Danilo Türk: Tackling COVID-19 requires global cooperation, not political manipulation

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Danilo Türk: Tackling COVID-19 requires global cooperation, not political manipulation

2020-06-28

Editor's note:  How should the world respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? How can we stabilize the global economy? Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia and a non-resident senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, shares his views on the issue.

 

The problems triggered by the novel coronavirus caught many by surprise. Many countries were not prepared. Their medical systems were not strong enough. Sadly, this led some to shift the blame on others, in particular on China. It is not difficult to see the political manipulation, in particular in the U.S.


There, the response was late despite many warnings, and then it was badly managed. But finger-pointing, political manipulation and shifting of blame is not a path towards success. It is important that the World Health Organization provided a strong framework for international cooperation in containing and overcoming the pandemic. The better the world will cooperate, the more limited will be the effects of political manipulation.


Ever since mid-January this year, China has demonstrated a strong resolve and took effective measures to contain and overcome COVID-19. The measures of social distancing were subsequently taken in many other countries around the world. Now, the whole world has to cooperate with China in developing vaccines, and in strengthening economy.


The world is also following the efforts of China to restore its own economy. We notice the encouraging sign of the strengthening of domestic demand in China. It is important that China strives for a new phase of development, a high quality development. The next task will be to ensure that the global supply chains, which are based in China, are brought to the highest possible level.


The effects of the pandemic on the global economy will be very serious. In particular, low and middle income countries will suffer because of the fast and sharp decline of global growth. The world needs strong action coordinated by the group of the main economic powers, including China, within the framework of the group G20, global demand should be supported, and global supply chains have to be preserved.


A very important priority will be [the] managing of international finance. The world will need a debt relief and restructuring, as well as issuing of new special drawing rights in the framework of the International Monetary Fund. The role of China will be very important in all the efforts to save and to reform the global economy.


Danilo Türk, president of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012, is the president of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, an organization of former presidents and prime ministers. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.