Not only recovery, but also deep and structural changes are necessary after pandemic

See some of the remarks by participants on the first day of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum 2021.

l-r: Croatian President Zoran Milanović, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová and Polish President Andrzej Dudal-r: Croatian President Zoran Milanović, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová and Polish President Andrzej Duda (Source: TASR)

The call to rebuild the world for better after the pandemic is the right one, but recovery is not enough. Talks about deep and structural changes are also important, President Zuzana Čaputová said in her speech that opened the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum 2021, held on June 15-17.

As she reminded everyone, there have been several debates on various platforms, pondering the future of several organisations, like EU or NATO.

“The pandemic has shown our strengths and exposed our weaknesses,” Čaputová said. “But it has also offered lessons.”

These lessons include the need for a shared perception and goals to handle any type of crisis, the importance and respect of rules to guide us through hard times, and the importance of prevention to make countries more resilient towards future struggles.

“We need share goals, rules and action to prevent a future crisis,” Čaputová said, stressing the importance of political leadership that is “responsible, consensus-building and future-oriented” as well.

Assessment of our actions important

Pope Francis, who addressed the participants virtually, stressed that the pandemic has forced us to confront a number of serious and interrelated social, economic, ecological and political issues.

In this respect, he proposed a serious and honest assessment of the past, including “the acknowledgement of systemic failures, past errors and the lack of responsibility with regard to the Creator, our neighbour and all creation,” as it is essential to develop a recovery model aimed not only at rebuilding what was, but to correct the things that were not working before the pandemic outbreak.

The Pope called for an evaluation of what we have seen and experienced, in order to come out of the crisis better.

“The crisis reminded us that no one is saved alone,” Pope Francis stressed.

He also highlighted the need to act in order not to squander the opportunities created by the crisis.

Solidarity needed

People around the world should show greater solidarity, for example in the sharing of Covid vaccines, said Polish President Andzej Duda in his speech.

He hopes the pandemic will soon be over, adding that room for dialogue on new challenges is gradually opening. He stressed the need to learn from what has impacted us, what we have failed to prevent and what we can prevent thanks to solidarity.

Duda went on to appreciate the enormous effort of medical workers and numerous pandemic restrictions, which made it possible to organise the conference in Bratislava.

“Today we are hopeful that humanity has returned to the path of the normality,” Duda said.

In his speech Croatian President Zoran Milanović reflected on events from 9/11 and compared his feeling from 20 years ago to the current pandemic fear.

“Liberties, human rights; all those things we took for granted were tested,” he said.

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