In cooperation with Atlantic Council
History teaches us that advanced levels of cooperation are required to resolve international crises. The war of aggression in Ukraine and the long list of ongoing conflicts in other areas of the world add up to pandemics, climate change, food and energy insecurity, global debt. The Secretary General of the United Nations talked of “a perfect storm”. However, institutions that have been created after the Second World War to ensure peace, security and prosperity are often proving unable to cope with many of the current, most pressing challenges we are facing. This is causing a stalemate which has often favoured unilateralism over multilateralism and solidarity in the approaches to the various crises. States and international actors are obliged to rethink the multilateral toolbox at their disposal and to rebuild trust in the global system of governance. The calls for accountability, ownership, transparency and democracy are multiplying. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with the report on “Our common agenda”, released in 2021, has highlighted the urgent need for a new vision of global cooperation to tackle the numerous challenges. A “Summit for the Future” is due to take place in 2024. Among UN member States, a lively debate on reforming the Security Council is also ongoing, focused on the categories of membership and membership extension, veto powers, regional inclusion, and the relations with the General Assembly.
Beyond the UN, over the coming months, a range of international bodies – including the G7, the G20, and the EU – will also have to elaborate coordinated responses to the global combined effects of the different crises and challenges. In such a context, what is the future of multilateralism? What are the ‘new rules of the game’ and who are the players? How can the multilateral system be adapted to face current and future threats?