The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19.
This year, keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, we are looking at a conference where some speakers will be able to attend in person taking care of the social distancing and other precautionary measures, while the rest will participate through a web-based platform meant for virtual conference.
In an unprecedented turn of events, the year 2020 saw COVID-19 pandemic take over the world. The world since COVID-19 is not the same as it was before. Multilateral organizations have already warned about global recessions and major food crisis after the health emergency. Epidemiologists are also warning about a second wave of COVID-19 next winter. Scientists are yet to determine how the virus evolves and human response to it.
Keeping this in view, the Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference will focus on “Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19”.
Background: On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, urging the governments to devise their preparedness plans, place emergency procedures to protect the public, cut down drastically on travel and initiate other restrictions. Within weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic spiralled exponentially as the scientists, doctors and health care providers, international organisations, states and countries tried to get a grip on it.
Since China officially reported its first case on 10 January 2020 and WHO declared the pandemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January the coronavirus (COVID-19) had spread to 212 countries/territories along with two international conveyances by 10 May By that day, the numbers had reached four million one hundred twenty-four thousand seven hundred sixty-five cases of COVID-19 globally, one million four hundred fifty-two thousand seven hundred eighty-eight recoveries and two hundred eighty thousand nine hundred thirty-eight deaths (ibid).
After China, the pandemic rapidly spread to many other countries, including Iran, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Simultaneously, the cases in the USA grew exponentially surpassing the figures of the other countries. As the pandemic continues, it is further being predicted that Afghanistan, Pakistan and India may become its next targets.
A pandemic like this neither differentiates between cities, regions, countries, nationalities, religion, race, colour, class, sex or age nor between public or the leaders. It forced the states to go for lockdown of localities, cities and shutting down of businesses, industries, educational institutions, and closure of borders. It has brought travel to a grinding stop and jolted the livelihoods, and everyday life of the rich and the poor.
A world since this pandemic is indeed a different world altogether. The repercussions will go a long way. In the light of this, SDPI’s Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference will specifically be focussing on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and a changing world order since the outbreak of the pandemic. The Conference will also deliberate upon how the macroeconomic developments, trading across borders, and social safety-nets will evolve as governments around the world respond to this challenge and are getting ready to grab some of the opportunities, mainly digitalization of economy, telehealth, distance learning, etc. These opportunities may help in reducing inequalities in Asian countries provided they are able to overcome digital divide between the developed and the underdeveloped world.
It all implies that other threats the humanity is being warned about, including climate change, food insecurity; recession and unstable economies, to name a few, are real and we need to be prepared for them.
This Conference invites experts and researchers from academia and think tanks as well as policy makers to come forward and deliberate together on the key questions one should be asking and propose solutions in the context of health, climate change, migration, peace and harmony, human rights, energy, social protection and good governance, water issues, cultural diplomacy in the times of COVID-19 and much more.
The progress that continues to inspire and connect millions of us remains ever evolving; impossible to put in a box and be labelled as one stands amidst the rapidly changing world since COVID-19. With the advancement in technology and connectivity, which the previous Sustainable Development Conference gave a prelude to, one remains aware that shifting power will create important new security concerns; inequality may grow; and societies fragment.
As countries try to grapple with the COVID-19 situation, new ways of communicating, working and interacting are being devised. Social distancing, wearing a mask, remote learning, web-based classrooms, working and meeting online to name a few, have become a new normal since the pandemic.
This year’s Conference will reflect on what worked and what did not in the fields of health and social safety nets, economy and trade, food security and supply chains, non/availability of water, impacts on migration, climate change and environment, cultural diplomacy, how is it going to impact our day-to-day life, methods of governance, education, tourism, cybernetics, artificial intelligence – in short the security of humankind.
A list of panels is being updated at the given weblink:
Speakers are requested to click on the active link of the panel title and review the focus of the panel before submitting an abstract.
All abstracts will go through a software review for originality and if cleared will be reviewed by an editorial committee. Only those speakers with short-listed abstracts will be informed to submit their papers by the deadline, i.e. 1 November 2020. Potential speakers are requested to specify the panel title while submitting their abstracts.