ECFA participation in the activities of The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania
In the context of public interest in the global crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania held several sessions to discuss the implications of its spread and to explore and identify the best scenarios to address this global pandemic or at least mitigate its severity on the various areas of human societies. In this context, about 1,200 researchers and directors of think tanks from all over the world participated in the three panels held by the TTCSP entitled: Global Think Tank Town Hall: Saving Lives and Livelihoods, on April 7, May 13 and June 30, 2020. The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs participated in the last two events, represented by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, and Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director.
The first panel discussion was concerned with examining the fundamental repercussions of the pandemic, and exploring possible responses to similar epidemics in the post- Covid-19 world. In the second panel discussion, five working groups were formed to prepare reports containing different scenarios to confront the repercussions of the pandemic on various facets of human life, which will then be submitted to the G20 secretariat for inclusion in the closing papers of the next group meeting. The third panel discussion reviewed the contents of the five reports, which dealt in particular with each of the following:
Addressing the public health crisis;
National and international strategies for reviving and improving economic activities;
Developing innovative and comprehensive strategies, both public and private, to assist the groups most affected by the effects of the pandemic;
How to strengthen international cooperation, such as creating systems that are more rapid, flexible and responsive to future crises;
Readiness for a future that lacks certainty for the work of the various think tanks, in terms of finding new work patterns for these centers in their research missions, means of communication, and sources of financing.
The program’s activities and panels concluded with a number of important recommendations, including: the necessity of unifying the efforts of the various think tanks in the same country to serve public interest without focusing on competition; working towards adopting a communication mechanism to accomplish various tasks, and the possibility of maximizing benefit from that in the future; initiating the treatment of various diseases using modern technical medical means, and ensuring the equitable distribution of various medicinal drugs to the relevant individuals; the need to adopt and adhere to sustainable economic policies; Maximizing cooperation and coordination with civil society organizations to help mitigate the negative repercussions caused by the pandemic; assisting small and medium enterprises and facilitating the financial and legal procedures necessary to carry out their tasks; seeking to enhance cooperation among countries in order to effectively overcome the repercussions of the crisis and the like in the future.