Former British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that space exploration, artificial intelligence weapons and electronic warfare are moving faster than the attempts of major countries to control and supervise them.
In an article for the British newspaper “The Times”, Hague pointed out that two major shifts have occurred in international affairs nearly a decade after Russia was excluded from the Group of Eight industrialized countries, against the background of its decision to annex the Crimea, which became It was then called the “Group of Seven” (G7), and its members included the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Italy and Canada.
The former British minister considered that these two transformations helped give new meaning to the Group of Seven major industrialized countries, whose leaders will meet at a summit in Cornwall (southwest of England) from 11 to 13 June.
He described the invitation of the Group of Seven to India, South Korea and Australia to attend the summit as “an early attempt” to build a broader coalition of democratic countries to confront China.
But he thinks it will not be easy; Because “India has always boasted of its strategic autonomy, while Europe is chasing its own mirage,” Washington sees the gathering of the group’s leaders as one step in the way of defining a new grand strategy for the West.
As for the other major transformation – according to Haig – which represents a revival of the Group of Seven, it is not fully understood; But it was clearly demonstrated in the historic agreement of the group’s finance ministers last week, to impose taxes on multinational companies.
The great importance of that agreement, albeit belatedly, is that it managed to address one issue, which was taxes, which Hague considered good news. The unpleasant news for him is that all international groupings, from the Group of 20 to the United Nations, have been overtaken by the accelerating wave of innovation and scientific progress.
From genetic modification to space travel, cyberattacks, restrictions on nuclear weapons, and the manufacture of weapons that employ artificial intelligence, they are all aspects of technological breakthroughs that have made many international structures look obsolete or at times turn into ruins.
And the former Secretary of State considered space as a good starting point for thinking, quoting a phrase of the official of space operations in the United States, who believes that this field “lacks rules to control behavior,” blaming what he called the “Wild West.”
Hague pointed out that Britain pushed last December a reasonable proposal at the United Nations, in which it called on the countries of the world to adopt responsible behavior in space, adding that China and Russia voted against it, and new developments followed that resulted in violations of all previous agreements.
He said the 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits the use of weapons of mass destruction in space; However, it has done nothing about the developments that have occurred in many ways since the attacks of space objects.
The author of the article touched on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which the two signatories – the United States and Russia – withdrew despite its “great importance.” The two sides also withdrew from the “Open Skies” treaty amid increased use of satellites and accusations of cheating by Russia.
William Hague concludes by saying that the tremendous developments in the field of biotechnology have helped humans in the fight against the emerging corona virus; However, it can be abused.
He stressed the need to expedite the strengthening of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons and the formulation of an international code of conduct, as well as the need to adopt the use of human genome editing techniques.
He added that we are fortunate to live in an era of unprecedented discoveries; But the ethical, political, and strategic questions raised by these discoveries far outweigh the weak global administration’s ability to deal with them, and the issues related to nuclear, space and conventional weapons are so intertwined that it is difficult to define and answer a number of questions about them.