Unity and cooperation - key to ending global crisis

(VOVWORLD) - Defeating COVID-19 is not something any country can do alone. The world needs to stay united and use close cooperation to resolve the crisis.

Unity and cooperation - key to ending global crisis - ảnh 1 Unity and cooperation is a key to ending global crisis (Photo: dangcongsan.vn)

The world is facing a devastating economic crash that may be even worse than the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, according to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other financial institutions. The UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) warned on Monday that immediate action is needed to keep the pandemic from triggering a food crisis. 

With COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of ending any time soon, the world has no choice but to work together.

Unilateral action is no answer

When the epidemic broke out, experts warned that unilateral action by any country might slow the spread of the disease but could not stop it. Announcing the COVID-19 Global Response Plan on March 25, UN chief António Guterres stressed that a global approach is the only way to beat the coronavirus. He said COVID-19 is menacing all of humanity – and so all of humanity must fight back. The pandemic has, in fact, spread widely and is killing thousands of people a day, while the world argues about where and how the virus got started and how transparent governments have been, and competes fiercely for resources. Although the pandemic has been spreading and ravaging countries for nearly half a year, no global symposium has yet been held to discuss ways to defeat the pandemic.

1910 Manchurian plague’s historical lesson about cooperation

Experts are now examining lessons learned from the Manchurian plague, which occurred 110 years ago in what is now northeast China. It  lasted from autumn 1910 to spring 1911 and claimed approximately 63,000 lives.

In early 1911 China held an international conference to discuss why the disease was spreading so rapidly and work out ways to control it. Despite their political differences, the US, Japan, Russia, the UK, and France, together with Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Hungary sent their  best experts to the conference in Shenyang. The event is considered to have played an important part in preventing the Manchurian plague from turning into a global pandemic and serves as a lesson for humankind about the value of cooperation and unity in a crisis.

Many experts believe a similar conference now could help defeat COVID-19. Unfortunately the world is even more divided and polarized now than in 1911. The World Health Organization is disdained. Racism runs deep. Major countries fight over who should be in control of the situation, while other countries fight just to protect themselves. The US, China, the EU, and Japan have shown little interest in jointly addressing the crisis.

Unity and cooperation - key to ending global crisis - ảnh 2 Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (C) chairs the online Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit with China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan on COVID-19 (Photo:VNA)

But the world has the right to hope for sufficient international cooperation and unity to survive the crisis, beginning with responsible initiatives and proposals. On April 14, ASEAN held online a Special ASEAN Summit and a Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit with China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan to discuss COVID-19 countermeasures. It is hoped that the synergy effect of the Vietnam-initiated Summits will inspire the international community to forge closer cooperation to deal with the crisis.