Borderless Security Crises and Multilateral Responses

Plenary Session3

Global Public Health Crises and Development of Civil-Military Relations


COVID-19 has become a non-traditional security threatto the lives and wellbeing of people across borders. Governments, civil societies as well as militaries have worked tirelessly to deal with this pandemic. In the Republic of Korea, the military has assisted with the screening and prevention measures of the infectious disease, the provision of medical personnel and facilities, and the safe and timely delivery of vaccines. Militaries in other countries have taken up similar roles.

With the modern definition of national security expanding comprehensively, the military’s responsibilities now include not only national defense but also working with governments and civil organizations to protect national interests and to promote national development by operating in various non-military domains such as disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, among many others. The recent pandemic spurred armed forces to include responding to global public health crises among its other supporting roles.

The recent pandemic has also shed light on the growing importance of civil-military cooperation in responding to global public health crises. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that a systemic response, in accordance with promptly established countermeasures in the initial phase of a pandemic, is critical and only possible when underpinned by civil-military cooperation.

At this juncture of COVID-19 still rampant in the world, a discussion needs to take place on how traditional civil-military relationships and the military’s identity will evolve. Based on this discussion, we can then envision a cooperative civil-military relationship in dealing with non-traditional security threats including global public health crises. Considering the importance of solidarity and cooperation in dealing with global public health crises, it is essential to discuss the military’s contributions to global public health security. This session will also explore ways to build confidence among countries through military-led cooperation on global public health.

Key Topics of Discussion

Discuss best practices of civil-military cooperation in the field of global health security

Envision a cooperative civil-military relationship to respond to global public health crises

Explore ways for the military and the international cooperation regime to contribute to global public health security

Promote public health security cooperation as confidence-building measures