Seoul to host international coronavirus conference

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Seoul to host international coronavirus conference

Seoul's local government and health foundation will co-host an international video conference next week on municipal efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for the post-Covid-19 age, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Wednesday.
 
The five-day event, which kicks off Monday and is dubbed Cities Against Covid-19 (CAC) Global Summit 2020, is expected to gather about 120 panelists from 40 nations across the world to discuss how each country is coping with the crisis and ways to move forward, Seoul officials said. 
 
The event is co-hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Health Foundation, and all 15 sessions will be streamed live on Seoul’s official YouTube channel, youtube.com/seoulcityofficial, with simultaneous English and Korean interpretations.
 
Panelists who live in Korea will be invited to a makeshift studio at Seoul City Hall in Jung District, central Seoul, while other panelists who live outside the country will participate virtually from their offices or homes. No spectators will be present at the studio to limit the possibility of Covid-19 transmission.
 
Various topics related to the coronavirus will be discussed, including education, culture, public transportation, sports and business.
 
Key panelists will include Jared Diamond, author of “Guns, Germs and Steel” (1997) who currently teaches geography at the University of California, Los Angeles; Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon; former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who now serves as chairperson of the National Council on Climate and Air Quality (NCCA) and as president and chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI); Randolph M. Nesse, a life sciences professor at Arizona State University; Samuel Bowles, a research professor at the Santa Fe Institute where he heads the Behavioral Sciences Program; and many other health officials from locations including Seoul, Los Angeles, Beijing, Berlin, New South Wales in Australia and Hokkaido in Japan.
 
Seoul Mayor Park’s one-on-one discussion with Diamond will be held next Thursday for an hour and a half, beginning at 8 a.m., Seoul time.
 
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said in a press briefing Wednesday that Park is expected to deliver a keynote presentation next Tuesday night at 10 p.m. from Seoul City Hall, during which he will introduce Korea’s success story of flat-lining its curve of Covid-19 infections and discuss how Seoul is dealing with the aftermath.  
 
During the presentation, Park is expected to also call on municipal governments from across the world to back a declaration drafted by the Seoul office, which includes plans to form an international organization for joint efforts to fight new infectious diseases in the future.  
 
Kim Chang-bo, head of the Seoul Health Foundation, said Wednesday during the press conference that the organization, if established, will hopefully help cities across the world share knowledge and information about new viruses and discuss ways to obtain vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus once they’re developed.  
 
More information about the CAC Global Summit is available at the Seoul government’s English website for Covid-19, english.seoul.go.kr/covid/  
 
BY LEE SUNG-EUN   [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr] 

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