RHODES, Greece – International influence is shifting from West to East and “we must build peace with new responsible stakeholders”, former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on Friday, underlining the crucial role of China and Russia in world affairs.
“International influence is restructuring around regional powers, with a shift from Western to Eastern countries,” De Villepin said at an international forum on Rhodes.
The shift can be seen with the Astana process in dealing with the Syrian crisis, as well as initiatives from both China and Russia in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, he added.
“This has to be a good news because we need both more and new responsible stakeholders in the world community,” he said.
The Astana process refers to talks held to resolve the Syrian civil war in Astana in January, with Kazakhstan offering its capital as a neutral venue.
On July 4, China and Russia issued a joint statement on the Korean Peninsula issue.
The two countries put forward a road map on the basis of Russia’s step-by-step approach, and China’s dual track approach and the suspension for suspension initiative.
De Villepin addressed the two-day 15th Rhodes Forum that opened on Friday, gathering politicians, thinkers and business leaders from some 70 countries and regions to discuss multipolarity and dialogue in regional and global developments.
De Villepin also said the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative “is likely to develop and stabilize the countries and regions it will cross”.
The former French prime minister also stressed the role of Russia as a “crucial actor for world order”, mentioning the country’s mediation in Syria, Eastern Europe and the Korean Peninsula.
Meanwhile, he underscored the need for dialogue in times of crisis.
“Uncertainty has become the trademark of our time,” he said. “The question of our time is how to avoid uncertainty … In times of escalation, we cannot take the risk of frozen conflicts heating up at any moment.
“A joint initiative by a few large countries in order to reflect together on the new multipolarity … would also be a way of reviving the power of dialogue, which is more than ever before a global necessity.”
The annual forum, organized by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, an independent international think tank, was attended by high-profile figures from Europe, Russia, China, India and Africa.
Held each year since 2002, the Rhodes Forum is intended to provide a platform for business people, policy makers and scholars to discuss pressing issues on the international agenda.