GLOBAL CONSTITUTIONALISM AMIDST GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Over the past few months, all the countries around the globe are struggling to handle the on-going pandemic. It is the re emergence of deadly infectious diseases the “COVID- 19” that has shattered the world medical community’s belief that they have successfully eradicated the most of the dreadful infectious diseases through global vaccination campaigns. Though many other deadly infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola and Zika have surfaced and demonstrated how dangerous these infectious diseases can be, it was COVID- 19 that has provoked the thought about human security. The diseases that have surfaced arose mostly in the developing nations and spread its wings all over globe. By standing at the crest of globalisation process, the globe has rouse to a common interest that is to protect the health of human race. For the first time, UN according to its Article 39 has classified that ‘an infectious diseases are a threat to public peace and security’. This classification was made under the resolution 2177 UN has adopted during the Ebola outbreak.
The present COVID crises have offered a new hotspot on the prospects of global constitutionalism.It is of paramount significance that we rethink global constitutionalism, as human health is no longer limited to individuals or states concern. Bio- terrorism is a threat that is posed to all the nations with the rapid increase in globalisation, it is no longer feasible to restrict the moment of people through the international borders. The classic concept of security referring to boundaries does not stand intact anymore; the inclusion of the newer concept human security is inevitable.
The foundation of security beyond the traditional concept was laid earlier by the Copenhagen school stated that defence of territory by a foreign state shall also include the societal, economic, political, and environmental dimensions as well. The concept of human security was later elaborated by Robert Ullman in his paper ‘Redefining security’ which was formally accepted by the UN as a human development report which became an essential part of securitization process. The 2177 resolution stated that the health pandemics are no longer to be considered as humanitarian crises/ issue but exclusively as a channel that promotes developing cooperation through human rights law. One of another major turning point the concept of human security is the UN high panel on threats, challenges and changes report, 2004. It also highlighted the new security threats like civil wars, bio-terrorism, and international terrorism.
So, is this pandemic calling an end for globalisation?
This question has been in debates since the raise of COVID cases and on-going restrictions internationally. If globalisation is only referred to in terms of economy, then this pandemic has almost ended globalisation. This scenario has sparked withdrawal of economic contracts with parent state of COVID- 19. Thus, COVID- 19 has possibly marked a new era where globalisation shall be more crucial than ever. This will guarantee that countries adapt new approach and measures while looking at international laws and global governance. It shows how fast an event in one corner of the world can affect every nook and corner of the globe. The lives of people all over have been affected very extremely in all aspects.
According to David P Fidler’s theory about ‘Responsibility to practice public health’, it is pointed out about how stressed individual states are regarding their ability to handle threats as to their population’s health, especially in the area of infectious diseases with increasing globalisation and other developments. At the same time the responsibility to practice public health, pierce’s the Westphalian veil of sovereignty insisting the need for international community to organise itself to collar the globalisation of public health governance in an effective manner. As stated in this theory, in presence of epidemics when the harsh hit countries are not able to answer the need of protecting its citizen’s right of health in a competent method, thereupon the only capable institution to provide an answer with in the UN system would be its security council. As it bears the responsibility of holding the interests of international community and even adapt the necessary safety measure.
COVID- 19 has brought light over how prepared we are when a crises arise, governments all around the globe are taking measures such as borders closures, and derogating human rights in the form of moral policing will not make people feel safe. Its high time global constitutionalism is taken into full deal and the only solution would be sharing of information, global governance and looking out for every one so that no one is left behind. Medical field during these crises is open wide enough regards to sharing of information through relevant data, statistics and other experiences. Not to forget states sharing medical equipment and other necessary pharmaceuticals. But, traditional governance on an international level has not been established yet.
This is time where the entire human race is hardly hit, explains why governments should swiftly shift its understanding of international law and global constitutionalism is the need of the hour. Global constitutionalism is the ultimate quick fix for all global concerns. If the diplomats act without global social conscious, will lead to a failed system where there are still conflicts between the ideas and interests. Governments cannot forget the main interest resting on them.
This article is written by Greeshma A School Of Law, Gitam (Deemed to Be) University, Visakhapatnam.