Dr Jamie Metzl, Founder and Chair, OneShared.World, highlighted the significant opportunities that COVID-19 presents for humanity in his talk on 20 August 2020. Organised by the Policy Studies Group at RSIS, the webinar was titled “Coronavirus Broke the World: How Can We Build Back Better?” and moderated by Prof Tommy Koh, Professor of Law at NUS; Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Rector of the Tembusu College at NUS; Chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Special Adviser to IPS. Dr Metzl believed that we have an opportunity to set aside our differences and find common ground to ensure our survival for the long term. Dr Metzl hoped that a sense of enlightened self-interest will prevail over nationalistic and hyper-competitive inclinations that have come to characterise the political behaviour of countries such as the United States and China.
Dr Metzl also shared his concerns that the World Health Organization (WHO) and other multilateral institutions will continue to fail in fulfilling their functions because multilateral cooperation among countries is gradually weakening. This can eventually lead to a fragmented geopolitical landscape and the erosion of traditional concentrations of power.
To prevent such a geopolitical landscape from materialising, Dr Metzl launched the One Shared World movement. It has been launched in 18 different languages and represents 110 countries. While he agreed that establishing a global government or parliament that works on behalf of all countries is still not feasible, it is still important for individuals and institutions to come together and start building consensus on issues which concern all of humanity.
One goal of the One Shared World movement is to work towards establishing universal access to basic sanitation and essential pandemic preparedness by 2030. Another goal of the movement is to establish a department within the United Nations (UN) that tackles existential threats confronting humanity. Such threats involve climate change, ecosystem destruction, systemic poverty, and future pandemics. Metzl envisions the department to foster cooperation among governments, NGOs, civil societies, and private institutions.
He acknowledged that achieving these goals is a long-term endeavour involving significant expenses. However, Dr Metzl emphasised that these expenses should be viewed as crucial investments that improves humanity as a whole.
Catch it here on the RSISVideoCast YouTube channel: