The Indo-Pacific region represents 60% of the global population and a powerful economic corridor, holding unique perspectives in its positioning among major global powers and developing tailored approaches to regional challenges across geographies and cultures.
The Concordia Indo-Pacific Initiative will feature a set of conversations designed to engage new networks and build credibility in the region, starting with programming at the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit and a digital summit parallel to the November 2021 APEC meeting, with the goal of holding an in-person Regional Summit in 2022.
This initiative, primarily focused on trade and economic alliances, will also aim to strengthen the creation, support, and advancement of meaningful interactions between sectors that open pathways for trade, investment, social advancement, and the aligned pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals in a non-partisan manner.
Over the years, global dynamics have shifted continuously, both in how we connect with others, as well as how we exchange and produce goods. Ongoing trade wars between nations and regions, supply chains, and the economic stability of the manufacturing sector are constantly evolving with the political and social landscape around the globe. The exchange and production of resources, shared interests in global security, energy and geopolitical risk, and the distribution of crucial medical supplies — most pertinently vaccines — are dominating attention. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will put innovation in the manufacturing sector to the test and shine light on further applications and improvements that will ripple throughout industries. How will the global desire for connectivity and innovation in trade prompt the dynamic movement of supply chains? How can we tackle human rights issues across global supply chains? And, what new trends are on the horizon? At the same time, how can foreign policy and collaboration between countries be redefined, and what priorities for domestic peace and security are shared globally?
Dependency on technology has surged amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sudden change in how we connect with others highlighted the need for a tech-savvy economy and a digital transformation that meets social needs. It also called attention to a socioeconomic divide, which could threaten the ability to grow wealth in a digitized economy, in addition to a deepening gender divide, particularly in developing countries. What doubts remain about the role of technology in society, especially in terms of data privacy, closing social gaps with connectivity, and the need for a solid digital infrastructure in workforce development?
The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in public health systems around the world and deep health disparities along divides of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender. Both the palpable strain on physical health systems and structures and the more subtle effects on social relations and mental health must be considered in measuring the health impact of this time. Research on past epidemics reveals a wide range of psychosocial consequences at the individual and population level but also emphasizes the importance of psychological resilience in recovery. As we think about how to foster an equitable pandemic recovery, how do we design our public health systems, incentivize preparedness and prevention, and create partnerships in the service of a healthier, more resilient society?
Integral to truly sustainable global development and positive social impact is a need for fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Today, we’re increasingly witnessing a tension between the rapid economic and technological growth of the 21st century and the rising levels of socioeconomic inequality and public distrust around the world. Without freedom of expression, movement, public discourse, and the fair and free rule of law, global prosperity is untenable. How can cross-sector collaboration help resolve social tensions and advance racial and gender equality and equity around the world?