International pandemic cooperation: challenges and possible answers

23.03.2020
1201

According to G. Edson and R. Fontaine


The G7 countries have not yet been able to find an adequate remedy against the pandemic. Closing borders around the world, curtailing production and limiting social mobility cannot replace multilateral cooperation to confront the disease. Given bets, this is a potentially fatal omission.
The World Health Organization called for an additional $ 675 million to cover pandemic costs. As of Friday morning, she received less than 25 percent of the required funds. The G20 must commit to providing a balance. The G20 should also provide additional funding to combat the pandemic in developing countries. Recognizing that the poorest countries in the world are also least prepared to confront the disease, G20 leaders should increase funding for the World Bank's International Development Association.
In addition, the G7 should harmonize the current confusion of travel rules, including protocols for checking participants at international borders, and G20 members should coordinate their actions on this issue as much as possible. The leaders of both groups should coordinate economic responses, both in terms of fiscal stimulus and monetary policy.
Consistent with the wartime approach, they should share information on the national industrial potential necessary for the production of critical items, such as mechanical ventilation apparatus, masks and protective equipment for health workers working at the forefront. And they must agree to a duty-free trade in these goods.
G-7 countries should coordinate, not duplicate, research on therapeutic agents and a possible vaccine against coronavirus, and agree that once the vaccine becomes available, it can be produced in sufficient quantities and widely distributed. Leaders at both the G7 level and the G20 level should not postpone the next meeting, but schedule regular reviews to monitor the implementation of specific commitments and goals.
Doing all this would represent an ambitious agenda for both the G7 and the G20. And given the deepening global pandemic, this is necessary. Existing guidelines for countering coronavirus recommend that people keep their distance from each other. Like-minded countries facing a common enemy should do exactly the opposite.

 
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