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Roundtable Discussion on Multilateralism – The Year 2022

25 November 2021


On 18 September, 2021, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) organised a roundtable discussion on ‘Multilateralism – The Year 2022’, where Ambassador Pablo Anselmo Tettamanti, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Argentina put forward his views on the topic and answered several questions posed to him by the participants of the discussion. He began the discussion by stating that multilateralism is currently in crisis. The COVID-19 induced pandemic has only highlighted the same. No country was clear as to where their problems could be addressed in a timely manner. For example, Argentina currently has almost 50 percent unemployment rate amongst the youth, but it does not know which organisation it should take up the issue with. The first reason for the same is that the present multilateral system was created post World War II (WWII), when only 54 countries were signatories of the UN, whereas now, there are 193 member countries. This new reality needs a new system of multilateralism as the present one is outdated. Secondly, immediately after WW II, the Cold War commenced in which the whole world was involved in the tension between the US and the Soviet Union, resulting in regional disputes and tensions brewing behind the scenes. It is only now that the world is coming face-to-face with the effects of the Cold War as new regional disputes and tensions are on the rise again. This was not foreseen by the makers of the current multilateral system. They based the concept of multilateralism on three fundamental elements of the world economy—labour, capital, and finance—all three of which were supposed to bring peace and security in the world order. However, the Cold War changed the vision of the world system in a way which was not foreseen by the framers of the system.


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