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Covid 19 and post-pandemic era in the UK
Written by Elizabeth Kim | Published. 2021.11.24 15:56 | Count : 138

 

The outbreak of COVID 19 started in early 2020, and it has been continuing until today. COVID-19, as it has hit other countries hard, has  hit the UK severely as well. The UK's infection rate is ranking significantly higher than other major European countries, being the ‘hotspot’ of Europe’s virus. Since its continuation has passed over 2 years, the UK is now starting to reopen, however, faced with serious consequences. The ongoing energy crisis is one of many that has hit the UK economy, triggering social unrest. 

 

<Vaccine passport in Korea; credit of Liz Kim>

 

The biggest potential impact of COVID-19 and post COVID-19 reconstruction is now happening in the UK. “Energy crisis” is one aspect of the post-pandemic. Although abundant fuel production and gas stations are working perfectly fine, the lack of laborers and transporters has led to the current energy crisis. Since the drivers of these energy trucks mostly come from Eastern Europe, Brexit and COVID-19 altogether made these workers go back to their home countries, leaving large vacancies in their work forces. The lack of laborers is now the biggest challenge to reopening for these companies in the post-pandemic era. 

 

The issue of COVID-19 has frequently been discussed in the UN Security Council ever since its outbreak in 2020. Its focus has turned from ceasefire during the pandemic to COVID-19 vaccine distribution to the post-pandemic era. The UK is one of the first countries to start reopening.  The adverse impacts of fast opening are the current social unrest triggered by a lack of laborers. The social impact of this lack of laborers has led to similar social unrest seen at the beginning of the pandemic. 

 

When dealing with this issue, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a local/regional crisis. It is a crisis related to the labor market, and many other developed countries dependent on foreign laborers will face the same unrest upon reopening.  

 

The most important thing to be aware of is that the world should be ready for disproportionate energy demand and supply. Soaring energy prices are one reason that contributed to the current crisis, adding up to soaring demand for energy due to reopening. Lack of transporters is a factor that contributed to low supply, whereas high demand for energy is crucial when reopening takes place.   

 

We want the UN to emphasize multilateralism and build a newer concept of multilateralism fit for the post-pandemic era. After Brexit, the UK's position on the global stage is debilitating. Its permanent membership in the UN Security Council is one thing that still states the UK’s global position. Britain is facing challenges in recruiting laborers working in some industries. These industries  are crucial for running a stable economy. In the statement reiterating multilateralism in the post-pandemic era, we want the UN to allow countries to freely trade persons, vehicles, merchants, and all others via measures such as vaccine passports and travel bubbles. 

 

This plan is vital since many countries are still hesitant in reopening and free trade offline is still a stumbling block. Many things could be done online, but some crucial offline industries like energy, crucial supplements, market, and transportation are irreplaceable. By reiterating multilateralism, offline industries can take off again.

 

On September 24th, 2020, the Security Council held a summit-level debate on “global governance after COVID-19” via video conference. This conference described how the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the weaknesses of the multilateral system in dealing with peace and security threats from the crisis, and its socio-economic and political impacts. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the need for global governance reform to strengthen convergence towards global sustainable peace and security. However, due to rising tension between the US and China, no presidential statement between the two countries has been made in this conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Kim

Grade 9

Busan Foreign School

Elizabeth Kim  hsr@dherald.com

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