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The role of political parties in the fight against COVID-19: Cambodia’s perspectives

Public policy analyst and government relations strategist. He has over a decade of experience as a geopolitical and geoeconomic analyst, with a focus on Southeast Asia. He was honored a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013. He previously served as Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (2017-2018), China Institute of International Studies (2016), Institute of Developing Economies in Japan (2012), and East-West Center in the United States (2010); Southeast Asia Consultant at The Nippon Foundation in Japan (2016-2018); Adjunct Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Social Sciences (2017 – Present); Lecturer of Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Leeds (2013-2016), Executive Director of Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (2009-2013); Technical Advisor to the Cambodian National Assembly (2011); and Assistant to Cambodia’s Defense Minister (2011-2012).

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on humanity across the globe. It is the defining crisis of a generation, with no immediate exit on the horizon. The global crisis cannot be resolved at the national level, and no country can win this formidable challenge alone. Global cooperation and coodination are required. The world leaders must recognize that global coordination indeed serves national interest and humanity.

Unfortunately, there have been fragmented responses to the Covid-19 crisis. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned, “there is a total lack of coordination among countries”. President of the World Economic Forum Borge Brende observed: “the pandemic struck an already unsettled world, one in which profound shifts in power were underway and causing competitive instincts to overtake cooperative mindsets”.

Ideally, political parties have a critical role to play in setting high political commitment and responsibility, developing policy agenda, and mobilizing resources to address the pandemic crisis. Political parties should not politicize or manipulate the pandemic to promote their populist ambition.

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