By: Li Mengdi, International Cooperation Department, Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies, China International Publishing Group, and Dr Funeka Yazini April, Coordinator, BRICS Research Center, HSRC.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has not only resulted in a public health crisis, but also mass production shutdowns and supply chain disruptions due to port closures causing global ripple effects across all economic sectors. COVID -19 has also exposed the need for a multilateral developmental global governance system that can effectively address pandemics and their multiple outcomes.
In order to provide a global platform to address international cooperation in combatting COVID -19, The Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies implemented an international webinar. The webinar was co-hosted on June 9, 2020 with other prestigious institutions such as the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa; British East Asia Council; Center for Brazil-China Studies Fundao Getulio Varga; The Bridge Tank of France; Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies; and the National Research Institute of World Economy International Relations of Russia of the Russia Academy of Sciences. Under the framework of the forum, four thematic forums will also be held separately on the topics of “global cooperation to fight the epidemic: challenges and opportunities”, “public health: a new issue in global governance”, “global economic recovery: new goals and new impetus” and “coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development: a Chinese perspective”.
The seminar consisted high level experts and distinguished guests in the pictures highlighted such as Gao Anming, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of China International Publishing Group, Du Zhanyuan, President of China International Publishing Group, Alistair M. Michie, Secretary General of the British East Asia Council, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee of Pakistan & Chairman of Pakistan-China Institute, Narnia Bohler-Muller, Divisional Executive of the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, Alexander V. Lomanov, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences U Nyunt Maung Shein, Chairman of Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies and Yu Yunquan, President of the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies
Over 60 participants from 17 countries attended the sub-forum and exchanged views on addressing the challenges of Covid-19 to global public health governance, as well as strategies of enhancing global public health cooperation for better global governance. The webinar participants agreed on the need for enhancing global cooperation to combat COVID-19 and building a community with a shared future for mankind
The Global Think Tanks Online Forum on International Cooperation to Combat COVID-19, held on Tuesday and Wednesday, issued a joint statement calling for international solidarity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Major infectious diseases are the common enemy of humanity, and only with solidarity and cooperation can the international community overcome the pandemic. All countries should live up to their responsibilities for their people and promote global cooperation against COVID-19.
2. We share the abiding commitment of putting the people and their lives first. We salute all the countries that have taken active and effective measures and made huge sacrifices to control COVID-19 under their particular national conditions. We appreciate the endeavours of those countries which have actively engaged in international cooperation, kept the international community informed of COVID-19 dynamics in their countries, shared experience in epidemic control and treatment of patients, and provided generous assistance to other countries in need.
3. The virus knows no borders and the pandemic does not distinguish between races. COVID-19 has exposed weaknesses in both national public health systems and global governance, and may lead to rising global inequality. In response, the international community should work together to build a global community of health for all, jointly address challenges in a scientific and rational way, and strengthen global solidarity,
4. We support the World Health Organization in leading international cooperation to combat COVID-19. We urge the international community to enhance cooperation and information sharing in disease prevention and control, treatment of patients and relevant research, ensure equal right to lives and health for all countries, races and social groups, provide more material, technical and personnel support to developing countries for improving public health emergency responses and promoting economic recovery, and oppose discrimination and prejudice in any form.
5. The international community should also strengthen global coordination of the research and development, mass manufacturing and equitable distribution of vaccines for COVID-19, and ensure that they are universally available, and do everything possible to minimize the impact of the pandemic on world economy, strengthen international macroeconomic policy coordination and keep the global industrial and supply chains running.
6. Think tanks should encourage all research and exploration based on science, knowledge and reason, and broaden channels of knowledge-sharing and exchanges.
Let us join hands and contribute our share to safeguarding human health, improving human wellbeing and building a global community of shared future