As the world grapples with the appropriate response against the COVID-19 pandemic with mixed results, a new opportunity for soft power influence in the form of COVID diplomacy has emerged. Countries such as the UAE that have embraced soft power as a foreign policy tool and have done relatively better in combating the pandemic have seized the initiative to provide bilateral and multilateral support in the form of COVID-19 related aid to struggling countries and international agencies, dubbed COVID-diplomacy. The UAE can engage in COVID diplomacy due to the following internal attractions: a long commitment to humanitarianism, a resilient economy, a well-managed COVID-19 response strategy, a national soft power strategy, a strong health care system, and logistical capacity. Bilaterally, UAE’s COVID contributions are as follows: provision of medical supplies and health personnel to needy countries, acceptance of critically ill COVID patients, and direct economic assistance to countries whose economies have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Multilaterally, the UAE has made major financial and medical supply donations to the WHO and other international aid agencies and serve as a transportation and logistical hub for the distribution of vaccines and medical supplies. The success of COVID diplomacy in the global fight against the pandemic will offer a template for bilateral and multilateral response towards future pandemics. Furthermore, it will create more opportunities for countries desirous of burnishing their soft power credentials via international humanitarian assistance.
"Covid Diplomacy in the Era of Pandemic Response: The Case of United Arab Emirates,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 23:
3, Article 7.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol23/iss3/7