India’s Ambassador to China Vikram Misri has called for a more sustainable path is required to address current realities in a pandemic hit world. The Ambassador of India, who was among the speakers at an international forum in Beijing on Friday drew particular attention to the plight of students who had been hit hard by the controls that the pandemic had brought on. He said, travel restrictions had hurt the student community particularly badly.
Noting that the first step on the way to a post-pandemic world was to learn to live with the world as it is now, Ambassador Misri underlined that this pandemic was not necessarily the last one to confront humanity. What was necessary therefore was to find a more sustainable path to address current realities – a path that was not dependent on repetitive and massive lockdowns, crushing travel restrictions and an intense undercurrent of suspicion about everything. In this context, the Ambassador said that travel restrictions had hurt the student community particularly badly.
Ambassador Misri also expressed his views on various other relevant contemporary issues at the forum which was organized by a prominent Chinese think tank Centre for China and Globalization. Around hundred diplomats from different countries and other prominent personalities attended the Ambassador’s Roundtable event whose theme was ‘Global Mobility and Trade in Post-pandemic times’. Mr. Misri highlighted the current lack of trust and transparency in the international sphere and recalled Foreign Minister Jaishankar’s observation about how the pandemic had induced narrower definitions of self-interest globally.
Calling for greater international cooperation in an environment where countries were concerned about risks to their critical supply chains and worried by their over-dependence in certain areas, the Ambassador advocated the need to stabilize supply chains and make them more resilient by investing in diversification and redundancy. He also urged countries to enhance trade facilitation and reduce the costs of trade. He also noted the need of more cooperation on sharing of advanced technologies, collaboration in vaccine and pharmaceutical productions, capacity building and transparency in health information.
Ambassador Misri clarified that the solution was not a turn away from globalization, but in addressing the challenges facing it and taking into account the capacities and capabilities of all actors in a multipolar and shifting environment. Noting the importance of trust and transparency, he said that if all the pandemic ended up doing was to enhance suspicions among countries and damage cooperative habits built up over time, then not only would human lives have been lost, but humanity itself would stand diminished.
Prasar Bharati Correspondent in Beijing reported that Ambassadors from other countries like Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and Australia also echoed similar sentiments and called more trust in global system and reduce the barriers in mobility and global trade. Ambassador of Switzerland to China Bernardino Regazzoni also highlighted concern regarding travel restrictions faced by Swiss students waiting for return to China.
– Anshuman Mishra/Beijing