- Friday | 24 Apr, 2020
- Ayesha Ilyas
- COVID-19 Policy Review Series
Introduction: COVID-19 pandemic has brought social life, health systems and economies of the world to their knees, bringing all activities to a halt, albeit a majority of the affected being highly developed. The spectrum of this pandemic is so broad that 210 countries and territories have been hit so far with around 2.8 million affected cases and over 190,000 deaths rising day-by-day. Fear has grappled everyone and there is a widespread panic everywhere across the world. Entire communities are isolated and life is brought to a standstill that many are witnessing for the first time. The global shutdown has sent the world’s economy into a tailspin (Elliott 2020). Stock exchanges across the world are on course for fall. Global markets have seen their largest single-day drop since 1987 (Sraders 2020). Supply chains have been disrupted and will be difficult to restart (Campbell and Doshi 2020). The pandemic impact can be felt in all sectors and is getting worse as it spreads further to countries with fragile governance and economies (Yong 2020). Key Messages: • The dynamics of geopolitics are shaping up very quickly. Geopolitics is paving the way for a major change in global power structure. Avoiding conflict in long-term will require concise efforts broadly transforming the governance, economic and security structures for common goods globally. • Starting from the restructuring of the UN Security Council, veto power culture needs to be abrogated. Regional chapters on the basis of population and economic size of the United Nations need to be introduced with the right of veto power. Reginal forums like EU, ASEAN, SAARC, etc. can serve the purpose as part of UN Security Council. • There is a need to alter the structures of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) making them more concentrated on ‘human interests’ and not merely the economic interest of certain countries. The voting formula of IMF and World Bank should also be changed. The design of these institutions should also be changed to consider agendas exclusive to SDGs, etc. • Belt and Road Initiative may be in jeopardy right now, but more multi-lateral initiatives, with a facet of lifting the low-income economies using sustainable business models, are required to create more balance in the living conditions across the world and to enable economies all over to increase expenditure on health and public wellbeing. • The world needs a concise effort under an international security framework to stop the way of such diseases or catastrophe in future, considering pandemics like COVID-19, a collective enemy of all.