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Searching for a new world order in Davos
Contributed by Independent Online, South Africa   

Davos, Switzerland - The spectacular rise of China and India coupled with a decline in US influence has prompted heated debate in Davos this year over possible scenarios for a new world order.

While the United States remains the undisputed military superpower, experts participating in the annual gathering of the world's political and business elite have highlighted its waning ability to set the global agenda on its own.

And with the UN Security Council struggling to provide a consensus on just about any major issue, the question of what nation, group of nations or international institution could command a leading role on the future world stage was floated to a widely varying response.

The only real point of agreement was that the current fluidity in the balance of world power carries a serious threat of instability and conflict, as well as concerns over how to build an effective international response to extreme abuses of power such as acts of genocide or ethnic cleansing.

"We don't live in a multi-polar world, we live in a non-polar world," said John Chipman, director general of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

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