Multilateralism must not be just an ambition - It is our only option

Paris Peace Forum
3 min readNov 12, 2020

By Jean-Paul Agon

This year, the deadly pandemic has touched all our lives. As the world attempts to contain the disease, the crisis has reinforced the need for collective action and international collaboration on health, economic and social issues. It has been a wake-up call to our precarious future if we do not unify to solve together our shared challenges of the 21st century: reversing climate change, fighting inequality, promoting inclusive growth, among many others.

Multilateralism must not be just an ambition. It is our only option.

For many decades, it has been a pillar of peace and prosperity. Human rights have spread, international trade increased, and poverty decreased. As the world becomes more interconnected, the necessity for multilateralism is peaking.

However, it has fallen out of fashion when we need it most. The tide of unilateralism, isolationism and protectionism is on the rise. So, while our crises are global, our responses are fragmented.

There is no greater example than the terrifying advance of global warming, but the response has been disjointed and insufficient. We must rise to the challenges facing our planet. We are at a pivotal moment. We must choose what type of world we want for tomorrow, and the clock is ticking. All experts agree: Together, we have one decade to act. Ecological transition needs to move urgently beyond good intentions: the challenge now is about…