International Day of Multilateralism (24 April 2019)


Today, the UN is celebrating the first International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. This day provides an opportunity to remind ourselves that the multilateral structure built at the end of World War II, based on respect for international law and cooperation between states, should never be taken for granted.

As a result of the rise in populism and nationalism, the very principle of cooperation between states, respect for the principle of legal equality and the willingness to negotiate in good faith to find jointly agreed upon and respected solutions are currently being called into question. Yet, we have never been faced with so many challenges – and no state can claim that it can address them alone: duration and complexity, increased global inequality, climate and environmental emergency, emergence of new asymmetric threats, development of new technology.

In order to respond to these pressing challenges, international organizations must be supported and modernized; they must be able to form a network, by strengthening their connectivity with civil society at large – private sector, youth, parliaments and academic communities, in order to work in close cooperation and to respond to the concerns of the populations. This was the message conveyed today by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. France reaffirms its support for him with respect to the reforms initiated to modernize this organization, which remains the cornerstone of international cooperation and our collective security.