The coronavirus illness is wreaking havoc the world over and it’s removed from clear how lengthy it is going to final. The complete extent of the harm, each financial and non-economic, will not be identified for some time. Already nonetheless, it’s potential to attract some essential classes and underline key traits in a post-Covid-19 world.
The State is again, and the way!
The centrality of the State has been introduced into sharp reduction through the Covid-19 disaster. Somewhat than debate whether or not it’s the democratic or the authoritarian system of governance that has accomplished higher to deal with the virus, the important thing query to ask is what sort of a State is required. Each South Korea and Taiwan are held out as mannequin pupils which have coped efficiently with the virus outbreak, however in each instances the State was not simply ruthlessly environment friendly in implementing measures but additionally loved an enormous diploma of belief with their respective inhabitants. Within the case of China, the State was certainly robust however it’s uncertain if it loved the type of belief that was essential to sort out a disaster of this magnitude. Therefore the preliminary missteps. Both method, the State is again!
The post-coronavirus world due to this fact will want a powerful, environment friendly State which enjoys the belief of its individuals.
Public Well being Safety
It strikes one as weird that whereas nations boast of strategic meals shares and petroleum reserves to reinforce their meals and vitality safety, a few of the richest nations should not have shares of vaccines, paracetamol, masks or certainly the HCQ, or the hydroxychloroquine drug. In different phrases, public well being safety took a backseat by way of nations’ priorities. This may undoubtedly change.
Public well being safety will, henceforth outflank meals and vitality safety and can equal, if not surpass nationwide safety within the calculations of nations within the post-coronavirus world.
Regional Worth Chains to the fore
The period of unbridled globalisation, symbolised, inter alia, by simply in time manufacturing could have run its course. The Covid-19 disaster has demonstrated that international worth chains (GVCs) are extraordinarily susceptible and unreliable throughout occasions like this. There will probably be huge efforts to remodel worth chains based mostly on geostrategic somewhat than purely financial standards.
Regional worth chains, based mostly on geostrategic standards, could ensue for manufacturing of strategic items and companies.
Social Security Web for the poor
The financial influence of the coronavirus illness is predicted to be large and catastrophic. Already earlier than the disaster, inequalities inside nations have been widening at an alarming tempo. What the Covid-19 disaster has accomplished is to focus on the terribly unequal vogue through which the virus impacts the wealthy and the not so wealthy. That is as true of wealthy nations such because the US the place it’s disproportionately affecting the Blacks or certainly in a rustic equivalent to ours, the place we noticed the migrant labour put to misery. There’s now discuss of a brand new social compact.
Within the post-Covid-19 world, will probably be incumbent on most states to plan some type of a social security web which incorporates not simply the fitting to meals, to shelter, to training but additionally to well being. The Covid-19 disaster has introduced the problem of social safety for the poor and susceptible amongst us.
India’s Covid-19 Diplomacy
India has efficiently navigated not simply the lockdown however has additionally used the strategic alternatives which introduced themselves. The short determination to export important medication (like HCQ and Paracetamol) to each our neighbourhood and to key buddies equivalent to US, EU, Brazil and Israel was not simply based mostly on our bigger philosophy of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” – ‘the entire world is one household’ – but additionally on our efforts to meaningfully contribute in direction of tackling what’s clearly a worldwide disaster.
India should ramp up its manufacturing of energetic pharmaceutical components within the close to future. With round 70 per cent manufacturing of world vaccines and of medication equivalent to HCQ, India is nicely positioned to fulfil the function of “web public well being safety supplier” for the area and the world.
SDGs could must be re-calibrated
As is well-known, the Sustainable Growth Objectives (SDGs) have been agreed to after a prolonged interval of negotiations and the broad deadline for attaining these are 2030. The SDG three specifically talks of “making certain wholesome lives and promote well-being for all in any respect ages”. With out figuring out the complete influence of the coronavirus illness, it’s arduous to foretell whether or not the mandatory progress could be made to fulfil this purpose. Additionally, relying on the financial influence of this disaster, particularly on nations equivalent to India, the opposite SDG targets equivalent to “No poverty” and “Zero Starvation” could also be impacted adversely.
There’s a have to relook on the SDGs, each from the perspective of time frames in addition to the assets that poor nations might want to obtain them in a well timed method.
It’s Geopolitics, silly!
In a perfect world, a disaster of this magnitude ought to make nations bury their slim variations and get collectively for the sake of the widespread good. But, there may be little or no signal of that occuring. Certainly, concrete multilateral cooperation has not been forthcoming in any respect.
There’s greater than an inexpensive probability that nice energy rivalry, parochial nationwide pursuits and uncooked geopolitics rule the roost in a post-Covid-19 world.
(Dr Mohan Kumar is a former Indian International Service officer and retired because the Indian Ambassador to France)