Why do we need a strong system of multilateral cooperation?
Updated 19:44, 24-Jun-2022
Global Thinkers

Editor's note: Former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva tells CGTN's Liu Xin the problem with the system of global governance is that some powers are dictating it, making many nations feel their voices are not heard. We need a strong system of multilateral cooperation where everybody plays by the rules and respects all countries, large or small.


Abhisit Vejjajiva: Emergence of the grouping of BRICS where there are large economies that are emerging economies, I think, can understand issues and challenges faced by other emerging and developing economies better.

So, I think by having participants from the emerging economies and developing world, we can perhaps articulate the solutions to the problems that are faced by these groups of countries better.

We lived for so many decades where only a few countries dominate much of the global dialogue in many, many fields. And I guess it will take a bit of time before the various emerging economies and powers can begin to have their voice better represented. Part of that is also, I guess, a challenge for all of us that we also need to articulate what kind of contributions we can make to global governance.

Of course, President Xi himself used the word "global development" as an initiative to make sure that we all contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. We'd like to see initiatives and directions that can give us a very good idea of how China and the Communist Party would be contributing to these issues.


Liu Xin: We are in a different era, right? I mean, from the time when you were in office, we're seeing so many problems, so many conflicts, even direct military conflicts broken out. What exactly has gone wrong? Has something gone wrong, according to you, Sir?


Abhisit Vejjajiva: I think all of us everywhere can feel that tension. It's clear that because of the changing world, and because perhaps of different cultural and due to historical factors, differences in values, obviously contribute to this tension.

The problem, of course is that for the citizens of the world, most of their problems are global in nature. But we've never had a good, strong global system of governance. And I think the problem with the system of global governance is, for many countries, they feel that their voices are not yet properly represented or heard. And there are a number of powers who can then dictate that system.

So, the world needs a strong and accepted system of global governance. We need a strong system of multilateral cooperation where everybody plays by the rules and respect countries, large or small.

If we can get into that mindset, into that mentality with all the parties concerned, then perhaps we can move away from the current situation with all this tension and conflict.


Liu Xin: Look at the kind of security arrangement on different layers, we have the AUKUS, we have the QUAD, and then we probably have the Asia-Pacific version of NATO as well, kind of up in the air, being discussed. How do you look at this trend?


Abhisit Vejjajiva: I won't go into specifics, but I could certainly say that what we really need is a high degree of trust. I know there are differences, clear differences between the different powers, and as I said before, may reflect certain values or culture.

But the point is there will continue to be differences and diversity in the world. And we should try to learn to live, to be able to live together despite these differences.

So, I think trust building is probably the highest priority. If the direct parties to the conflict as it were cannot do it, we should try our best to make sure that others play a role in bringing everybody together and build trust.

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