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Coronavirus battle advances Commonwealth ideal of ‘Connected Communities’

The Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge, extending beyond national borders. “There have seldom been times when we have been more aware of our connectedness and interdependence” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

The World Health Organisation has facilitated cooperation among countries to encourage worldwide public health solutions. Shared knowledge will accelerate the development of vital medical infrastructure, such as tests and vaccines.

A striking example of solidarity saw Chinese doctors and supplies arrive in Italy, armed with the expertise to help other countries having overcome the crisis in China. In Sub-Saharan Africa meanwhile, governments aim to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Following the 2014 Ebola crisis, they recognise that cross-border collaboration will enable swift detection, early testing and a rapid response. [1]

The modern Commonwealth embodies this sense of connectedness. As Ms Scotland emphasised, the very name ‘Commonwealth’ speaks to the association’s “collective concern” for others. The association of 54 member states, including the United Kingdom, Singapore and Rwanda, aims to improve the lives and prospects of all Commonwealth citizens.

The RCS Wales website is currently run by a diverse group of Cardiff University students, from China, the UK and the USA. We represent a broad range of worldviews and initially had different ideas for our project. Yet, in our experience, multicultural collaboration is highly effective. Taking the time to understand each other’s perspectives has ultimately improved the outcome of our project. 

When the pandemic ends, the Commonwealth will continue to work towards delivering a common future – building connected communities that strengthen international development. Taking collective responsibility within our own communities to combat the coronavirus will help us all to create a better future sooner.

By Hannah C.


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