Q : What day have a conference in next time?

A : THE 11th PIM National and THE 5th International Conference 2021 on July 16, 2021

Q : How will international cooperation after the COVID era look like?

A : The already existing multinational frameworks will surely stay on (like, the World Health Organization, other universal and regional institutions), but new trends in their activities will emerge. For example, ASEAN has already prioritized the struggle against pandemics in its activities through creating special financial fund. ADMM+ working groups (for example, the one that deals with the military medicine issues) will become more relevant. Besides the generally positive international attempts to have more cooperation in the sphere of comprehensive healthcare there might be also negative trends (like political alliances in the spheres of vaccine production). A worrying trend, for example, is that Quad alliance is going to concentrate on opposing China’s vaccine diplomacy, etc.

Q : In terms of international relations what should Thai society learn from the COVID-19 crisis?

A : I believe it could be useful not only for Thai society but also for other countries as well to reassess their approaches to the healthcare keeping in mind not only the threats of current but also future pandemics. The way of managing the healthcare systems should become a focus of international exchange of experience and lessons learnt. The non-traditional security threats, including new viruses and diseases must be taken seriously, including the reassessment of the state expenditures on the healthcare. Another challenge, which Thai society must take in earnest, is that one posed by the pandemic to the branches of economy, which used to drive Thailand’s economy (like tourism or various export productions). Thailand probably need to move to a different kind of economic structure, which will become more resilient in face of new risks.

Q : What is important in managing international affairs during the COVID era?

A : My personal opinion is that COVID era needs more international cooperation not less, but unfortunately we have been witnessing many developments, including geopolitical tensions, move on like business as usual. There were also attempts, for example, undertaken by the previous American administration, to question the activities of the WHO. In the COVID-19 era technologies have become a solutions to many problems (including healthcare and education) but the technological risks and international tensions in the cyber domain are growing stronger, not weaker. The COVID era has aggravated the problems of poverty and digital divide. So these are also important areas for regional and international cooperation, if we want to see a better future one day.