Stjepan Mesić, Former President of the Republic of Croatia (2000 – 2010)
Impact of the pandemic on the world and cooperation
If there is any lesson to be learned already now from the sanitary crisis, it should be that the world is globally connected and only national answer on the Covid - 19 will not solve the crisis nor prepare the world for next pandemic properly.
The current coronavirus crisis hit the whole world and all countries acted too late to contain the spread of the virus. The coronavirus pandemic has affected more than two million people and is still spreading, causing immense human suffering and grave prospects for the global economy. And no country could be safe unless all countries are safe what is hardly possible without global, regional and national cooperation. If there is any lesson to be learned already now from the sanitary crisis, it should be that the world is globally connected and only national answer on the Covid - 19 will not solve the crisis nor prepare the world for next pandemic properly.
The global response provides a logical way for respond to epidemics but in this hard time for people of the whole world it appears pretty undetermined and even uncertain.
The USA, leading economy and military superpower, frozen its funds for the WHO that has been seen in many countries as an unappropriated attack on the global role of this organisation and weakening chances for global response on this unprecedented health crisis. America's soft power, that rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others, has been hardly hit with that move. In this pandemic America's moral authority and its global role has been strongly shaken by its own government.
The WHO natural role is to take the lead in coordinating national responses and should be supported by all countries and by the United Nations. The Security Council members should act quickly and adopt approach that global pandemic may threaten international peace and stability how could the UN work on global response.
In the situation when the United States Administration does not see its role as a work with other states and global institutions to develop a global plan and take responsibility for fighting the virus with the needs of its citizens and globally other global powers European Union, China and Russia should take global leadership supporting more openly the WHO and give it more financial resources.
The European Union understand the WHO as an important global organisation in managing the corona crisis with strong credibility. Brussels reaction on the on-going coronavirus crisis has not been quick but slower and more gradual because never in its history the Union was faced with such kind of pandemic that should halting of its economy.
In the first weeks of crisis Brussels has been criticised for lacking solidarity among member states and fragile health cooperation in slowing the spread of the virus but now the EU shows it has economic of financial capacity to respond to a crisis of such proportion. The covid -19, as well as bailout of Greece, has shown that division among north and south in Europe is present but this time eurozone policymakers decided to solve the crisis establishing the fund of 500 billion euros for 19 countries that use single currency.
This is the greatest peacetime challenge to the EU that is deeply aware the pandemic needs a global response, global action and coordination that is vital for lives of people, for economy growth and for the world stability.
China, that was first country hit by Cvid-19 strongly supports the WHO and the UN as a central organisation in defining global approach to the pandemic stressing that global cooperation is needed. China has helped many countries in the world with medical donation as well with its ability to organise production of vital medical equipment and export it though it had lockdown for three months in Wuhan.
The global cooperation hardly could be implemented if order in the world in next decades will continue to be based on old pattern of power politics, unilateralism and weakening of global institutions. At the moment China is only country that have a concept of a shared destiny for humanity that could be useful in providing long term answer on challenge of the global pandemic to the world stability.
Recently President of China Xi Jinping talked again about the concept with Secretary General of UN António Guterres who supported the common ideal and good pursuit of humankind, elevating the ideas of the common people in the world in a new historical period.
China launched the concept of building community of human destiny in February 2017, in the UN, Geneva and the same year the 71st session of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution on "United Nations and global economic governance", incorporating China's concept of business process for building and sharing.
Implementation of this concept could help the world to be structurally prepared to manage any future health crisis nationally, regionally and globally.
Hope the international relations will be upgraded in that way that thinks about the interests of humanity not only about profit goals.