Global Dialogue one year into a pandemic


Among the activities that RELIAL has deployed in the Global Dialogue to glimpse the importance of knowledge and cooperation between Latin America and other regions of the world, last Wednesday, April 28th, with the collaboration of CALD, the dialogue between Asia and Latin America was held. The objective was to highlight the situation and the lessons that the coronavirus has originated internationally.

First, Sergio Sarmiento, President of Caminos de la Libertad, started the event and stressed the need to learn from the great challenges that have arisen and, above all, the relevance of knowing how to move forward after such a remarkable crisis. Likewise, Bertha Pantoja President of RELIAL emphasized the great relationship that CALD and RELIAL have developed for the execution of joint talks.

Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan President of CALD, said that leaders from different parts of the world have experienced major problems caused by COVID-19, but specifically threats to democracy and liberalism. Therefore, he explained that although health is a vital element in societies, today is an opportunity to combat these situations through cooperation and solidarity to achieve the democracy that people truly need.

In the same way, Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami, argued that humanity lives in a moment where diseases go beyond a pandemic; the crisis has managed to diversify and has merged into a health, financial, economic and social crisis. However, he envisioned that there are 5 macro-lessons between both regions that undoubtedly must be learned.

Thus, unsustainable practices and their great consequences; the need to overcome the dilemma between public health and economic recovery; social inequalities and their effects on marginal groups; the centrality of leadership and the politicization of societies in populist countries; and the need to understand that global problems require global solutions, were the macro-lessons that Frenk pointed out to reiterate that global collaboration is essential.

On the other hand, Dr. Ching-Yi Lin, Ambassador at Large, Taiwan spoke from the Taiwanese experience and distinguished the importance of balancing and managing the democratic system through equality. The more social equality there is, the less gender-based damage in the pandemic occurs. Likewise, she pointed out that female leadership has become more effective and that information transparency is a key point for the security of society in the pandemic, since this can prevent panic and, above all, misinformation.

Taewook Huh, Associate Professor of the Department of Public Administration of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Gyeongsang National University, expressed the development of economic policies during the pandemic in South Korea and in addition to exemplifying the confirmed cases and the vaccination process in Today, he stressed that South Korea has been one of the countries with the highest economic growth during the pandemic. Koreans, he stated, have been proud of the government’s handling of the virus and that the results have been very helpful.

Similarly, José Luis Satdjian Undersecretary of Health of Uruguay, specified that the strategy of total closure of the Uruguayan border was not easy due to the geographical location of the country and that a new collaboration agreement with Brazil is required.

Finally, Francis Gerald, Secretary General of CALD and Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, established that the global pandemic has generated very varied impacts and responses. From the Philippine case, he affirmed that access to vaccines for the poorest countries has become too complicated, which has put health systems in check. Consequently, he stressed the need to work together between nations to definitively contain this crisis, since according to Francis, the vaccine is not a guarantee of control forever. Lessons must be learned and shared responses for freedom and democracy must be achieved.

Hence the reason why in populist regimes, transparent communication and unity among the population has been impossible to achieve. Sticking to science and uniting citizens democratically is the key to success.