Forum calls for upholding multilateralism

Updated: July 6, 2021 Source:
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Global scholars, former senior officials from countries and international organizations, and diplomats have called for upholding and practicing multilateralism during the just-concluded 9th World Peace Forum (WPF).

The two-day forum themed "International Security Cooperation in the Post-pandemic Era: Upholding and Practicing Multilateralism" was held from July 3 to 4 at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

"Why multilateralism is becoming a hot topic for the panelists, speakers and audience? It is because people have realized that multilateral cooperation has been broken by COVID-19," said Yan Xuetong, WPF secretary-general and director of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University.

Herman Van Rompuy, former president of the European Council, who attended the forum via video link, said the world order must be based on trust, which is very much lacking today.

"Until trust is restored, multilateralism based on rules respected by all will not really be restored either. We must learn to live with differences between countries," he said.

Surakiart Sathirathai, former deputy prime minister of Thailand, said he believes that the constructive engagement of major powers with regional organizations can help open up new pathways for multilateral cooperation.

"China has promoted multilateral cooperation such as holding virtual conferences with leaders and ministers of regional groupings to offer medical and economic assistance during the pandemic," he said.

"As seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, regional organizations proved to be the anchor of multilateral cooperation. We must therefore continue to support open and inclusive regional cooperation in all fields," he added.

Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations (UN) secretary-general, reiterated his call for all nations to redouble their efforts in elevating cooperation and partnership in vaccinating the world. He also called for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and tackling climate change.

"Our multilateral recovery from this pandemic and its secondary impacts must address climate change and inequality to steer us to a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future," he said.

Multilateralism in fighting climate change was echoed by the attendees at the forum.

"Climate change and environmental degradation is another area where international cooperation is urgently and crucially needed," said Surakiart Sathirathai.

Noting that the European Union (EU) has given a legal basis to the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, Herman Van Rompuy said both the EU, as such with its emissions trading scheme and other instruments, and the member states are fully engaged in the implementation of this goal.

Editor: 王予