Coronavirus and the road ahead to partnerships and cooperation

The coronavirus pandemic is yet another global threat that calls for a coordinated global effort.

A Military Emergency Unit member disinfects a metro station due to coronavirus in Madrid, Spain. (photo credit: REUTERS/JAVIER BARBANCHO)
A Military Emergency Unit member disinfects a metro station due to coronavirus in Madrid, Spain.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JAVIER BARBANCHO)
The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in recent weeks has validated the belief of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation that we are on a journey together from an old world of proxy and trade wars to a new age of collaboration and cooperation as we face the global threats ahead of us.
We are slowly leaving behind a world of competition over natural resources that can no longer satisfy the global demand for food, water, energy, healthcare, transportation and shelter. Though perhaps too slowly, we are instead entering a new age in which we are turning to science, technology and innovation to compensate for these scarcities and to address global threats that no single nation state can handle alone.
Climate change, global terrorism, human mobility, and our collective desire for a better future for our families removed from the disastrous consequences of old-world atrocities – all of these issues call for collaboration, coordination and the exchange of knowledge and know-how. 
Another indication of our continued journey into this new age is our usage and reliance on software, data, bits and DNA which are keeping our societies functioning during these trying times.
The coronavirus pandemic is yet another global threat that calls for a coordinated global effort. More than 155 countries have been affected. The virus recognizes no borders, no religions or ethnicities, and does not discriminate between rich and poor. It can hurt us all. At the same time, the coronavirus threat has created a huge wave of creativity and innovation as we adjust to the new realities we are going to have to adopt to survive.
Indeed, collaboration is crucial if we are to weather this pandemic. We can all follow unfolding events through social media and webinars, and educate ourselves on best practices. Medical teams are working tirelessly around the world and around the clock to find a vaccine that will provide immunity, and treatments to affect full recovery. And while people’s individual mobility has been limited, cross-border collaboration has increased significantly.
Still, our efforts are not coordinated enough to ensure adequate availability of global medical supplies and protective measures. In addition, the impact on our global economy has already been immense and is another serious side-effect of this pandemic, the scope of which remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, governance is changing in front of our eyes. Global companies have taken action without waiting for governments. More collaboration is required between governments and private enterprises.
We all know that the means to prevail is in our own hands, literally. With innovation, creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and with collaboration on open platforms for data exchange, we can face this pandemic. These are the tools and philosophies we develop and disseminate at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, and this is the message we are sending today.
Stay safe, be optimistic, collaborate and innovate, and pave the road to a better tomorrow.
The writer is the chairman of the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation, which works to promote a prosperous Israel for all its citizens, nurturing and highlighting Israeli innovation.


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