Stepping Stones of the
Alliance for Multilateralism

Since the first inception of the idea to rally partners around promoting multilateralism, Foreign Ministers from around the world have worked together to spread the word, explain objectives, promote the concept of an issue-based network and garner support for concrete initiatives.

At the German Ambassadors’ conference in Berlin in August 2018 the Foreign Ministers of Canada and Germany both presented in their speeches a joint analysis of the state of world affairs and declared their intention to promote the rules-based international order and generate political backing for multilateralism. In their joint OpEd of February 14th 2019 the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany reiterated their belief that legitimate national interests and the global common good can be reconciled by working together multilaterally and called for a renewed global commitment to multilateralism. This call was taken up and reiterated by the Foreign Ministers of Japan, Canada, France and Germany during a meeting at the margins of the Munich Security Conference in February 2019.

Foreign Ministers of Japan, France Canada and Germany standing together for a group picture in front of a painting showing a nightly street scene.
© Florian Gaertner/
Foreign Ministers of Japan, France, Canada and Germany during a meeting at the margins of the Munich Security Conference in February 2019.

The United Nations are at the heart of the multilateral order. During the “jumelage” of the French and German Presidencies of the UN Security Council in March and April 2019 the next steps were taken, including the launch of the “Humanitarian Call for Action”. On this occasion, Germany and France jointly presented the idea to form an Alliance for Multilateralism to a group of 14 countries during an event in New York on 2 April 2019, followed by a public discussion at Columbia University in New York on April 3rd where the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany put the work on the Alliance in the context of renewed global power-politics.

Foreign Minister of Germany, France and Indonesia pose for a group picture with several Ambassadors to the UN against a blue back-drop.
© Thomas Imo/
Foreign Ministers of Germany, France and Indonesia together with the Ambassadors to the UN of 14 other countries at a Meeting in New York in April 2019

In the same vein, reaching out to the public and explaining what multilateralism means and why it is important, decentralized events where held in Berlin and Paris in June 2019, accompanied by the social media campaign #MultilateralismMatters.

The aims and objectives of the Alliance for Multilateralism are also advanced by the EU. On June 17th 2019 the Foreign Affairs Council adopted Council Conclusions on EU action to strengthen rules-based multilateralism. The EU emphasizes the need for commonly agreed rules and effective and inclusive global institutions to ensure peace, security, human rights, prosperity and sustainable development for all and commits itself to support effective, relevant and resilient multilateral system.