COVID-19 and
the Global


The "COVID-19 moment" is poised to be a turning point for the world in terms of the megatrends of geopolitics, population, technology, climate change and environmental factors. The pandemic has underscored the importance of solidarity among nations and people even in a time when the disease requires isolation. It has also proven that action across society is possible when the objective is to save lives. This momentum must be maintained to enable people not merely to survive but to make healthy choices and lead healthy lives even without a global pandemic. Health is more than healthcare and preventing disease and promoting wellbeing should be a primary goal of any society.

Half the world’s population is under 30. Youth must be properly represented and actively involved in solving today’s complex problems, especially since these problems are related to their future and their work opportunities.

The unprecedented global health crisis we are facing is affecting all parts of society and changing lives and livelihoods. In all types of crises and times of need, from climate change to armed conflict or political unrest, young people and youth-led organizations have been quick to take action and respond, in particular due to inequalities and threatened human rights. The same is happening now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While attention is currently focused on those most immediately affected by the virus, there are many indications that the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-lasting social, cultural, economic, political and multidimensional impacts on the whole of societies, including on young people, as highlighted by the Secretary General’s Report “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity” (March 2020).

While a large portion of the world’s resources will need to be redirected toward the fight against the virus and the post-pandemic recovery, youth development should remain a top priority. For the world to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in a sustainable and equitable manner, young people need to be supported to reach their full potential and thrive.

Sessions will explore the effect of COVID-19 on megatrends.

The damage to health and well-being caused by the pandemic is substantial with profound social, economic and political consequences reshaping geopolitics and the global health architecture. There is a given strong need for global collaboration during a pandemic, to minimise the increased risk of threats against international peace and security and further deepening inequalities and poverty as probable consequences. Post COVID-19 must build on resilient green recovery, ensuring a peaceful society with social protection, embracing democratic constitutions, inter- and multidisciplinary collaboration, as well as multilateral institutions. The current crisis presents a number of policy windows- areas where there are clear challenges and solutions and where political will is growing. There are thus opportunities to build back better. The plenary will bring in lessons learnt from given megatrend effects by COVID-19 webinars and discuss Global Health Security in a post-COVID world.

With changing population dynamics, the world population is currently subjected to a larger, older, more mobile and concentrated population. While societal transitions and economic development have enhanced health they have also caused inequities, challenges and risks to people’s health and well-being. The disease burden is evolving, with shifting causes of global mortality and a rising proportion of NCD related deaths, while simultaneously our way of living causes emerging infectious disease. Webinars will explore the effects COVID-19 has had on fertility and aging patterns, urbanisation and migration, as well as on health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

New technologies and early warning systems can be a game changer for health as they have brought about mayor health improvements; nevertheless they have triggered discussions around priorities, privacy, ethical challenges, equitable access and environmental consequences. Webinars will explore the shift in delivery of global health care through available healthcare technologies and advances in early warning systems.

Climate change and environmental effects bring about serious challenges to health, for example through extreme weather events which directly and indirectly affect people’s health and well-being and create both acute challenges for the public health system and the need for long-term adaptation measures within society at large. While environmental and social determinants of health shape people’s health and well-being, tackling determinants of health will require coordinated multisectoral actions using global and regional governance methods to address their systems dimension. Failing to consider health impacts or implications of the policies of non-health sectors, such as energy, agriculture and fishery, environment, transport, education and labor represent missed opportunities. Webinars will look at climate change impacting health and see to how we allow building back better regarding both adaptation and mitigation, with lessons learnt from the COVID-19 effects on greenhouse gas emissions.

A healthier tomorrow is possible. The pandemic has put health is at the center of attention for all mankind and proven that decisive action is not only needed but possible. It is both an opportunity and an obligation to act now to renew the global health agenda. The crisis can be used as a lever for transformative change.

Updated: Jul 17, 2020