ISC report calls for multilateral cooperation to address global emergencies
Professor Salim Abdool Karim served on the oversight committee of the international Science Council Covid-19 report titled, Unprecedented and Unfinished – COVID-19 and Implications for National and Global Policy, which calls for the establishment of a UN Science Advisory Board to inform future pandemic response, natural disasters, or the impact of climate change.
The report launched on 17th May in Geneva calls for renewed global cooperation to address the vast inequalities in societies and the ‘wide-ranging, long-term impacts on the entire global community from Covid-19’.
At the launch, Sir Peter Gluckman President of the International Science Council; Ms Mami Mizutori the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction; Prof Salim Abdool Karim, Director CAPRISA and Dr Soumya Swaminathan Chief Scientist WHO; outlined the key findings of the report and responded to questions from the media.
The report highlights the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, more than 8% of working hours were lost, equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs. Furthermore, the report highlights a need to address the challenges of disinformation, and to strengthen diverse scientific advice systems to increase trust in science, thereby protecting societies from acute health risks and the breakdown of social cohesion.
“We must not take a narrow view of the pandemic or minimize its impacts beyond public health, otherwise inequities will grow, and the broader consequences will be felt in every society in every country,” said Sir Peter Gluckman, President, International Science Council (ISC), underlining the need for a more holistic, multilateral approach to crises. He said the report “aims to assist all governments in exploring appropriate responses in the broad interests of all their citizens and societies.”
In the Photo: (L-R) Sir Peter Gluckman, Ms Mami Mizutori, Prof Salim Abdool Karim & Dr Soumya Swaminathan