbles could sprout between Australia and Israel for example, and for all these “early movers” in and out of Denmark.
It’s possible a large safe travel zone linking all these nations is created in the months ahead.
Noticeably absent from these discussions are the United States and China — unthinkable in a global body only months ago.
These newfound informal relationships and policy liaisons will be another legacy of the pandemic, potentially reshaping the geo-political map for years to come.