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27 September 2018

UN: tackling inequality and building a new world order

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on 25 September 2018, the President of the Republic reiterated the need to tackle inequality – the root cause of the global imbalances – so as to be able to build a new world order.
 


 

In Emmanuel Macron's view, the foundations of the liberal world order are under grave threat, and this crisis of efficiency and principles is bringing with it a new period of global instability.

In light of this, "a new world order" must be built, underpinned by 3 principles:

  • Respect for sovereignties.
  • Strengthened regional cooperation.
  • More robust international safeguards, through better world governance.

At a time when nations are turning in on themselves and there is a turnabout in public opinion, the link between respect for sovereignties and cooperation is all the more essential, especially since, wherever we look, some are trying to harness this public opinion to go against the universality of our values.

And yet "collective action is the only means of safeguarding the sovereignty of nations who have given us a mandate", in order to tackle the challenges before us, not least in terms of immigration, climate and digital technology. This method has already proven to be effective, particularly in Syria (Astana group, Small group), Libya (international conference organised last May at the Élysée Palace) and in counterterrorism matters (G5 Sahel, cooperation to clamp down on terrorism funding).

Combating inequality

Not only must we cooperate to redress the global imbalances, but we must also cooperate to tackle the inequalities which are their root causes:

  • Social inequalities, by investing in education (which France has done by increasing its financial support for the Global Partnership for Education).
  • Gender inequalities (which France is doing by having placed this top of the five-year-term agenda).
  • Health inequalities, especially when it comes to AIDS, malaria and large-scale pandemics.
  • Environmental inequalities (45% of greenhouse gas emissions are currently produced by 10% of populations living in the world's richest countries).

France and Europe need to be at the forefront of this fight and take up roles as fully-fledged mediating powers. This will be the priority of France's G7 presidency in 2019. To triumph, we will all need to work together. The President of the Republic has thus announced France's intention to outline a "collective mechanism for working together, assessing, ensuring that our action is consistent and disseminating best practice," under the auspices of the UN, OECD and G7.

We need to change the status quo with that in mind:

  • Revise the social and trading rules (a reform of the WTO will be set in motion at the G20 in Argentina, and a reform of the ILO is planned as part of its centenary initiatives next year).
  • Include the major non-state actors in the fight, not least the leading digital stakeholders.
  • Empower Africa in occupying its rightful position and "so play an instrumental role in shaping the new world order".

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