Many environmental, economic, and societal factors have contributed to this global health crisis, including a focus on national rather than international solutions. These trends show no signs of slowing and the next pandemic may be just around the corner. This makes it imperative to integrate the lessons of COVID-19 quickly and to start preparing our response to future systemic crises now. Tomorrow's global challenges will be inherently transdisciplinary and transnational in nature. That means it will be crucial to break down traditional silos if we want to improve our ability to anticipate and prepare for these kinds of emergencies.
- What lessons can be learned from the response to COVID-19?
- Where is the next systemic crisis likely to come from?
- What role should be played by the international community, both in Geneva and around the world, in preparing for the next systemic crisis?
“Develop leadership structures and strategies to respond faster and to distribute vaccines more fairly, establishing a bridge between scientists and policymakers that should be permanent, not restricted to moments of crisis.
“Create a worldwide genomic surveillance network to spot new diseases wherever they emerge. Better integration of national data and surveillance are essential tools for fighting a pandemic. The Swiss and GESDA could help set up a Geneva hub of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme like that in Berlin.
“Invest in manufacturing and coordination of research and development; mRNA technology allows for quick prototyping and decentralised manufacturing, which could break through some of the impasses in vaccine inequality. Scientific research on vaccines (and also on anti-viral and anti-microbial agents) needs to be accelerated and put in a holistic frame, notably in a One Health (humans, animals) approach. More emphasis should be put on the links between climate change and the threat of pandemics.