The Paris forum on peace, which helps multilateralism

"We must face the rise of nationalism"

Michel Duclos, special advisor of the Montaigne Institute

Wednesday 7 November, in a restaurant of the 7th arrondissement

Paris hosts a peace forum from 11 to 13 November. An original initiative that was in preparation for at least three years and that Elysee approached the centennial armistice ceremonies of November 11, 1918.

The goal is to bring together, on the model of COP 21, organizations that act in many ways on the international scene and ready to commit themselves to improve the destiny of peoples, societies, ecosystems: governments, associations, businesses, local authorities, researchers … gathered under the vast roof of the Grande Halle de la Villette, hundreds of participants exhibit their projects trying to federate skills and means to achieve them. In the minds of the organizers, it is less a question of debate than of being prepared to do, and of acting concretely.

Michel Duclos closely followed these preparations. The career diplomat, former ambassador to Syria and Switzerland, is close to Justin Vaïsse, the hub of the Paris Peace Forum, who have worked for 30 years at the Center for Analysis and Forecasting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Affairs. He is also a special advisor of the Montaigne Institute, a liberal think tank, one of the six founding members of the Forum.

"Multilateralism is in danger"

After closely following the preparation of the event, on 7 November he told a dozen journalists from the Association of the Diplomatic Press (APDF) how to place it in a broader goal of resilience against incoming nationalists. in power all over the world.

"There is a real need: multilateralism is in danger," said Michel Duclos. "To that Paris matters, it seems legitimate for everyone.As behind the very approach of the" project ", there is the will to build a coalition of countries that defend multilateralism and show the capacity for multilateral tools to help the world ".

"An increase in nationalisms"

"Today we see an increase in nationalism, yet I remember when I was in New York in the early 2000s: the former Third World came to liberal ideas, Francis Fukuyama intoxicated Western leaders with his thesis on the end of history. # 39 has been a natural movement towards liberalism. "

"This dynamic was shattered, on the one hand, by the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, which reminded the rest of the world that Westerners had serious imperialist orientations." On the other hand, from the Putin phenomenon. : The evolution of its power has broken the taboo of the inevitability of the liberal wave in the world, so the Westerners have lost weight against the emerging powers and the emerging have stopped with respect to liberalism. closed

"Today we are in a new phase, with an increase in authoritarianism and illiberal contagion: Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rodrigo Duterte, Jair Bolsonaro …. Not everyone is confused, but every particular case joins a fund common of nationalism, hate from abroad, threat to liberties, starting with that of the press ".

"To prevent all these illiberal regimes from coalescing"

"In this context, we must keep in. If we do not make mistakes, the tide of time is reversed, for example, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India is certainly hard for minorities, but has not compromised the basis of democracy in his country.

"At the same time it is necessary to prevent all these illiberal regimes from coalescing, knowing that many antagonisms often disagree with each other – it is necessary to refrain from a bipolarization strategy, they are against us, and at the same time build an alloy of supporters of multilateralism – France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia, South Korea … An informal platform that allows us to defend our values ​​".

"The French remain attached to a universal message"

"Among these are human rights, which we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration in December, France, in particular, must continue to be interested in this, which is part of its" brand. "If it had renounced it, it would have lost its three quarters of his international identity ".

"Internally, the French people remain attached to the universal message of the country.That's how Frexit's idea – a withdrawal from the European Union, does not take – France remains one of the lights of the world. degree, on the occasion of the centenary of the armistice, to invite almost all the land ".

To go further

The site of the Paris Forum on Peace

The interview with Justin Vaisse, president of the executive committee of the Paris Peace Forum, published on the France 24 website on July 11, 2018.

The UN article, multilateralism is at the center of discussions in the annual general debate of the General Assembly, published on the UN website on September 25, 2018.

The article France, Europe and the world according to Emmanuel Macron, published on the blog Paris Planet on September 4, 2017.

The UN article on power and multilateralism, published on the website of the Sciences-Po International Research Center in Paris in 2013

Jean-Christophe Ploquin

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