Jaber Mohamed Al Shuaibi, Emirati Researcher in Geopolitical Issues

31 March 2020

Corona (COVID-19) pandemic is sweeping the globe, which witnesses continuous spread of this pandemic that knows no political boundaries or global powers. The same history and conflict scenario repeat with different endemics since ancient times, starting with the plague with its types, Cholera, Influenza and its types, AIDS and Ebola to Corona (COVID-19) of today. Health Security has become the most prominent issue worldwide due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 pandemic in our communities and the political and economic reflections it has on the global landscape. Health Security has acquired a new concept for being one of the components of the national security. However, the question is to what extent the world countries will cooperate at the time of global crises to curb the rapid geographical spread of COVID-19 pandemic?

Some of the endemic and other countries will set out to review their health security profile due to the close relationship between combating endemics and their foreign policies, where some countries showed that they are unable to rely on their own capabilities only, and they, therefore, rectified their political position quickly. The sudden change in geopolitical roles and interests because of the severe epidemic threats will require the competing countries to promote their international cooperation temporarily until this war is over, the global and regional completion will regenerate again but more fierce than before. Some countries will convert their geographical competition into a competition for innovating vaccine to save the human beings, even if so is for economic purpose, as this, eventually, is a positive matter.

The emergence of new player and multi-polarity on the international arena have contributed directly to deepening the conspiracy theory for some countries. In this regard, China and the USA accused each other of waging biological war to cause damage to the other without showing scientific evidence on so. Iran refused the USA’s aids described by Ali Khamenei as weird. Moreover, there are doubts that the USA is the one devised this virus. All of these interactions affirm that there is a real gap in the international order impairing the principles of cooperation at the time of global crises. This, in turn, contributed to the aggravation of the implications of this crisis, due to the lack of a mechanism for coordination the response among the countries. On the other hand, chairing the extraordinary summit of the G20 by the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz was a wise move that contributed to bridging the gap between the USA and China. This summit urged to support the World Health Organization and to work together based on the collective responsibility for confronting this pandemic in a time as short as possible and with the least human and economic losses.

The United Arab Emirates is the best model worldwide for its rapid adaptation to the universal challenges, the humanitarian strategy it has adopted since the establishment and its cooperation with the different peoples, regardless of the far distances or the geographical inputs. All of these have rendered the UAE very close to China and the countries of the world in humanitarian term. The director general of the WHO thanked the UAE and H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the deputy of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, for the continuous support to the global efforts for combatting COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the UAE responded to the humanitarian appeal through expressing solidarity with Iran and its people despite the political and geographical conflict with it. This emphasized to the world that the UAE’s foreign policy adopts civilizational and ethical values in dealing with the neighboring countries and the world in general. Moreover, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed stressed to the Syrian President Bashar Al Asad that the UAE always supports the brotherly Syrian people in the hard times. In addition, Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi received a number of infected people from sister and friend stated, and the UAE provided them with the best healthcare means. It is expected that the UAE will tend to establish medical research centers to innovate vaccine for the infectious diseases as a part of its leading role to offer help to all countries of the world for nothing. These are lessons on the principles of the international cooperation for others to consider.