Dr Ravi Kumar Chitnis – The learned doctor spoke about the precipice that we all are at. He spoke of how such biological attacks invariably cross borders and the potential for destruction that is now concentrated in science and technology, which is akin to failure. Any further failures will have more sever consequences. Thus he concludes that this is a very important discussion to be had and this conference is important not only for India but for the world.
Zoha Patel – The young leader spoke eloquently of how close to destruction we are and how the agents of war are now microscopic and immune to most countermeasures. She hopes that a moral compass can be inculcated in scientists so that they do not engage on chemical or biological weapon research. She hoped that humanity learns its lesson before it is too late.
Shri Shashank – The learned diplomat spoke about the establishment of the UN and its role in preventive global disasters such as the pandemic we are undergoing right now. He then spoke about the present geo political climate and how nations are influenced to take decisions. He also spoke for the need to find a way to accurately determine the outbreak’s epicentre Wuhan’s role in this pandemic. He postulated that we may even have to study their eating habits to determine the exact reason for the transmission of this virus from the animal kingdom to the human realm. He spoke also of ways in which different nations can find common ground and work in unison instead of with veiled suspicion and a ‘My nation first’ policy as best manifested by the US.
Dr G Madhavan Nair – The learned doctor spoke in detail about the nature and history of biological calamities. Specifically, the doctor spoke about the various diseases that caused so many deaths in history including the Black Death and the Spanish-flu outbreak. He states that it will take time for effective counter measures to be created and then this pandemic will also pass. He spoke then of the current pandemic and its impact on the world. Overall, he was pleased with India’s response and he believed that though global governance is too complicated to ensure a collective effort against virus and bacteria we can do so on the local level for sure.
Amb. Anil K Trigunayat – The learned ambassador spoke of the current outbreak and the implicit role of China in it. He also spoke of how the very implements created under the UN to serve global interests have been continuously undermined since their inception by the nations that have created them, namely the US and China. China has lost too much face and the confidence of the globe while its heavy handed responses have endeared it to no one. He also cautions that the new world leader has to be one who builds their power on economic lines, something China has been doing. He then cautioned India of the tremendous economic power China has. He spoke of the fact that the Chinese invest the most in research and have the most per capita number of scientific papers written, then also are reputed to have the most tech savvy workers. He spoke of these things to explain what we are up against and what we must do to compete. He also spoke of India’s particular soft brand of diplomacy and its effectiveness.
Madam Jennifer Magby – The learned speaker spoke very informatively about the nature of biological warfare and the numerous conventions set up globally to contain and control such agents. She spoke of the various biological agents that can be weaponized, the potential biological weapons have for terrorists since they are easy to hide. This is also true for the countries that are signatories to the ban on biological weapons but are covertly developing biological weapons. She spoke of the need of the hour being the cooperation among all nations to ensure that the potentially life extinguishing power of biological weapons is not only contained but dismantled. a