- How do you think the pandemic affect the human security over the world?
(00:10 – 00:59)
It affects in a number of different ways.
First, well, obviously, the most direct threat is to vulnerable individuals and groups.
People are dying because of COVID-19.
But also, they’re being affected by being denied other treatment for mainly for other conditions,
that, either, it’s the not a capacity in the hospitals, or they’re too worried about COVID
to go and get their regular treatment.
So, people are dying for those reasons, too.
COVID also serve as a poverty multiplier.
The most vulnerable people in the world are the ones losing their jobs.
So, then they suffer other insecurities as a result of COVID.
- Do you think there is any variation in the level of human security crisis caused by the COVID19 across the world? If yes, what are the factors that make this variation?
(01:00 – 02:16)
There’s actually a dramatic variation over the world.
And it’s probably not one would expect
that the the worst outbreaks of COVID might occur in, perhaps, developing countries
or those with limited capacity to deal with it.
But actually, we’ve seen the worst effect in the United States,
closely followed by a number of European and Latin American countries
including the United Kingdom.
And so, we have to reassess why it is
that people are succumbing in much greater numbers in in countries like this.
And it comes down to the response of governments and also societies.
The biggest protection against COVID-19 is wearing masks.
And those societies that are accustomed to wearing masks or
willing to make a sacrifice and wear a mask, it is not a great sacrifice.
But still a sacrifice.
All those governments that are willing to mandate
such measures as wearing masks social distancing,
those societies and those governments have managed to limit the impact of COVID-19
much more effectively than some of the richest, most powerful states in the world.
- How long do you think the pandemic situation will last?
(02:17 – 03:23)
Well, of course, no one knows that.
I think, really, we’re looking at the very minimum until half a way through next year.
And that’s only if we managed to generate an artificial herd immunity,
by which I mean the we have a herd immunity generated by a vaccination program.
If we just leave it to a natural development of herd immunity,
for a start, that will lead to an unacceptably high number of deaths,
but also, it’d take a very long time.
The other problem is we don’t know effective vaccines will be. We have flu vaccinations,
but there are lots of strains of flu and the vaccines themselves are not 100-percent effective.
So, it may be that we’re going to have to live with COVID for a very long.
- Recently, the pandemic has been undermining the cooperation among Asian countries. In your opinion, how can the governments reinvent multilateral cooperation in the age of pandemic to establish peace and prosperity in Asia?
(03:24 – 05:01)
Well, this is of course a major crisis, but crisis also represents an opportunity.
And I think it’s very apparent
that some of the most successful responses to COVID have been in the Asia-Pacific region.
And they’ve been amongst middle powers rather than great powers.
And because cooperation in this non-traditional security area,
pandemics in human security or human insecurity,
is less threatening to national sovereignty than cooperation in national security issues,
like nuclear weapons, weapons proliferation, or defense spending.
It actually represents an opportunity for those countries
that have been doing reasonably well to get together and share their expertise
not only with each other but also pass with the wider community and countries.
Here, we’re looking at South Korea, of course,
but also Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand Singapore, Australia,
some to a greater extent and some to a lesser extent.
But it’s clear that this region has done much better than other regions of the world.
And despite the outstanding lack of hardcore traditional security cooperation,
maybe we have an opportunity for non-traditional security cooperation in this region.
- You have done a lot of interesting and various research on human security. Is there any research you are working on or planning for about the pandemic and human security? Could you please give us some introduction of it?
(05:02 – 06:24)
I actually have three ongoing research projects related to to human security and the pandemic.
The first looks at security interdependencies.
So, looking at how traditional and non-traditional security challenges and policies
impact on each other.
The second looks at the rise of middle power activism in the humanitarian realm.
So, not just looking at pandemic response,
but also looking at things like development assistance, disaster resilience building,
and reaction to natural disasters, environmental initiatives.
So, all of these humanitarian security perspectives
that are being pushed by middle powers as part, they’re niche diplomacy.
And the third actually goes back to your previous question.
My third area of research is looking at the extent to which this provides an opportunity
for not only non-traditional security cooperation amongst Asian and Asia-Pacific entities
but also, the extent to which this might be a spill over into traditional security cooperation
or at least, the escalation of conflicts between different countries in the region.