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The Era of the Coronavirus Agreement

The Era of the Coronavirus Agreement

Saturday, 28 March, 2020 - 13:15

Whenever we go about discussing the spread of a virus or a pandemic, we always fall back on standard analyses, mostly revolving around questions of whom is responsible?... In order to avoid being held captive to conspiracy theories, let us discuss the issue analytically.


This kind of threat makes us resort to the concept of unconventional security; for this is a threat to states’ national security… It does not threaten us militarily or with a familiar kind of war. We could say that this a similar kind of threat to illegal migration and terrorism, as the coronavirus presents us with new hypotheses to problems which could not be solved with political borders.


In light of the overlap of this crisis with a series of regional and international conflicts (political, economic, social and commercial) globally, we should focus our efforts on understanding the consequences of the spread of the COVID-19 disease.


First: immediate consequences


The danger posed by the novel coronavirus called for necessary cooperation between states and, at the same time, brought emerging grudges among nations to light. For in light of the degree of tension on social media and the speed at which news and information spread, the media around the world focused on tensions, and their coverage revolved around the following:


· Precautionary measures adopted by governments

· The publics’ reaction to measures and procedures.

· International efforts to find a cure.


On the one hand, the coverage revealed many shortcomings that foreshadow humanitarian catastrophes - their consequences may last for years - some of them are racist, and the others deal with the citizens of countries with the highest rate of casualties selectively, without taking the gravity of the situation and the humanitarian aspect of the situation.


On the other hand, some states are coordinating among each other to overcome the crisis. Since it is global, implementing the most successful policies for confronting this crisis is necessary, as the situation has become disastrous and it does not differentiate between the citizens of one state and another, and we cannot know its real extent at this time.


The coronavirus question will initiate a before and after evaluation which may be humanitarian to some extent and may lead us to rise above some problems, especially chronic regional conflicts; in the sense that some narrow political goals may be reconsidered because there is a greater threat endangering all of our lives.


The current humanitarian situation compels that all of us put our ideological disagreements and temporary interests aside and concern ourselves of the others’ lives, as they will become useless if we are not able to stand up to this to our survival.


Second: the distinctive and deep-rooted implications


Most of the measures that have been applied in countries across the world foreshadow an economic collapse that may put an end to the difference between rich and poor countries, and a new economic system based on partnership, cooperation and coexistence may appear in turn.


The expected degree of competition to obtain a drug that proves its effectiveness in clinical trials, may lead to a decrease in arms spending in the coming period, with more devoted to scientific research, medical services, and food security for the peoples of the world.


International institutional mechanisms will be modernized because of this disaster, becoming more intertwined and thereby contributing to the protection of human life all over the world. It will also be a golden opportunity to reformulate its regional and international agenda.


Also, some precautionary measures taken by some countries may put negative pressure on other countries, as the strict measures of some countries warn of punishment for those in violation of these measures, and this becomes more stringent when the matter becomes internationalized. The roles of committees that investigate and study whether or not the measures are effective or harmful to others will become more prominent.


Bridges of communication between nations and governments will emerge, giving a glimmer of hope on resolving their conflicts and uniting to confront the problem.


There are those who may take advantage of the world's preoccupation with the existential issue to implement their plans on the ground, in such a way that we come out from the coronavirus disaster to find changes, and the “American initiative” may be presented as an example of this prediction.


In sum, then, we are facing a reformulation of more accurate concepts that put more emphasis on the protection of human life. This is what international institutions were unable to enforce, with their occasional biases in the face of humanitarian intervention in which they prioritized the interests of the factions… "Stillness is the pinnacle of safety" in the dilemma we are faced with, and every inaction could be crucial in the crisis that the whole world is facing.


Everyone, so far, has been preparing to use their legislative, constitutional and legal tools and authority, such as quarantine, isolation and others in this vein. Nature has also put a limit to our transgressions against it and has prohibited our daily practices, on all levels, until further notice.


Egypt's former Minister of Foreign Affairs


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