BEIJING, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Beijing Forum 2020 opened at Peking University on December 5, with bilingual live broadcasts across multiple platforms. This year, the international academic event, co-organized by Peking University, Beijing Municipal Education Commission, and Chey Institute for Advanced Studies, focused on post-pandemic global development with the theme “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All — Globalization under the Impact of the Pandemic: New Challenges and Opportunities”. Eminent thinkers from China and abroad were invited to offer insights and discuss global issues in light of the pandemic.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Qiu Shuiping, chairman of Peking University Council. Speakers made addresses either online or in person, and they included Han Qide, vice chairman of the 10th and 11th Standing Committee of NPC, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Peking University President Hao Ping, Chairman of the SK Group Chey Tae-won, Founder of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, and Former Prime Minister of Japan Fukuda Yasuo. In addition, Qiu Yuanping, standing committee member of CPPCC, gave a special address.
António Guterres extended his best wishes for the forum and recognized China’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goals. Guterres also called for the world to learn the lessons from the public health crisis and stressed the importance of international cooperation.
Hao Ping shared his thoughts on the key missions higher education institutions should uphold in order to drive social progress in face of the pandemic. Specifically, Hao noted that universities must seek development in view of future and reform the education model.
Klaus Schwab believes that truth and trust are the most important building stones in the process of seeking harmony.
Moreover, five leading figures shared insights on the global outlook in a keynote speech session online chaired by Park In-kook, president of Chey Institute for Advanced Studies. The speakers included Joseph Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University, Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jerome H. Kim, director general of International Vaccine Institute, and Huang Ru, vice president of Peking University.
Joseph Stiglitz encouraged global cooperation in times of multiple crises. “We need global cooperation to solve crises and the multiple other challenges, but over the last few years, we’ve also had a crisis in global cooperation … We need to reconstruct the post-pandemic economy in a way that is greener, more equal, more resilient, and more knowledge-based,” Stiglitz said.
Citing “No man is an island”, Stephen Toope believes that what is true about people is also true about global universities. He added that academic institutions should find ways to continue to work together, because the diversity of backgrounds, views and expertise that can only come from equitable, open partnerships is how knowledge is produced these days.
Wu Zunyou reviewed the timeline of China’s coronavirus outbreak and detailed what China has done to fight against the pandemic. He said the “four early steps”, namely early detection, early reporting, early isolation, and early treatment, are important strategies in responding to acute infectious diseases. He further pointed out that, “Although China has successfully contained the virus, to be honest, we cannot have a turnaround until the global pandemic is under control.”
Jerome H. Kim’s speech focused on the global production of COVID-19 vaccines, stressing that vaccine research, development and manufacturing will be a global affair. He urged everyone to have faith in globalized efforts and emphasized that worldwide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in the future will benefit global public health.
In addition to the main forum, the Forum is comprised of eight sub-forums known as the Beijing Forum Webinar Series. The sub-forums dive deeper into a broad range of topics including Chinese history studies in digital context, healthy China and health communication, international public policies in a turbulent world and more.
Held annually since 2004, the Beijing Forum, with the overarching theme “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All”, has gathered a wealth of invaluable suggestions and insights that have helped generate outstanding academic advancement around the world, witnessing more than 6,500 renowned dignitaries and scholars from over 80 countries and regions in participation thus far.
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