The Slovenia Times

Multilateralism under attack, global cooperation urged


The notion that multilateralism is "under severe attack" was presented by Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, who said that some leaders were making mistakes by thinking that complex issues can be resolved by simple means.

"There are so many knots around the world that should be untied by diplomatic means, and they should not be simply cut," added Cerar at the panel entitled Multilateralism at Crossroads.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the president of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, agreed and said that, for instance, there was no way to tackle climate change or migration without global cooperation.

Choosing between national interests and the multilateral system is not even a debate, said Espinosa, adding that "we must also look at regional multilateralism as the food, the seed for global multilateralism."

Asked whether Turkey was leaning towards the east after the recent military purchase from Russia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said that his country was not moving away from European alliances.

"Doing business with one country does not mean that you are moving away from other parts of the world," he said, while criticising the western allies for sometimes not providing assistance when needed.

As for multilateralism, his Spanish counterpart Josep Borrell Fontelles wondered how Europe will face and survive in the global world as its population is decreasing in relative terms.

In today's world, which he calls "a world of G2 - China and the US", more stability would be provided by another superpower, with Europe having the capacity and economy for that, but only if it is united.

The panellists could not avoid discussing migration as one of the currently topical issues, with Cavusoglu saying that "we have failed as the international community to deal with this irregular migration".

According to him, there should be more solidarity with and assistance to the source countries, the root cause should be tackled and integration policies in the EU should be improved. There is also no strategy for returning refugees to their home countries.

Espinosa said that this could not be tackled without multilateral action. "If you do not tackle poverty and inequality, solve conflicts in the Middle East, you will be faced with many issues."

Cerar added that, as Europe is very protective of human rights and promotes no discrimination approaches, the "world can learn from us and Europe is the place where many people would like to live."

This is why, according to him, it is the responsibility of Europe not to deteriorate in the sense of the protection of human rights and continue to hold the standard at a high level.


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