This week, the International Science Council (ISC), of which Koi Tū director Sir Peter Gluckman is president, has released a report assessing the global community’s response to the pandemic and looking ahead for the next five years as its effects continue to reverberate.
The report Unprecedented and Unfinished – COVID-19 and Implications for National and Global Policy says Covid-19 will continue to increase inequalities and vulnerability to future crises until at least 2027 without a renewal of global cooperation.
It calls for the UN to establish a new Science Advisory Board to help curtail the impact of the pandemic and better coordinate across sectors and the UN system for future global emergencies.
The report considers three potential scenarios through the year 2027, primarily determined by the evolution of the virus, and the global uptake and coverage of effective vaccines.
Prepared with many experts worldwide, including fellow New Zealanders Sir David Skegg and Koi Tū deputy director Dr Anne Bardsley, it records notable successes — particularly first-generation vaccine development — and many causes for ongoing concern. These extend well beyond the virus’ direct implications for people’s health.
The report says the pandemic has affected every society and is a truly global crisis. It seeks to support the shift in thinking that is required to achieve a more comprehensive ‘worldview’ of pandemics and similar emergencies.