Commentary: Multilateralism remains mainstream voice at UN General Assembly

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-29 12:05:57|Editor: huaxia
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by Xinhua writer Wang Jiangang

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- At the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 74), scheduled to conclude Monday, what the international community has heard is a chorus of world leaders chanting multilateralism, while the solo of unilateralism has been shrugged off.

At the General Debate rostrum, world leaders and high-level national representatives shared at the world stage various concerns, problems, threats and challenges, but refused to try Plan B for solutions, which they believe is an abyss.

Today's world is faced with unprecedented threats and challenges, ranging from climate emergency, large-scale conflicts and wars, poverty, religious conflicts, food and water security, lack of education, and safety and security issues, to lack of opportunities and unemployment, inequality, terrorism and extremism. No country or region can tackle these problems alone. Unilateral action including unilateral sanctions could result in grave consequences.

"Working together is always useful," Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 94, said Friday.

"When sanction is applied to a country, other countries get sanctioned as well. Malaysia and many others lost a big market when sanction is applied on Iran," he said.

Multilateralism is the cornerstone of the post-World War II international order, and the United Nations is the largest international multilateral arena。

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and president of the UNGA 74 Tijjani Muhammad-Bande have urged the international community to actively defend multilateralism and join forces to cope with the difficulties and challenges faced by mankind.

The Sustainable Development Goals Summit is the result of multilateralism, and promoting multilateralism is the only choice for mankind to meet the complex global challenges, said Muhammad-Bande at the opening of the summit.

Many world leaders have also expressed their strong political will and determination to uphold multilateralism in their speeches at the General Debate。

"The world faces enormous and diverse cross-border challenges between peoples and states and that imposes on us multilateral action, especially when it comes to risks threatening international peace and security, environmental issues, sustainable development, asylum and immigration," said Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Multilateralism is profoundly democratic and inclusive. With a globalized interdependent world, it is naive to think countries can solve problems in isolation without the support of the international community. Any supposed clash between sovereignty and multilateralism is a false dilemma. All countries benefit, to varying degrees, from multilateralism.

U.S. President Donald Trump has used his address to the UN general assembly to deliver a nationalist manifesto, denouncing "globalism," saying, "The future does not belong to the globalists. The future belongs to patriots."

Trump has defended nationalism and individual sovereignty, criticized globalization and warned against compromises in multilateralism, including trumpeting U。S。 military supremacy, Politico reported Sunday。

Taking clear aim at Trump's address, French President Emmanuel Macron shot back, saying, "I don't believe the crisis we're experiencing can be solved through isolationism."

China stands firmly on the side of multilateralism, which represents the future while unilateralism is unsustainable, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in his talks with Guterres on the sidelines of UNGA 74 on Thursday.

He said on Friday that China stands ready to work with other parties to fulfill its due responsibilities as a major country for upholding global peace and justice。

The world today is not a peaceful place, as unilateralism and protectionism are posing major threats to the international order, Wang said in his speech at the General Debate.

At a time when the future of the world is at stake, China has never been and will never be an onlooker, he noted.

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