WORLD leaders at the G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia have advocated for a unified approach to tackle some pressing issues haunting humanity. Two of the biggest problems that have not spared any country are COVID-19 and climate change. Dealing with the twin problems would entail a calibrated, cogent and cohesive response from the world community, keeping aside their political and geographical disagreements aside for the sake of larger human good.
The G20 forum is an important platform to devise a uniform strategy to tackle both the issues. Most urgent attention is needed to handle the coronavirus vaccine availability and distribution now with top pharma companies on the verge of bringing their vaccines in the market. The G20 group is well placed to coordinate a global response to the crisis and can play a major role in keeping the vaccine in the affordable range with equal share to all. Many countries in the world are less equipped to handle the crisis. Already there is a fear of a rich and poor divide whenever the vaccine is made available in the market. It is the moral responsibility of the developed economies and rich nations to ensure that the new vaccines are shared equally.
The coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the need of coming together as one unit for the sake of human lives. Harmonious relationships were on display when the world joined hands while supplying essentials needed to fight the virus. Top nations opened their arms for the lesser ones while sending medical supplies and drugs. India was at the forefront in driving the initiative with its generous offering of medical kits, medicines, and healthcare support to nations in need. The same approach now needs to be replicated by the larger international community while making available the COVID-19 vaccines to all. The coronavirus pandemic has also underscored the need for a global deliberation on healthcare facilities across the world.
While a majority of the world was severely affected due to poor or inadequate healthcare infrastructure at disposal, even those countries boasting of top-class medical infrastructure and drugs availability found the going tough when confronted by an unknown pandemic. A collective plan is now essential for the world to be prepared for any such future outbreak. This area would need absolute openness on the subject unlike the secretive approach taken by China on the origin of the virus in Wuhan province. The problem has now escalated beyond the realms of limited group’s concern. It is a global predicament and must be tended to with a joint healthcare strategy. It also brings into focus the role to be played by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The top body was found severely wanting in its response to the pandemic earning backlash from many countries including the United States.
A process for initiating widespread reforms has to come in the WHO to shed its present tag of being a global organ with limited abilities. The G20 resolve of staying together to tackle the crisis should shape the process for changing the face of WHO so that it becomes an equal partner in shaping future medical care and boosting global disease surveillance. Another area that needs a consolidated programme is climate change.
While the Paris Agreement is bringing in a discernible change in nations’ thinking, it is time for a big push for full and effective implementation of the Accord. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has laid out the need for staying together to fight the problem in a clear manner calling for an integrated, comprehensive and holistic response instead of fighting the issue in silos. The message is clear for the United States to return to the table under incoming President Mr. Joe Biden to correct a wrong committed by his predecessor Mr. Donald Trump. Climate change is for real and must be given urgent and concrete response with climate-resilient development practices to create harmony with the environment.