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Veolia at the Global Positive Forum 2020: "building global governance for resilience"

At the Global Positive Forum – which this year due to the health crisis is the Global Positive Podcast - the Institut de l'Économie Positive's proposals are being shared with the participants: media, members of governments and international bodies, representatives of civil society and businesses. These proposals, resulting from the reflections of international experts during the Positive Economy Week (November 16-20), will be presented at the next G20 meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Alongside Valérie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group 1, and Bertrand Badré, former CEO of the World Bank, the Chairman and CEO of Veolia Antoine Frérot spoke during the November 17 round table entitled: "Towards a High Council for Resilience?"».

 

Create a High Council for Resilience

In view of the unprecedented health crisis that has swept the world and the ensuing economic collapse, it would seem necessary to strengthen the overall resilience of our economies in order to cope with the risks looming on the horizon. One of the proposals is to set up global governance in the form of a "High Council for Resilience". The objectives would be to get States to cooperate, anticipate health crises or cyber-attacks, and transcend barriers in order to act more quickly. Antoine Frérot pointed out that for a group like Veolia, resilience is about anticipation. In other words, building a risk map, then preparing responses in advance in order to limit the impact of crises. An approach that can be applied at the level of a company, a country... or even the entire world.

 

Coupling resilience and responsiveness

The Covid-19 health crisis has paved the way. The first lessons learned have shown that it is necessary to diversify supply circuits, avoid zero stock policies and relocate some supply chains with a view to both avoiding interruptions in supply and being more efficient.

Antoine Frérot, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Veolia
Crises are more and more out of the ordinary, and therefore difficult to envisage. There were already some weak signals with the SARS, Ebola and avian flu epidemics. But they did not have a global impact. When those weak signals don't create a global tragedy, they end up being forgotten. Wrongly... because they help us anticipate more far-reaching crises. We must therefore not only identify the weak signals, but also, over and above resilience, be prepared to be agile and responsive. Resilience and responsiveness must be coupled.
Antoine Frérot

Global resilience governance

Although regularly criticized for its inadequacies, the United Nations has for the past 70 years been able to prevent international conflicts, in particular thanks to its ability to maintain dialogue between countries. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was a reminder of its international value: the UN continues to provide a solid foundation because it has been adopted by a large number of countries and is difficult to call into question.

Antoine Frérot believes that above and beyond this global governance, these global principles should be applied more pragmatically at regional or national level - for example in the European space, which has a uniform framework. Without distorting the global framework, the subsidiarity principle would make it possible to more rapidly implement the goals stemming from that global framework. 

 

Cooperate to increase prosperity

Not yet in the post Covid-19 world, we are still in a world living with Covid-19. I think human communities learn from their experiences. Over the coming decades, we will learn from this global health crisis. And since right across the world prosperity is the goal, cooperation is needed to increase the prosperity of all those involved in it. I therefore believe that this cooperation will have an increasingly important role, despite the competition and rivalries between human groups that are not going to disappear.
Antoine Frérot