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Policy Briefs

Toward a New Age of Multilateralism

Abstract

This policy brief urges the Group of Seven (G7) to defend, expand, and re-invent multilateral structures capable of coping with the global challenges of the 21st century. It outlines how global challenges make a comprehensive, strategically long-lasting, and inclusive international order now more urgent than ever. It also argues that the G7 is well advised to contribute to the call of the United Nations Secretary-General to forge a new global consensus with its upcoming Summit of the Future. Finally, any G7 effort to strengthen multilateralism cannot be successful if it lacks a full understanding of the views and issues beyond the G7 countries and the so-called Global South.

In the first section, the policy brief tries to clear up the misunderstanding that nationalism begets sovereignty and security, or that like-minded international coalitions achieve a better global dynamic in problem solving. On the contrary, the policy brief argues that sovereignty in the 21st century depends largely on effective multilateralism, and that multilateral coalitions can more effectively solve global problems than multipolar coalitions. A truly global approach toward global problem solving is needed, keeping in mind that environmental damage, poverty, economic failure and injustice, the disempowerment of people, and resource scarcity are the rising causes for conflicts. Therefore, the G7 is now called upon to work on a comprehensive risk report and align its policies and institutional structures in line with the analysis of global threats, and additionally to organize an inclusive process with all stakeholders to elaborate its proposal for the future of multilateralism.

Finally, if we want to achieve a sustainable, resilient, and just economy and society on all government levels, then the G7 should involve local actors and gain the support of the international community.