EU, China to jointly aim for multilateralism: Ex French PM


DM Monitoring

PARIS: The European Union (EU) and China, two major players in global governance, have a shared responsibility in renovating multilateralism, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former French prime minister, has told.
When commenting on the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), Raffarin said that multilateralism was a slow and difficult construction that should not be deconstructed, and that multilateral renovation is the great cause of the moment.
France and China share the conviction that “today’s world needs cooperation more than tension,” the French politician said.
“Multilateralism is the only true peaceful vision based on respect for each other. We must not weaken our multilateral institutions. On the contrary, we must strengthen and constantly improve them,” he said.
The world has changed a lot in the past 75 years, and multilateralism must evolve to take account of these changes, he added.
The UN, “like other multilateral institutions, must strengthen their legitimacy by further integrating the countries that have emerged, particularly in Africa and Asia,” he added.
“Some of our major topics, such as viruses, climate change, or popular aspirations — including environmental awareness — are not sensitive to borders,” Raffarin said. “We do have a global heritage to defend and a shared future to build. Modern politics must combine the life of nations with the destiny of humanity.”
Calling health the world’s number one concern right now, he stressed that the COVID-19 health crisis proves that international cooperation in global health is insufficient and should be strengthened. “Health must be at the forefront of multilateral action and the World Health Organisation must therefore be strengthened, not weakened,” he said.
On the ties between the EU and China, which held a video meeting on Monday, Raffain said that the two major players in global governance have many important common interests, as well as subjects for negotiation. “We have many important common interests, such as peace and security, protection of the planet, revival of the world economy and response to the deviation of unilateralism,” he said. “We also have subjects for negotiation — for example, investment policy — that we must discuss in order to achieve balanced cooperation. “
“It is good and useful that the dialogue between the EU and China is thus institutionalized and takes place regularly at the highest level,” he said, adding that “discussion is the best way to overcome differences.”