On 28 August, the Chairman of the DOC Supervisory Board, Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, took part in the 14th edition of the Forum du Futuroscope, organised by the Foundation Prospective & Innovation, chaired by former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
The special panel “Existing in a fractured world” focused on the tectonic changes taking place in the global architecture. The panel concept note argued that the multilateral system put in place in the aftermath of the Second World War, while based on an inequality of rights and duties, offered a universal forum and dispute resolution mechanisms that helped to mitigate against extremism and exclusion.
During his opening remarks Dr. Yakunin recalled the insight of Professor Immanuel Wallerstein, an outstanding thinker and founder of world-systems theory, at the Rhodes Forum 2017: “We have moved into a truly multilateral world, in the sense that the real geopolitical power of relatively weaker states is suddenly much greater”. Even several years ago, leading journalists and experts recognized that the term multilateral or multipolar was recognised as an anti-Western narrative. However, the new architecture of the multilateral world, which scholars predicted more than 10 years ago, has today come into full force and is widely recognized.
A lively discussion followed with Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Renaud Girard, foreign affairs columnist for Le Figaro. During an exchange of views on key issues of international development, the speakers agreed on the need to continue open dialogue as the most efficient way to overcome the global imbalances.
Dr. Yakunin noted: “Today, with the countries of Asia and Africa developing rapidly, we can observe the emergence of new leaders in the club of leading countries. This leads to a proportional decrease in Western representation among the leading countries. As a result, we can conclude that the current reality of international architecture is the transition from the dominance of a Western-centric model to a new model that should take into account the needs of the developing world and its cultural diversity. An essential factor determining the effectiveness of international relations in the modern multilateral world is deep knowledge about different cultures, mentalities and values that underlie the formation of state policies in different countries. At the same time, an important element for the sustainable development of the new model is to ensure conditions for an equal dialogue between countries on key issues of international development. This is something that needs to be addressed.”
“Looking at the global power relations from a zero-sum perspective is an over-simplified way of understanding international relations. In the world of multilateralism, it consists of civilisations who should be equal, not necessarily in military terms, or even in economic terms, but with equal ability to engage in global dialogue. Activities in the framework of the dialogue of civilisations paradigm are primarily aimed at engaging representatives of civil society in a collaborative and inclusive community to develop proposals on how to resolve the major challenges of global development. This has become a practical confirmation that the way of transcultural discussion and inter-civilisational communication is a possible and viable alternative to overcome contemporary tensions and discord. Only with a joint approach we can correct and recast the existing global disorder and find a way for greater prosperity for humanity.”
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