G20 leaders will convene a video conference tonight. South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested it earlier, urging the need for international cooperation to share containment strategies and deal with economic ramifications and other crises. On Monday, G20 finance ministers and central bankers had an emergency video conference, where they agreed to put forward action plans to overcome the coronavirus outbreak.
Given its speed and scope, it has become clear that no country can defeat COVID-19 alone. It took time for countries to realize this, which has been a costly mistake. Nations scrambled to close borders after the virus outbreak, bringing movement of people and goods to a halt, which, in turn, has taken a toll on the economy. The invisible enemy has instilled fear and distrust in us, and governments across the world responded by building barriers and looking inward.
Travel bans might have been inevitable to contain the spread of the virus, but the Trump administration has failed to propose any measures that can counteract the effects of the bans. The global super power that once led concerted efforts, whether it be for a global financial crisis or for a pandemic, was nowhere to be seen. The world was heading towards the era of G0 amid the absence of global leadership and distrust of international institutions
However, the novel coronavirus pandemic, while exposing vulnerabilities of a globally connected, interdependent world, showed us that such a global challenge can only be overcome by working together. Meanwhile, the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said President Trump asked President Moon for medical supplies to help combat COVID-19 on a phone call on Monday. This goes to show no country can tackle a crisis alone.
Through such belated realization, world leaders will be reminded of the importance of the global order and liberalism, which have underpinned the world we live in. In the video conference call, G20 leaders should discuss measures to share information, supply medical equipment and develop vaccines together. They should also come up with detailed action plans such as to make certain business trips exempt from travel bans.