Building Back Better: Defining the Building Blocks for a Just Global Recovery from the Pandemic

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Public Event: Virtual Event
Sep 30
Building Back Better event poster with panelists headshots.
Building Back Better event poster with panelists headshots.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in Canada and abroad, with more than 18 million cases reported worldwide. The crisis has yet to peak in the Global South. Yet the knock-on effects of the pandemic are becoming increasingly clear in the world’s most vulnerable countries, with women carrying the biggest burdens, public health systems under massive pressures, economies shattered, trade relations interrupted, food insecurity on the horizon and human rights in peril as nativist policies take root and authoritarian states clamp down on civil society. And when effective treatments or COVID-19 vaccines eventually become available, there will arise the question of having systems for their rapid and widespread distribution globally.

Despite these challenges, the pandemic crisis has also expanded perspectives on what is possible, with governments grounding planes in a matter of weeks, countries such as Canada rolling out a universal basic income by another name, and a renewed recognition of the role of states and social policies in supporting those at risk of falling behind. Despite all the human loss, disruption and cost of the pandemic, an opportunity also exists for Canada and the world to emerge stronger and more resilient from the crisis.

This session, co-hosted by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), will examine the key policy responses needed for sustainable, equitable, transformative and ambitious recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will seek to define some of what a global post-COVID-19 “Marshall Plan” might include and what Canada’s role could be in supporting such a plan.



  • Goldy Hyder, President and CEO, Business Council of Canada
  • Rohinton Medhora, President, CIGI
  • Nicolas Moyer, President and CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation
  • Jennifer Welsh, Professor and Director, Centre for International Peace and Security Studies, McGill University

Event Speakers

CIGI Senior Fellow Bessma Momani has a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on international political economy and is full professor and interim assistant vice‑president of international relations at the University of Waterloo.

Rohinton P. Medhora is president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Jennifer Welsh is the Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security at McGill University, and director of the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies.