Global leaders gather to promote multilateralism, sustainability
Updated: 2019-12-04 07:38
By Chen Hong(HK Edition)
Multilateralism and global partnership are critical to building a new world order that will ensure people reach the future they desire, agreed the attendees of a top-level international forum in Conghua district of Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, Monday.
More than 260 former heads of state or government, leaders of international organizations, academic experts and entrepreneurs attended the 2019 Imperial Springs International Forum on Sunday and Monday. This edition of the forum highlighted the issues of multilateralism and sustainability.
"The international community must actively defend multilateralism, support the United Nations' essential multilateral system, and take effective collective measures to enhance and strengthen global partnership," said Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former president of Latvia and president of the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid.
Nathalie de Gaulle, an entrepreneur focusing on technology and energy and great-granddaughter of former French President Charles de Gaulle, agreed that global partnership is important.
"We cannot do anything without the cooperation between countries," she said. "What we can do between France, European Union and China together can actually change things and move in the right direction," she noted.
Zhu Feng, director of the Institute of International Relations of Nanjing University, said people should work together to stand against power politics and unilateralism.
When it comes to multilateralism and sustainability, he said, respect is very important, including respecting the diversity of different developmental approaches and the difference in culture, economy and politics.
"China is a practitioner, promoter, beneficiary and advocate of multilateralism. And it is a common view for most of the nations worldwide to expand cooperation and promote co-development," remarked Chau Chak Wing, president of the Australia China Friendship and Exchange Association.
"Sustained development is beneficial for all the nations and will be good for the whole world. China's proposal fits in with the trend of today and China is contributing its wisdom and strength to the global governance system reform and development in the new era," he added.
Neil Bush, founder and chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, attended the forum for the first time.
"We are living in a day and age where there's a growing trend toward unilateralism, populism and nationalism," he said.
To counter this trend, Bush said it's important for world leaders to gather and talk about the importance of working together and multilaterally approaching issues.
"Rational thinkers at the end of the day will prevail," he said.
As a firm supporter of multilateralism, China won wide recognition at the forum for its efforts to adhere to peaceful development, use sustainable development as its national strategy and benefit the world through its own development, especially the Belt and Road Initiative.
Bush said he believes it's true when China invests in infrastructure, buildings, roads and rail, power, schools and hospitals, it does so for the benefit of people in those countries.
Yukio Hatoyama, president of the East Asian Community Institute and former prime minister of Japan, said China has made great achievements in poverty alleviation domestically and improved the living standards of the countries and regions involved in the BRI internationally.
(HK Edition 12/04/2019 page4)