Is Multilateralism Still Viable– The Future of Global Diplomacy
Many observers blame the Trump administration for retreating from multilateral institutions and negotiations as well as undermining much of the structure the U.S. played a major role in creating after World War II and which underpinned the global order for decades. Yet, there is a counterargument that the decline of multilateralism has been in train since the end of the Cold War and that the Trump administration at most accelerated the process.
This panel will deal with two aspects: Political and economic. The political encompasses cooperation in maintaining peace and security, conflict prevention and management, collaboration and cooperation on a global or regional scale on any number of issues, and ensuring respect for a common set of norms governing international relations. The United Nations, as an organization in its entirety and via its myriad specialized agencies and bodies, epitomizes the institutional framework of multilateralism. But it is not alone, as evidenced by the multitude of ad hoc and institutionalized organizations, like the G7/G8/G20, NATO, the European Union, the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Organization of American States, the Arab League, etc. The central question is whether these groupings remain relevant, can be reformed or adapted, or should give way to a new dynamic that emphasizes the nation state as the core of all interactions. In short, is the world returning to sort of multipolar order that existed prior to World War II? If so, what are the implications in terms of the common challenges the world faces?