Statement by High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini at the Event “Alliance for Multilateralism: Building the Network and Presenting Results”

26.09.2019 - Speech

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Heiko [Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany], Jean-Yves [Minister for Foreign Affairs of France], We have joined the Alliance for Multilateralism precisely because we all share the same goal: we all want to protect, reform and expand the multilateral system of global governance.

Protect, reform and expand: these are the three ideas that led to the creation of this Alliance, and they are also the exact same goals that we put – as European Union-, three years ago, at the core of the European Union’s Global Strategy for foreign and security policy.

These goals have shaped our foreign policy in very practical ways. They are the compass of our action in the world on every single issue. But today the focus is mostly on how to expand the multilateral system to policy areas that lack effective governance and require collective action.

I would like to focus in particular on two of the initiatives proposed today.

First, on cyber security and on autonomous weapon systems. As you know, two years ago we have set up the Global Tech Panel to help us reflect on some of the issues of our times, where governments and tech need to work together in partnership to solve global problems or at least contribute to solve global problems. The panel includes leaders from industry, start ups, financial capitals, civil society and academia. All sharing a same sense of urgency on how to make the most out of the opportunities of the digital technologies for human development, but also how to mitigate from possible harms.

We have benefitted from their collective genius and their technical expertise on complicated issues such as lethal autonomous weapons systems – which we discussed jointly with EU defence ministers in August – and on cybersecurity. The Global Tech Panel can offer important contributions to the Alliance work on fostering genuine conversations in problem-solving spirit.

Second, on climate security. In these years, we have put “Climate, peace and security” at the core of our agenda. And I totally subscribe your call for coordination, sharing of information, and regular reports on climate-related risks.

Let me just mention that in recent years we have made our European satellite images available to countries that were facing extreme weather events. This is world-class technology, the best global system of satellite images, which we shared for free.

When we invest in the fight against climate change, we invest in our own security. This is a hard-core security issue. The good news is: this is not irreversible. Climate change is man-made, and solutions are also man-made.

On climate, just like on all security issues, the world needs our cooperation. Multilateral solutions are, first and foremost, more just and equal, because they take more voices into account. But multilateral solutions are also much more effective, because only by joining forces we can tackle the complex crises of our times.

Multilateralism is the answer, and we are proud to be part of this Alliance.

Thank you.