Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism
More than 60 foreign ministers met virtually on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
September 2019: the first major meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism takes place on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. More than 50 foreign ministers gather in a packed conference room to demonstrate that global problems can only be solved together, through multilateral cooperation.
September 2020: this year is very different. Like all other events during the week of the General Assembly, the meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism is being held virtually. But the Alliance’s common conviction remains and brings countries together even at a distance, namely that the great issues of our time can only be resolved together.
Sixty foreign ministers and representatives from international and non-governmental organisations met virtually and showed that international cooperation is more important than ever in a crisis. “The pandemic has upended the world, but that upheaval has created space for something new” – this was the mandate from the speech at the opening of the 75th General Assembly of UN Secretary General António Guterres, which the Alliance accepted and wants to help fill this space for new things. In this sense, the Alliance for Multilateralism is also counting on seeing the crisis as an opportunity.
Host Heiko Maas emphasised the following: “Our choice is clear: multilateral cooperation remains the foundation for peace, prosperity and justice.”
The ministerial meeting on 25 September 2020 focused on the key issues of the future: climate change, healthcare, the digital transformation and equality. Urgent challenges in these areas are nothing new and were not caused by the pandemic. The need for joint action has increased, however. Concrete initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance, the Berlin Principles on One Health, the COVAX vaccine platform and the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace will be presented, which will help to jointly address these challenges in particular.
No country can meet today’s challenges alone. This belief lies at the heart of the Alliance for Multilateralism. The Alliance is a flexible network of countries and institutions working together in different configurations on various issues and sending a clear signal of support for the rules-based order and international cooperation. Currently, some 60 countries from all regions of the world are involved in the network on a permanent basis. Current issues addressed by the alliance include a fair worldwide distribution of future COVID-19 vaccines and tackling disinformation, also in connection with the pandemic.