Global Diplomacy and Cooperation in Pandemic Times: Lessons and Recommendations from COVID-19

María Fernanda Espinosa, Muhammad Pate, Lan Xue, Kevin Casas-Zamora, Simiao Chen, Gabriella Cuevas Barron, Elke Dall, Roopa Dhatt, Peter Drobac, Luiz Augusto Galvão, Paula Johns, Richard Kinley, Celso Lafer, W. Ian Lipkin, Ok Pannenborg, Joy Phumaphi, Renata Reis, Aromar Revi, Angela Saini, Devi Sridhar, Akihito Watabe, Jiuchang Wei, Ngaire Woods, Emma Torres & Neena Joshi  | 2021


From the time it was first declared a pandemic in March 2020, the novel coronavirus known to the world as COVID-19 has constituted an urgent and rapidly evolving threat to global health. As of the writing of this report, there have been approximately 262 million confirmed cases of the disease, and over 5 million deaths, though the actual figure may be significantly higher.

Vast as these figures may be, they fail to capture the full extent of this catastrophe. COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted essential health services across much of the world, through the emergency redirection of medical resources. This “secondary health crisis” has manifested itself in everything from reduced vaccination rates to reductions in life expectancy.

In addition, the pandemic has represented the severest challenge to the global economy since the Great Depression. Here too, COVID-19 has undone decades of progress, eroding hard-won gains in fighting poverty and advancing global development. The economic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (US) alone is currently estimated to be more than USD 16 trillion, and could amount to between USD 17 trillion and USD 94 trillion over the next decade, but it will be years before we have an authoritative tally of businesses shuttered; careers forestalled; and revenues lost nationwide and around the world.