The success or failure of any country over the next 20 years hinges on development. By the next generation some countries are likely to have subtantially improved their standared of living and their quality of life, some will have muddled along becoming a little better while some destined to fail and will suffer from falling living standards. Which country will flourish and which fail will depend on their efficiency, honesty and discipline.
Take the example of Singapore as a city state. Singapore is fascinating because it is the most perfect example anywhere in the world of a disciplined and ordered city state which have made virtue out of having no resources. By education, application and discipline it has become an example to the world.
We have plenty of experience of natural disasters. A quite different kind of threat comes from ethnic disharmony. All these thoughts are dispiriting. But it is also possible that next twenty years could turn out to be better for the whole world because people are becoming better educated. Proportionately more people are literate than ever before, the universities have more undergraduates than ever before and there are more people engaged in post-graduate work. If each generation is better educated than its parents surely the next generation is likely to make better judgements than the last.
Put bluntly, if countries wish to become richer, then people will have to learn to behave better.