Leaders Pour la Paix

Les Leaders pour la Paix unis face au Covid-19

13 Mai 2020 Auteur 1

Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN

Dans cette tourmente mondiale je pense à vous et à notre passion commune, La Paix du monde.

La violence est partout, mais on ne s’attendait pas à ce qu’une arme, invisible, nous frappe et nous endeuille.

Tous les ingrédients de la guerre sont là, la peur et le courage, l’inquiétude et l’inconscient, la chance et le malheur, les héros de la santé et les salauds du marché noir, la solidarité et les polémiques, a l’international, les alliances et les fermetures,...Le mal est insaisissable.

Deux choses sont certaines, nous devons être plus attentifs aux colères de la nature mais aussi aux progrès de la science.

Comme toujours dans les périodes d’angoisse et d’incertitudes les relations humaines deviennent heureusement plus intenses, les liens familiaux sont renforcés, l’essentiel retrouve ses droits, y compris dans la douleur. 

Notre combat pour un nouveau multilatéralisme se trouve aussi légitimé, tant la coopération scientifique, médicale, humanitaire entre les nations apparaît comme un chemin d’espoir. La solidarité des scientifiques dans cette guerre devra faire réfléchir les politiques.


Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN
Président Leaders Pour la Paix


I subscribe to the importance of heeding the wrath of nature, while investing in scientific research and development. And, of course, enhanced multilateral cooperation is the obvious and responsible way forward for the international community.

Our societies are suddenly reminded of ways in which we are inter-connected that do not necessarily stem from economic or political interests. Global warming and climate change had already raised awareness regarding our shared challenges and responsibilities as inhabitants of Planet Earth. This pandemic represents a harsh new wake-up call. It is most timely for Irina Bokova, Hakima El Haite, George Papandreou and Joel Ruet to propose that health security be henceforth coordinated through improved mechanisms, with the assistance of medical expertise and specific financial support. If collective strategies in the public health sector were already desirable, they have now clearly become indispensable.

I was inspired by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for a global ceasefire. As he points out, Covid-19 does not care about nationality or ethnicity or other differences between people. But it is those caught in situations of conflict who are most vulnerable - women, children, refugees, people with disabilities. Health systems in war ravaged countries are close to non-existent. From Cairo, where I now work from an improvised home office, I am particularly concerned with the situations in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Palestine.

Finally, I agree with those who have pointed out that this crisis should not be wasted as an opportunity for establishing a new consensus on international cooperation. As Richard Kozul-Wright and Nelson Barbosa suggest, this crisis has the potential to change the world for better, or worse. Their conclusion is one worth pondering: seventy five years after the international community adopted the UN Charter “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom” a new initiative may be required, with genuine democratic representation and full commitment to a multilateral agenda built around greater prosperity for all, caring societies and a sustainable planet.

Ambassadeur du Brésil en Egypte, Ancien ministre des Affaires étrangères du Brésil

Kanwal SIBAL

I fear that multilateralism will be further weakened by this pandemic. Globalisation and multilateralism are interconnected. While logic dictates that countries come together to deal with such challenges in the future, this is unlikely to happen with my country first approach, deliberately weakening of international institutions, erosion of the global order such as it exists and geopolitical rivalries that are shaping up.

Reversing these trends will not be easy. To establish stronger cooperative measures to deal with future crises will require a probe into the functioning of the WHO that has acquitted itself poorly in the present crisis and full transparency about the origin and handling of this crisis in China in the initial stages. China’s campaign either to obfuscate the source of the pandemic or blame others or use its resources to pressure others to accept the Chinese line is unhelpful. The issue is not one of blaming China but of building confidence. A wide spread view is that the Chinese system does not permit transparency.

Other destabilising developments lie ahead. China-centric global supply chains are going to get disturbed, which will affect investment flows and encourage autonomous capacities in countries in critical areas. How this affects China’s global ambitions is a point to consider. Bipartisan animosity towards China is growing in the US with consequences for global peace.

I wonder where European sentiment stands in this regard in view of the devastating impact of the crisis in Europe. The EU’s fragility has been further exposed at a time when Europe is already in the throes of difficulties with regard to its future and Brexit. The economic recession that is feared following this pandemic will strain global peace also in various ways. Let us see what the G20 video conference produces. The problem is that unlike 2008 it is a health and economic crisis at the same time.


Kanwal SIBAL

Ancien secrétaire aux Affaires étrangères de la République de l'Inde, Ancien Ambassadeur de l'Inde en France

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