New Delhi, May 20 (FN Bureau) Saying that no national capacity, however large, is adequate, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called for greater international cooperation to face the challenges the Covid -19 pandemic has brought on to the world. Addressing the 26th ‘Future of Asia’ Conference organized by Nikkei on shaping the post-Covid era, he said the pandemic may be the most serious in living memory; but it should be seen as a recurring challenge and not as a one-off.
“It demands international cooperation on a scale that could not have even be conceived of earlier. No national capacity, however large, can be adequate,” stressed the EAM. The Covid challenge, he said, has created a stronger case for greater international cooperation, be it in vaccine production or to facilitate economic recovery. Those with shared interests and common values will find it easier to forge stronger partnerships. To make a real difference, the global order must address the concerns and issues that the pandemic has thrown up. “What we will now have to conceptualize is re-engineering the way the world works to prepare for and mitigate such cataclysmic events. Covid-19 has certainly triggered debates on issues like supply chains, global governance, social responsibility and even ethics.”
Jaishankar said Covid-19 is reshaping the world by bringing out the value of trust and transparency; also reliable supply chains. It is risk aversion and encourages strategic autonomy to address over-dependence. He said the challenges thrown up by the pandemic called for an objective assessment of the contemporary world “so that we are better prepared for tomorrow.” “An outlook that envisages the world as a family – where exceptionalism is not the main prism – will encourage a shared approach. And that is important because the pandemic is a global challenge that requires nothing less than global solutions.If its overall result is to compel us to approach the big issues of our time with greater unity and cohesion, it may well have done us more than a small favour.” About India’s role in Asia, Jaishankar said India is working to “strengthen and de-risk the global economy” through effective partnerships such as the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative with Japan and Australia.