Online Roundtables Programme
29 June 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the ill-preparedness of most countries’ healthcare systems for effective tackling and prevention of public health threats. Participants of the roundtable will discuss the issue from the following perspectives:
- Biological safety. What are the measures to ensure an effective response to epidemics? How the international health regulations in the sphere of biological threat-prevention and antimicrobial infection risk-reduction should develop in the BRICS member states?
- Medical statistics. Why is it a critical indicator of medical system preparedness? How is it related to the public health dimension? What is the role of WHO and other international institutions, instruments, and initiatives? What is the proper methodology to identify a potentially dangerous situation? What can be the BRICS common vision to come up with in other international platforms such as the G20?
- Vaccination. What are the best practices in preventive vaccination among the G20 member states? How do the BRICS member states cooperate in drug and vaccine development? How the setting-up of a BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre can improve the cooperation in this sphere? What are the vaccine licensing rules within the five member states?
3 July 2020
The human capital development and promotion of massive digitalization will be the crucial factors in the cultivation of globally competitive professionals achieving sustainable economic growth in the BRICS member states amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants will discuss trends in education and science, the new instruction formats (distance learning), deepening ties between education and science, as well as the next steps in the educational and scientific cooperation between the BRICS member states. The round table participants will also touch upon the ongoing discussion on “offline education” to become a privilege only for certain elite groups.
8 July 2020
The explosive boom in e-commerce and digital services demand during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated a significant trend in socio-economic development. What are the best practices in achieving digital equality? How to develop digital cooperation between the BRICS member states? How to ensure digital security? What are the strategies for the effective development of digital infrastructure to enhance global competitiveness?
13 July 2020
The labor markets have been exposed to pressing social issues as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. SMEs’ closures and layoffs on large enterprises has provoked a dramatic increase in unemployment. Even in China, where the business activity was regained swiftly enough, up to half of the previously existing SMEs have been at risk of going bankrupt. Moreover, according to the estimations by the International Labor Organization, the income of those who remain employed will drop between 10 and 30%. This will lead to a decrease in consumption, which in turn will affect the economic prospects of the BRICS member states. What should be done to prevent poverty and hunger from rising among the vulnerable populations of the BRICS member states? How to tackle unemployment issues? What kind of support measures has showed the most effective? How to establish a social dialogue between governments, workers, and employers to find mutually acceptable solutions?
17 July 2020
The infodemic around the COVID-19 outbreak, accompanied by hysteria in social media, manipulation of facts, information stuffing, pseudo-experimental conclusions, and fakes, has clearly demonstrated the dominant approach in information policy in many countries. Participants of the session will consider modern trends in the BRICS media landscape and discuss how countries can adapt to such a phenomenon of information and communication discourse as post-truth.
22 July 2020
A green economy is an integrated concept that aims to achieve human well-being coupled with environmental risk-reduction and resource scarcity. Over the past decade, the “green economy” concept has become a strategic priority for many governments across the world. However, the transition from a “resource-based” to a “green” model has been uneven among the BRICS member states. What are the measures that the green trend demands from governments? How capable are the BRICS member states of developing green technologies? What is the status of previously proposed initiatives and environmental projects? Which financial mechanisms must be enacted to facilitate a transition to a green model?
27 July 2020
Sustainable agricultural production lies at the core of ensuring food security. The agrarian sector follows the global trend of digital transformation, which is the most important trend of our time. What challenges does it pose to the BRICS member states? What are the focus areas, given the different levels of their development and industrial models? How have the national industrial, agricultural programs shown themselves within the Industry 4.0 concept? How effective the launched BRICS agricultural projects (information exchange, set-up of a common platform and an action plan) were? What has to be done for sustainable development of agriculture?
6 August 2020
The implementation of the concept of sustainable urban and rural development coupled with the development of “smart cities” is of crucial importance for the economic, social and environmental viability of the BRICS countries. The panel will discuss civic initiatives (urban planning and management as well as rural development initiatives) to make cities and rural areas inclusive, safe and sustainable. What areas of urban and rural interaction have been the most promising during the COVID-19 pandemic in the BRICS member states? Which weaknesses have been revealed?
10 August 2020
Women’s unique potential, which combines empathy, emotional intelligence and pragmatism, should become the basis for fostering their leadership in the initiatives to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The governments of the BRICS member states should do more to ensure equal economic, political and social rights of females. The discussion will highlight the main challenges faced by the BRICS member states in empowering women, including women’s participation in the economy primarily, assistance to women-owned enterprises, and adequate social support.
14 August 2020
Governments of the BRICS member states recognize exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, arts, sports, youth and tourism as main priorities. The session will discuss best practices and mechanisms to promote greater cultural understanding and knowledge sharing and to strengthen the BRICS unity.
18 August 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic, growing economic and political turbulence coupled with rising social tensions have marked a new stage in the degradation of international cooperation systems for sustainable development. Under such circumstances, the focus of public attention has shifted from growth to survival and recovery. The participants of the roundtable will discuss the current state of cooperation between the BRICS member states in achieving the SDGs. What are the necessary steps to overcome the spread of national selfishness “virus” among some leading states? Do the UN Sustainable Development Goals serve as practical guiding tools for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic? Are they relevant? Do they need revision?
21 August 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered unprecedented restrictions on rights and freedoms in almost every country across the world. Even implemented in the spirit of public health protection, the restrictions taken by national governments must be legitimate, justified, non-discriminatory, time-bound and take into account the disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations. Have the restrictive measures enacted by the BRICS governments been proportionate and effective? What are the prospects for sharing equal responsibility for the realization of rights and freedoms between governments and civil society? How to preserve the personal space of citizens while implementing population control measures in the BRICS member states?