The Global Cooperation Barometer 2024

WEF Report: “From 2012 up until the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in cooperation across four of the five pillars, with peace and security being the only exception. Innovation and technology saw the biggest increase in cooperation – at more than 30%.

The report shows a “stark deterioration” in the peace and security pillar due to a rapid rise in the number of forcibly displaced people and deaths from conflict. However, there has been “continued growth” in the climate and nature pillar due to increased commitments from countries.

Cooperation trends by pillar.

How cooperation has developed over the past decade, by pillar Image: World Economic Forum

Here’s what you need to know about cooperation across the five pillars.

  • Trade and capital

Global trade and capital flows rose moderately between 2012 and 2022. During the pandemic, these areas experienced volatility, with labour migration patterns dropping. But metrics such as goods trade, development assistance and developing countries’ share of foreign direct investment, and manufacturing exports have returned to strong growth in the post-pandemic period, says the report.

  • Innovation and technology

In the eight years until the pandemic, innovation and technology cooperation “maintained strong and significant growth” across most indicators, especially cross-border data flows and IT services trade. But this has plateaued since 2020, with some key metrics, including cross-border patent applications and international student flows, falling.


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  • Climate and natural capital

This is the only pillar that has seen the majority of indicators rise across the whole decade, with financial commitments to mitigation and adaptation and a significant expansion of marine protected areas. However, emissions continue to rise and “progress towards ecological outcomes is stagnant”, says the report.

  • Health and wellness

Between 2012 and 2020, cooperation on health and wellness rose consistently and was “essential” to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, says the report, citing vaccine development, if not necessarily distribution, as an example. But cooperation has dipped slightly since its peak in 2020.

  • Peace and security

Trends in peace and security cooperation have declined considerably since 2016, driven by a rise in forcibly displaced people and cyberattacks, as well as a recent increase in the number of conflicts and conflict-related deaths. The report notes these metrics suggest an “increasingly unstable global security environment and increased intensity of conflicts”…(More)”.