11th Edition of the Atlantic Dialogues “Cooperation in a Mutating World: Opportunities of the Wider Atlantic”. Panel: Two-Speed Multilateralism in the Wider Atlantic

11th Edition of the Atlantic Dialogues “Cooperation in a Mutating World: Opportunities of the Wider Atlantic”.   Panel: Two-Speed Multilateralism in the Wider Atlantic

atlantic dialogues ambassador

First I must Say that I am very moved. We are gathered here today to talk about multilaterism just a few hours before Morocco’s first ever semi-final game in the World Cup.

I must say that football is in so many aspects the real multilateralism. It has shown to the world how strong and unified we can be as a team, as a nation and as continent when we put values of friendship, respect and brotherhood at the core of our beliefs.

Our team has achieved much more than we have ever could hope to achieve as diplomats. I am saying it without any form of hesitation. What a beautiful image of Morocco our Lions have given to the world .They made us dream, they made cry, they made us remember that nothing is impossible. You know seeing these young men on the field dancing with their families, their mothers, their loved ones was priceless. It is not only a Moroccan celebration but rater African success story of solidarity and hope.

Without giving names I can assure you that I have received messages of congratulations and supports from people and high officials that normally are not very expressive of their love when it comes to Morocco. As if nothing else matters football has unified us, and made us remember that no matter what, we stand together as continent. Good luck to Morocco, Good luck to Africa and France of course we don't forget you may the best team win.

  1. I would like to thank the Policy Centre for the New South for the excellent organization of this 11th session of the Atlantic Dialogue, an event that earned its place among the world-class political discussion forums.
  2. ​Our discussion today is particularly relevant. As a diplomat of course I can only be very supportive of Multilateralism. Multilateralism is somehow the frame and the engine that enables us, diplomats to do our work properly: namely negotiating collective solutions for collective peace and security
  3. So from the outset, I would like to emphasize on one point. I don’t believe that there is anything such as two-speed Multilateralism. If we speak about two-speed multilateralism, it means we accept divisions from within the multilateral efforts. But if we divide multilateralism then it’s not Multilateralism anymore.
  4. ​The way we put multilateralism into perspective already shows something inherently wrong with our perception. I have heard more than enough this past 2 years that multilateralism means somehow to bridge the gap between different sides. For example, some may believe that that there is in one side, a rich western world and the other side a poor Africa that expects to benefit from multilateralism.
  5. ​Wrong. We leave in a world so deeply interconnected, where challenges have no border, crises have no limits, and threats have no edges. There is no geographic confining of risks. No country is immune from what is happening outside its borders be it in the other side of the world. Covid was maybe the most eloquent argument to proof this point. Yet the vaccination process has also shown a hell lot of shortcomings in international solidarity and cooperation>.
  6. ​The world order is based on a very simple yet fundamental understanding. Global peace requires Global action and Global action requires Global Compromises. The more countries distance themselves from compromises the more multilateralism is put under pressure.
  7. Of course, different ambitions, positions, hopes and needs may polarize the debates and arise in different circumstances. Finding common ground, it’s not an easy task, but that this is exactly diplomacy. Compromise has never meant to be an easy option.
  8. ​A few years down the line we will have to ask ourselves:
  • ​Did we behave as states always responsibly when tackling international crisis?
  • ​Did we fully integrate our efforts in building a systemic peace and security for all of us?
  • ​Did we assess our interest with sufficient accuracy or where we blinded by our narrow, egoistic, and immediate interest?
  1. ​I won’t answer these questions. But I think that everyone can get a sense that a lot still needs to be done.