Like all good things, globalization has some negative side effects. The current outbreak of swine flu highlights the ability for diseases to be transported quickly around the world, primarily because of how interconnected the global economy has become. It is important for both governments and international business people to arm themselves with the proper knowledge in order to be prepared and put in place the best safeguards for such an event.
Here are three main ways that we can preserve the future of the international system:
1) Better domestic health care epidemic response systems - we need better mechanisms to ensure the safety of volunteers, increased access to medical supplies, and more research into improving the tests that determine who's sick and who isn't. Outbreaks are inevitable, and we have to be effective at containing them.
2) More international standards and agreements - this ensures that health care professionals around the world will be able to clearly communicate with each other in times of crisis. If done right, they can prevent disease without the baggage of slowing down commerce.
3) Better screening technology - if we research more accurate and less obtrusive ways to check things like international shipments of products and people, we will be able to maximize the good parts of globalization while minimizing the risks. Restricting travel will never be the answer, we should focus on making traveling less dangerous.
These things are challenges that must be met in order to mitigate some of the negative side-effects of globalization.