Schlagwort: Multilateralism

Multilateral Negotiations and ‘social distancing’

Photo: Empty Benches in a Park as a symbol for social distancing

The year 2020 should have seen many major international conferences, mandated to take especially important decisions to protect the environment. The Convention on Biological Diversity was set to convene in China in October for its 15th conference of the parties (COP). The 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) should have met in the United Kingdom in November and the World Trade Organization (WTO) was supposed to hold its Ministerial Conference in June. However, since March 2020, COVID-19 has led to the cancelation or postponement of those meetings. Many other multilateral conferences have been victim of the spread of COVID-19, with governments being forced to close borders and cancel conferences. Others, such as the G7, G20, the Petersberg Climate Dialogue or European Council meetings are taking place as video conferences. Whereas a teleconference with seven leaders might be a feasible solution, the two main options for multilateral negotiations – either delaying meetings or moving them online – both pose major challenges.

Panel discussion: The role of the G20 in fostering multilateralism

Photo: PanelistsThe G20 should play a prominent role in strengthening multilateral institutions. This view was recently echoed at a joint high-level panel discussion between policy-makers and Think20 experts. The panel discussion took place on the occasion of the second ever G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting on 16 February 2017, in the United Nations City of Bonn, Germany.