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Multilateralism key to tackling challenges

Monday,Nov 18, 2019

Global leaders at a recent peace forum in Paris have called for multilateralism and greater international cooperation as critical for tackling global challenges amid the rising unilateralism, analysts said.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the second annual Paris Peace Forum from Nov 11 to 13, which gathered about 30 heads of state and government, but with the absence of the United States.

Macron advocated for multilateralism and called on all delegates to work together to find solutions to global challenges, including climate change, terrorism, migration, and cybercrime.

He also said that the temptation of unilateralism is "very risky", while making an apparent reference to the policies of the US President Donald Trump.

"We tried that option in the past: It leads to war," Macron said. "Nationalism is war."

His statements echoed his tone a week earlier when he lamented that NATO is suffering "brain death", due to a lack of leadership from the US, as well as poor coordination among treaty partners more broadly. US in late October announced a pullback of its troops from northeast Syria without notice.

Tian Dewen, deputy director of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the way for maintaining world peace lies in the principle of multilateralism, which is the most important lesson that people should learn from the two world wars.

He also said that the US absence makes it less likely Macron will work together with the US on multilateralism and global governance.

However, as a firm defender of multilateralism and globalization, China could be a partner with increasing importance for France, he said.

Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan attended the forum at the French side's invitation. During his meeting with Macron, he said that the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France is embodied in the common thinking and similar views on the future and destiny of human society, as well as in the concrete actions to safeguard multilateralism.

Ursula von der Leyen, president-elect of the European Commission, also said during the conference that multilateralism has made a "peaceful and united" Europe.

Mourad Wahba, associate administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said that the world needs to work together to deal with key challenges to realize the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization(CCG) in Beijing, attended the peace forum with an objective of building an alliance of global talent organizations, an innovative platform to promote global talent flow.

"Currently, talent flow and brain shortage are coexisting. Global competition for talent can have an impact on and will be affected by other aspects of international relations," he said. However, the challenges brought by talent flow haven't been discussed enough, he added.

From China Daily,2019-11-18
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