Strengthening role of WHO, including better sharing of information, seen as step toward improving global health governance

China can intensify international cooperation to contribute more to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and improving global health governance, a report released on Wednesday said.

“COVID-19 has been rampaging over the world, which requires the international community to further enhance global health governance,” the report, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of World Economics and Politics, said. “As a responsible country, China should take the opportunity to further participate in and contribute to global health governance and share its wisdom in that regard with the rest of the world.”

China has been cooperating closely with other countries and international organizations such as the World Health Organization in the fight against the pandemic, which has effectively suppressed the spread of the disease in some countries, it said.

The report added there was a need for further international cooperation by China in this regard, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including with the WHO, the United States and European nations, to contribute to global containment of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the report said, the smooth flow of information is of great importance for countries to share information and experiences about epidemic containment with each other, and different countries should also intensify coordination and cooperation to break trade barriers to minimize the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has exposed problems in the current global health governance system, including the WHO’s lack of authority, shortages of resources and funds, and insufficient coordination among various countries, it said.

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To improve global health governance, the report said more efforts should first be made by different countries to strengthen the role played by the WHO, including giving it more support, following its guidelines and suggestions, improving the sharing of information on public health emergencies with it, and working with it to improve financial and medical technology support to developing countries.

“Human history is fraught with public health incidents, which have significantly altered and reshaped human history. The painful historical lesson reminds us that only a sound and an improved governance mechanism can ensure a timely, effective and rapid global reaction to the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19,” Ren Lin, head of the Department of Global Governance at CASS’ Institute of World Economics and Politics, said when releasing the report.

“In the face of raging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, no country will be able to go unscathed, and international collaboration is urgently demanded.”

The report was released at the Global Think Tank Webinar-with the theme “Stronger together: Global recovery from COVID-19″-co-hosted by CASS and China Daily.

In late-April, China Daily’s China Watch think tank released a report on China’s practices in the fight against COVID-19 that summarized the prevention and control measures taken by the country.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the global economic downturn have reminded the world about the need to reform and improve global governance mechanisms,” said Alexander Lomanov, head of the Center for Asia Pacific Studies of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences.

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“The problem is that the search for coordinated steps in this direction remain slow. The current crisis situation requires quick and flexible responses,” he said, calling for more mutual trust and unity between major countries.

CASS President Xie Fuzhan said solidarity and cooperation are not only crucial for humanity to prevail over the pandemic, they are also necessary to reboot the world economy.

“The pandemic has … plunged the world economy into the most severe recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s,” he said.”Today, like never before, the international community needs more synergy in making economic policies and taking stronger action to fight back against the pandemic.”

Global Think Tank Webinar guests bid farewell to speakers online after the forum on Wednesday. FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

Via China Daily