indexUUM ONLINE: Achieving peace, building close ties and developing strategic trust and sustainable development for future generation require global cooperation. Global cooperation is vital for collective recovery in facing the challenges of the never-ending COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani said the COVID-19 pandemic had infected more than 60 million people worldwide and resulted in more than one million deaths.

In addition to lives lost, he said the pandemic had influenced socio-economic development and had changed the national and international political landscape.

According to him the Government had worked hard to reduce the impact and stabilize the situation by introducing economic stimulus packages through fiscal, financial and emergency liquidity policies.

"Governments around the world are still struggling and finding ways to overcome the severe economic and social conditions of its people affected by the pandemic.

"Generally, countries are interdependent because they depend on other countries to supply local demand and sell local products. This interdependence is strong and the actions of one country often affect the other, “he said at the opening of the 8th International Conference on International Studies (ICIS) 2020 via Webex recently.

He said in the structure of the contemporary global system, the pandemic had affected every facet of global society that had grown accustomed to interdependence; therefore all parties should maintain and enhance global cooperation and partnership as well as strive to achieve universal objectives of peace, fair cooperation and sustainable development.

According to him, the objective can be achieved through inclusive partnerships done globally, regionally, nationally and locally.

"In an era of uncertainty such as now, it is our responsibility to revive the global partnership model and implement sustainable and equitable development goals. As the saying goes, 'We cannot create absolute certainty, but we can collectively manage uncertainty.

"I believe the way forward in tackling this catastrophe involves the government, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector and society at large. All parties should work together with one goal in mind that is to find an effective solution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world still cannot resolve other international issues such as global warming, climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, famine, economic crisis, inter-ethnic conflict, terrorism, and illicit businesses, all of which require collective effort.

The Vice Chancellor said in an effort to promote and enhance regional cooperation, Malaysia showed commitment in various multilateral cooperation namely such as Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP).

According to him, the recently launched PUTRAJAYA VISION 2040 once again put Malaysia at the forefront of economic and political leadership in the region.

He said 60 per cent of the world economy (Global GDP) and 48 per cent of world trade, amounting to around USD 46.9 trillion in 2018 were contributed by the APEC nation economy.

“Malaysia's participation in the RCEP called the mega trade agreement, which represents 30 per cent of global GDP ($ 26.2 trillion) by 2020 will boost economic growth in Asia Pacific, which in one fell swoop show the crucial close economic cooperation among member countries.

“Close cooperation among member countries is included in the Quintuple Helix model, which is still relevant and feasible. This model supports the formation of a win-win situation between ecology, knowledge and innovation, creating synergies between the economy, society and democracy, "he said.

The ICIS 2020 aptly themed ‘Sustaining Global Strategic Partnership in the Age of Uncertainties’ was organized by SOIS lasted for two days.

Also in attendance at the ICIS 2020 were Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dato’ Sri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob; Emeritus Professor at the Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, Prof. Barry Buzan and Chairman of the Kedah State Industry and Investment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Higher Education Committee, Dato' Wira Dr. Ku Abdul Rahman Ku Ismail cum Member of the Kedah State Executive Council.