The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries issued a global call this week, recognizing the essential need for the global research community to act collectively to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The statement calls for international collaboration, especially South-South collaboration between developing countries, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath, to provide developing nations with expertise and scientific knowledge to respond to this crisis and guard against similar future events.
TWAS emphasizes that efforts to use scientific research to contain the virus must be inclusive of countries in the developing world, with an eye toward strengthening capacity for scientific research in the least-developed countries.
“International collaboration in combating the pandemic is key,” says the TWAS council, “and mitigating the disease’s impacts depends on joint efforts inclusive of developing countries.”
TWAS calls on scientists, universities and research institutions in developing countries with specific experience and expertise in mitigating outbreaks of infectious diseases to play a part in finding solutions to the pandemic.
National governments and Academies of Science in countries that have successfully responded to COVID-19 should exchange best practices in controlling the disease, according to the statement. “To date, some countries, like China, have actively shared valuable experiences and provided necessary support to many countries,” said the statement.
TWAS calls upon more research institutions and policymakers in countries that are successful against COVID-19 to share best practices with countries still fighting the pandemic, and to include developing countries in opportunities to both acquire and share these “lessons learned”.
Founded in 1983 as a non-governmental, non-political and non-profitable international science body, TWAS works to support sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy and diplomacy. It is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy.
TWAS has now 1,278 elected Fellows representing more than 100 countries; 14 of them are Nobel laureates. About 84% come from developing nations, and the rest are scientists and engineers from the developed world whose work has had a significant impact in the South.
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