Peking: The second online seminar of Global Town Hall Meeting was held on May 13 to discuss issues concerning the challenges brought by COVID-19.
The meeting was held by the globally renowned Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of University of Pennsylvania, along with other 77 prominent think tanks, making it one of the largest-scale global think tank meetings. As a think tank that co-initiated the meeting, the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding (iGCU) of Peking University was invited to participate in the meeting to discuss issues concerning global response to COVID-19 and relevant economic and social problems with 440 leaders and experts from 85 countries and regions across the world. This meeting was hosted by James McGann, head of TTCSP. Wang Dong, executive director of iGCU, John Allen, chair of Brookings Institution, and 21 other representatives of think tanks delivered speeches in 5 work groups.
The theme of the seminar is “Save Life and Protect Livelihood.” Based on the relevant achievements reached in the first round of seminar on April 17, it focused on the discussion of five significant policies in the global response to the COVID-19. Five International Interdisciplinary Work Groups were set up based on the discussion to analyze the disturbance that public health crisis brought to international order and to cope with the challenges that followed. The meeting centered on the response to public health crisis, domestic and international strategies for economic revival, innovative and tolerant international public policies to care for the disadvantaged groups, promotion of international cooperation to prepare for future crisis, and the new operation mode of think tanks to adjust themselves for the uncertain future.
As the representative of the fourth work group whose focus was the promotion of the international cooperation, Wang Dong was invited to deliver a speech on global food security. He suggested that the international society shall unite together to guarantee the supply of food, maintain the stability of price, and lower the tariff barrier. International organizations shall play the role of coordinator and leader to provide humanitarian aid to relevant countries. Unilateral sanction shall be lifted as soon as possible. Aid and support shall be offered to developing countries, particularly the rural areas. Last but not least, Wang emphasized the building of a community with a shared future.
The public health security is a common challenge faced by all human beings. Confidence, cooperation, and unity are essential in the fight against COVID-19. In this context, the meeting was held to urge think tanks around the world to provide policy makers and the public with advice and services and to put forward strategies and reports to cope with the pandemic. These useful information will be compiled into a proposal, serving as a reference for governments, regions, and intergovernmental organizations throughout the world.
As the only think tank in China that was invited to the Global Town Hall Meeting twice in a row, iGCU has played an important role in organizing the meeting. During the meeting, the institute offered China’s wisdom and demonstrated the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind.