.
T

he final day of the 2021 Davos Agenda, centered around the topic of “advancing global and regional cooperation,” saw heads of state and industry leaders come together to both highlight the successes of global cooperation in handling the COVID-19 pandemic as well as warn against vaccine nationalism and other potential disunity that may increase post-pandemic.

In Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong’s opening address, he notes how as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the world “was forcibly reminded that our fates were intertwined and that we had to work together,” praising the global community’s efforts to restore supply chains, share tests and medical supplies, and work towards vaccine multilateralism initiatives. Similarly, he commends scientists and doctors in their willingness to share information about the disease and potential treatments, and notes that on the part of central banks, it was the “unprecedented levels of emergency spending and budgetary stimulus [that] have kept us afloat, providing a lifeline to companies, workers and families.” He also comments that in terms of climate change, “collectively we need to set higher common standards and hold one another to our mutual commitments.”

Similarly, Prime Minister of Japan Suga Yoshihide explains in his address that Japan’s green growth strategy is meant to create 15 million jobs by 2050, at the same point in which Japan plans to become carbon neutral. He also notes “environmental measures are no longer an economic constraint. Rather, they substantially transform the social economy, generating robust growth.” In terms of the delayed Tokyo Summer Olympic games, he says “this is going to be the testimony of our humankind prevailing over COVID-19, so we are resolved to deliver the games in a safe and secure manner.” He also promises “amidst the protectionist moves due to COVID-19, Japan will exercise leadership in the efforts towards expanding free and fair economic areas and strengthening rule-based multilateral free trading system,” as well as continue to work towards strengthening global relations.

Indeed, with a burgeoning sense that global cooperation and multilateralism will be of the utmost importance post COVID-19 in order to tackle ever-growing global issues, several panels of the day focused on how collaborative efforts between countries will be necessary to manage these global risks. In terms of COVID-19, Arancha González Laya, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the European Union & Cooperation of Spain, highlights that “cooperation is proving the most efficient way to deal with the pandemic and its impact” and notes that “we wouldn’t have been able to develop a vaccine in less than a year if it hadn’t been for international cooperation.” Furthermore, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno L.P. Marsudi urges against the politicization of the COVID-19 vaccines, stating that “we must remind ourselves vaccines are a humanitarian issue, not a political one.” Taro Kono, Minister of Administrative Reform and Regulatory Reform in the Cabinet Office of Japan, ultimately agrees “we need to put values first, including human rights.”

Kang Kyun-Wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Korea explains that in order to tackle global challenges moving forward, there are four things we must do: strengthen the WHO, tackle misinformation and disinformation, strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach, and restore multilateralism. In terms of US-China relations in specific, Fu Ying, Vice-Chairperson for the Foreign Affairs Committee on the 13th National People’s Congress, acknowledges that “it’s a challenge for both [the US and China] to find a way forward,” as the sense of competition between the two countries have grown over the past few years. However, she also notes that “how China and the US define [their] relationship is important not just to both countries but to the world,” and lastly notes that “as long as we have this spirit of mutual respect, and respect the fact each culture can exist in its own way, I’m sure it can evolve.”

As the 2021 Davos Agenda comes to a close, the global risks of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine nationalism, climate change, food and water scarcity, geopolitical tensions in addition to a host of other global issues may paint a dark picture of the future, but if there is anything to be gained from this year’s Davos agenda, it is this: strengthened global cooperation and multilateralism is the only way forward.

About
Winona Roylance
:
Winona Roylance is Diplomatic Courier's senior correspondent in Asia and a senior contributing editor.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

a global affairs media network

www.diplomaticourier.com

Davos Agenda Day Five: Advancing Global and Regional Cooperation

January 29, 2021

T

he final day of the 2021 Davos Agenda, centered around the topic of “advancing global and regional cooperation,” saw heads of state and industry leaders come together to both highlight the successes of global cooperation in handling the COVID-19 pandemic as well as warn against vaccine nationalism and other potential disunity that may increase post-pandemic.

In Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong’s opening address, he notes how as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the world “was forcibly reminded that our fates were intertwined and that we had to work together,” praising the global community’s efforts to restore supply chains, share tests and medical supplies, and work towards vaccine multilateralism initiatives. Similarly, he commends scientists and doctors in their willingness to share information about the disease and potential treatments, and notes that on the part of central banks, it was the “unprecedented levels of emergency spending and budgetary stimulus [that] have kept us afloat, providing a lifeline to companies, workers and families.” He also comments that in terms of climate change, “collectively we need to set higher common standards and hold one another to our mutual commitments.”

Similarly, Prime Minister of Japan Suga Yoshihide explains in his address that Japan’s green growth strategy is meant to create 15 million jobs by 2050, at the same point in which Japan plans to become carbon neutral. He also notes “environmental measures are no longer an economic constraint. Rather, they substantially transform the social economy, generating robust growth.” In terms of the delayed Tokyo Summer Olympic games, he says “this is going to be the testimony of our humankind prevailing over COVID-19, so we are resolved to deliver the games in a safe and secure manner.” He also promises “amidst the protectionist moves due to COVID-19, Japan will exercise leadership in the efforts towards expanding free and fair economic areas and strengthening rule-based multilateral free trading system,” as well as continue to work towards strengthening global relations.

Indeed, with a burgeoning sense that global cooperation and multilateralism will be of the utmost importance post COVID-19 in order to tackle ever-growing global issues, several panels of the day focused on how collaborative efforts between countries will be necessary to manage these global risks. In terms of COVID-19, Arancha González Laya, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the European Union & Cooperation of Spain, highlights that “cooperation is proving the most efficient way to deal with the pandemic and its impact” and notes that “we wouldn’t have been able to develop a vaccine in less than a year if it hadn’t been for international cooperation.” Furthermore, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno L.P. Marsudi urges against the politicization of the COVID-19 vaccines, stating that “we must remind ourselves vaccines are a humanitarian issue, not a political one.” Taro Kono, Minister of Administrative Reform and Regulatory Reform in the Cabinet Office of Japan, ultimately agrees “we need to put values first, including human rights.”

Kang Kyun-Wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Korea explains that in order to tackle global challenges moving forward, there are four things we must do: strengthen the WHO, tackle misinformation and disinformation, strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach, and restore multilateralism. In terms of US-China relations in specific, Fu Ying, Vice-Chairperson for the Foreign Affairs Committee on the 13th National People’s Congress, acknowledges that “it’s a challenge for both [the US and China] to find a way forward,” as the sense of competition between the two countries have grown over the past few years. However, she also notes that “how China and the US define [their] relationship is important not just to both countries but to the world,” and lastly notes that “as long as we have this spirit of mutual respect, and respect the fact each culture can exist in its own way, I’m sure it can evolve.”

As the 2021 Davos Agenda comes to a close, the global risks of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine nationalism, climate change, food and water scarcity, geopolitical tensions in addition to a host of other global issues may paint a dark picture of the future, but if there is anything to be gained from this year’s Davos agenda, it is this: strengthened global cooperation and multilateralism is the only way forward.

About
Winona Roylance
:
Winona Roylance is Diplomatic Courier's senior correspondent in Asia and a senior contributing editor.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.