Multilateralism June 2022-

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The Bretton Woods Project
Multilateralism
G20 Bali Summit

Multilateralism needs an overhaul. Here’s where to start.
By Yomna Gaafar
(Atlantic Council) The UN General Assembly is gathering this week at a precarious time for multilateralism. Global economic uncertainty and a major war in Europe have put escalating pressure on the kinds of cooperation and institutions that flowered following World War II and have helped lift millions of people from poverty, promote shared prosperity, and avoid major conflicts. But it will not be possible to solve twenty-first-century challenges with a system designed for the twentieth century. This is an urgent moment to rethink and reform these vital institutions.
The massive economic gains and relative peace of the second half of the twentieth century owe much to this post-war global architecture, which includes the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), NATO, the World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). But the upheaval in recent years from the 2008 global financial crisis and the US-China trade war to the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a rising tide of nationalism and protectionism—a kind of global pushback against multilateralism.
First, the multilateral system needs to be restructured from closed to more collaborative, with more trust-building cooperation between regional and global organizations. While the UN’s work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a good illustration of regular and active cooperation, today’s networked world calls for increased efforts.
Second, the Bretton Woods Institutions must utilize their capabilities to enhance investments in global public goods. These are broadly shared, non-exclusive benefits such as the environment, health, peace, security, and technology. In today’s interconnected global economy, climate change, pandemics, financial crises, and regional conflicts create cascading challenges across borders, with the most acute effects often felt among the poorest countries and marginalized communities. … today’s agenda has shifted from country-specific issues to global ones. This requires multilateral banks to pivot away from their traditional country-focused models and prioritize global public goods investments. This is crucial for promoting the sustainable advancement of poor and rich countries, enabling inclusive economic growth, and reducing poverty and inequality. One way to accomplish this is through enhanced partnerships with regional development banks to facilitate public goods investments in low-income countries.
Third, the new multilateralism must embrace its global role in driving data governance and the digital economy. While data presents incredible opportunities, it also poses risks in terms of misuse and cybersecurity. Multilateral organizations such as the WTO should establish data-governance frameworks and common standards to combat the trend of data localization and foster cross-border data sharing and public-private data collaboration. They should also play a role in helping governments maintain a strong national statistical system, develop talent, and foster cybersecurity solutions and data-governance policies.
Rebooting global cooperation is imperative to successfully navigate the multitude of shocks facing the global economy
By Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly
(Brookings) The interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated shocks that the world economy currently faces highlight one main reality: The more interconnected the world becomes, the more likely it is that the shocks will be either global in scale or reverberate worldwide. It is time for a radical reimagination of the multilateral system to strengthen global cooperation commensurately. It must be an approach that is built on strong global leadership as the U.S. exemplified in the aftermath of World War II. Will the world’s leaders seize the opportunity and step up to the challenge? Only time will tell.
There have been very few moments in history when the world faced a confluence of global shocks and crises: from the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, threat of widespread food and energy insecurity, a surge in inflation, looming crises of development financing and sovereign debt, high risk of a global recession, climate crisis, to the geopolitical crisis. While seemingly unrelated, these challenges reflect shortfalls in multilateral cooperation and coordination in a world that is increasingly interdependent. As such, successfully navigating the multitude of shocks will entail considerably stronger global cooperation and radically reforming the multilateral system.

18 September
For world leaders, Queen’s funeral is a solemn occasion – and a de facto summit
(Globe & Mail) On the surface, it is a solemn and apolitical event being watched by millions. But Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is also a geopolitical phenomenon in which most of the world’s presidents and prime ministers are gathered in close proximity, promising to make it an international diplomatic event on the scale of a major summit meeting.
Funerals of monarchs and other major heads of state have often become scenes of important international deal-making and alliance-building. Elizabeth’s is the first in decades to hold this potential: bigger and more prominent than any this century, occurring at a moment of multiple international crises, and taking place the day before the United Nations General Assembly is due to begin its annual session in New York, with the same national leaders in attendance.
That means that for many of them, Monday’s solemn ceremony will be, in a phrase coined by the late British prime minister Harold Wilson, “a good working funeral.” It falls in a long tradition of head-of-state funerals that have served as de facto summits.
“These events are of important diplomatic value because they afford heads of government and heads of state a kind of stealth opportunity to speak with their counterparts, well away from the public,” says Louise Blais, the veteran diplomat who was Canada’s ambassador to the UN from 2017 to 2021. “There isn’t a table with a delegation on each side, it’s just the principal actors being able to talk with one another directly. That usually goes a long way in terms of developing rapport and trust between the parties.”

31 August
Britain After Ukraine
A New Foreign Policy for an Age of Great-Power Competition
By Tom Tugendhat
(Foreign Affairs) The institutions built to constrain rogue actors are vulnerable, and technology has given autocracies new forms of leverage. Rather than the last gasp of nationalism, the attack on Ukraine shows the new direction of power. …
The global order has been upended, and the events of the past year show that the world has moved into a new era of brutish great-power politics. Western democracies now inhabit a world in which multilateral institutions are no longer able to provide the stability or security they once promised.

The war in Ukraine is an opportunity to upgrade the transatlantic architecture. Here’s how.
By Ira Straus
(Atlantic Council) Six months in, Russia’s war on Ukraine has prompted unprecedented unity among the transatlantic allies. This cohesion has been admirable, but it should not be taken for granted. The crisis is also an opportunity to upgrade the transatlantic architecture—since it is unlikely that the current cohesion will endure unless consolidated institutionally
The G7 and OECD
One of the more promising developments in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s war on Ukraine was the increased collaboration among the traditional Atlantic institutions. This was most apparent in June, with the G7 and NATO summits happening in close succession and with overlapping agendas. Going forward, the G7 is well-positioned to spearhead increased linkages among the Atlantic institutions. It has already invited representatives from NATO to its recent crisis meetings; it can now add NATO to its standard invitation list.
In the face of malign Chinese and Russian uses of their economic influence and the growing policy focus of its major members on supply chains and sanctions, the OECD may find that it needs to do more on economic aspects of security. A more continuous NATO-OECD dialogue would be helpful here; the OECD could establish a liaison office at NATO, and vice versa. Fortuitously, a regular OECD-NATO link would also provide an additional channel for NATO to engage with its Pacific partners.
With the G7 already receiving OECD input to its working groups, this closer networking of the three main bodies of the Atlantic-Pacific family of institutions—NATO, OECD, and the G7—would be a healthy step forward for the international system. …
New Atlantic-rooted functional institutions can supplement and sometimes save global ones across several spheres:
Epidemics: An OECD-area health agency could fill in when the WHO is hamstrung by feuding members. Recall how grievously the world suffered when the WHO, for internal political reasons, ignored Taiwan’s early warnings on COVID-19 air transmission while repeating China’s false reassurances. An OECD-like health agency would have fully engaged Taiwan and heeded the world’s need for timely, accurate information. It would also add to the WHO’s incentives for reforming itself to the extent it can.
Export controls and global supply chains: Strengthen them by reconstituting the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM). Its successor, the Wassenaar Arrangement, is weakened by including unreliable and hostile regimes with different interests and philosophies on technology matters than most Atlantic and Pacific democracies.
Nuclear: Form an Atlantic-Pacific nuclear agency to link the nuclear-planning, nuclear-sharing, and non-proliferation work that is done in separate Atlantic and Pacific alliances. It would also connect nuclear-energy research and technologies among reliable countries.
Trade: Advance inter-allied trade pacts, revive transatlantic trade negotiations around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and, for the United States, rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This would give OECD an opportunity to gain an additional role for itself and link the two into an Atlantic-Pacific pact.

25 August
NATO chief tours Arctic defences as Canada comes under pressure to guard the Far North
Secretary general receives security briefing, observes annual military exercise
(CBC) [I]t is the fear of a resurgent Russia that brought the head of NATO to Cambridge Bay.
In an opinion piece published recently in the Globe and Mail, Stoltenberg noted the increasing importance of Canada’s Far North as the West’s relationship with Moscow deteriorates over the war in Ukraine.
“The shortest path to North America for Russian missiles or bombers would be over the North Pole,” the secretary general wrote. “This makes NORAD’s role vital for North America and for NATO.”

19 August
Putin and Xi to attend G20 summit, Indonesian president says, setting up showdown with Biden
(CNN) Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg in an interview that he’d received assurances from both Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin that they would attend the conference, scheduled for November on the Indonesian island of Bali.
The presence of the two authoritarian leaders will ratchet up the stakes for the summit, which is the first G20 since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the increase in tensions around the issue of Taiwan.

12 August
Europeans have had their moment. It’s now time for a Canadian to lead NATO
By Tim Dunne, former chief of media relations with NATO’s southern European headquarters in Naples, later served as military relations adviser for the Nova Scotia government and the chair of the Security Affairs Committee of the Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia.
(Globe & Mail Opinion) Canada is one of the founding nations of NATO and one of the first countries to suggest a transatlantic defensive alliance when Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent proposed a “single mutual defence system.” From the beginning, Canada has been an active supporter of NATO policies, operations and exercises, with distance making our involvement significantly more expensive than it is for our European allies.
There have been 12 secretary-generals in NATO’s 73 years, with Denmark, Germany, Italy and Norway having the position once each, Belgium twice, and the Netherlands and Britain three times each. Despite Canada’s leadership role in the establishment of the alliance and our continuing (and expensive) involvement in operations, Canada has yet to occupy that office.
Canada is one of only two non-European nations to be a consistent contributor to European security, yet we see little return for our investment. A Canadian secretary-general can bring a North American perspective to NATO deliberations – something that has been needed for quite some time.

1 August
C. Uday Bhaskar: Amid Ukraine war, gap between nuclear weapon haves and have-nots needs urgent attention
The NPT Review Conference should address concerns over the failure of nuclear weapon states to make progress on disarmament
(SCMP) The international conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) could be one of the most important yet most bitterly contested global meetings in recent years.
The deliberations of the nearly month-long 10th NPT Review Conference starting today [1 August] in New York will affect how nuclear weapons will be managed in the decades ahead. The choice is between the world moving towards some degree of consensual nuclear restraint, or lurching into a discordant and brittle contest over these weapons of mass destruction.
The war in Ukraine, and Moscow’s signal that it could consider using the dreaded nuclear option if it felt its core national interests were threatened, has renewed anxiety over the possible use of nuclear weapons. North Korea recently issued a nuclear threat, accusing the US of raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Adding to global unease is the United States’ posture over Taiwan, prompting China to warn that it should not “play with fire”.
The global political leadership’s inability to arrive at any meaningful collective response to issues from international trade conflict and climate change to the Covid-19 crisis suggests the nuclear issue will remain intractable, and that the image of a slow-motion train crash may not be misplaced.
Biden, Putin strike conciliatory tones as nuclear arms talks start at U.N.
(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday he is ready to pursue a new nuclear arms deal with Russia and called on Moscow to act in good faith as his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said there could be no winners in any nuclear war.
Both leaders issued written statements as diplomats gathered for a month-long U.N. conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It was supposed to take place in 2020 but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the U.N. conference that Washington was committed to seeking a comprehensive risk reduction package that would include secure communications channels among nuclear weapon states.
Japan PM Kishida urges nuclear states to act ‘responsibly’ about non-proliferation

28 July
Multilateralism and the Private Sector
Gelsomina Vigliotti, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.
In gatherings this summer and later this year, G20 member states will confront a raft of global issues that require their attention and cooperation. But while inter-governmental cooperation is crucial, so, too, are strategies to leverage the ingenuity and capacity of businesses and the financial industry.
(Project Syndicate) In an age mediated by advanced technology, it is easy to forget that human beings – and life itself – depend entirely on fragile planetary conditions. Now that a growing number of serious – if not existential – threats are confronting us, this is a basic truth with which we would do well to reacquaint ourselves. Climate change, critical supply shortages, biodiversity loss, and devastating pandemics are exposing our societies’ vulnerabilities like never before.
… To manage today’s crises, we also must bring the private sector on to the stage. States simply do not have the resources or expertise to resolve supply shortages, scale up clean-energy deployment, or develop vaccines and therapeutics on their own. Rather, their strength lies in engaging and mobilizing the full power and ingenuity of the private sector. That is what will determine whether, and how quickly, humanity curbs global warming, ensures sufficient food and clean water – both for current and future generations – and survives future pandemics. International fora and institutions have a critical role to play in such mobilizations. Multilateral financial institutions, for example, can increase the impact of public funds many times over by guaranteeing loans to help finance desirable investments and reduce risks for private investors.

12 July
The Politics Behind Who is Attending the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting
(The Diplomat) Disinvited from the PIF Leaders’ Meeting were all dialogue members, though two of them – China and the United States – are nevertheless making their presence felt. China’s ambitious attempt to create a bloc of “China-Pacific Island nations” through the forum in May was rebuffed. The move prompted a decision to allow member states the space to discuss pressing geopolitical issues amongst themselves without the presence of other nations “external” to the “forum family.” China has a recent history of exerting pressure at the forum, such as in 2018 when host-nation Nauru, one of the four Pacific nations still recognizing Taiwan, cited China for aggressive conduct and called for an apology.
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) comprises of 18 member states, but four are not sending their leaders to Suva.
Pacific Islands Forum meeting
Police remove two Chinese defence attaches from Pacific Islands Forum meeting

Great Power Conflict Fuels BRICS Expansion Push
Amid China-U.S. tensions, the impetus to build a bigger BRICS has grown stronger than ever.
(The Diplomat) Soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s emphasized the acceleration of the BRICS expansion process at the 14th BRICS Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing in late June, Iran and Argentina announced they had submitted their formal applications to join the group. Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and other guest countries attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting for the first time in May. All these positive actions are the clear indications that the expansion of BRICS is accelerating.

C. Uday Bhaskar: Lack of global consensus bodes ill for health of world’s oceans
From marine pollution and harmful fishing practices to biodiversity loss and increasing acidification, our oceans are in trouble but long-term issues tend to get short shrift from political leaders
The inability to effectively regulate oceans stems mainly from contradictions, anomalies and the realpolitik surrounding the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
(SCMP) A series of major-nation summits was held at the end of June – including the Group of 7, BRICS and Nato – where the war in Ukraine and related geopolitical developments dominated deliberations. Yet, a little-noticed UN conference [UN Ocean Conference] that concluded in Lisbon on July 1 could yet be the most critical event that has the potential to shape the health of the world and its inhabitants.
The Lisbon conference brought together some 6,500 participants, including heads of government and high-level representatives. It concluded with a declaration titled “Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility”, which focused on life below water – the UN’s 14th Sustainable Development Goal.

7-8 July
Lavrov Walks Out of G20 Talks as West Presses Moscow on Ukraine
(Moscow Times) Russia’s top diplomat stormed out of talks with G20 foreign ministers meeting in Indonesia on Friday as Western powers criticized Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Washington and allies condemned Russia’s assault ahead of the meeting before Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov faced what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called a barrage of Western criticism at the closed-door talks. …
But the gathering was soon overshadowed by the killing of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a campaign event on Friday.
G-20 meeting may lead to wider divisions over war in Ukraine
(AP) — Foreign ministers from the world’s largest nations are looking to address Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on global energy and food security when they meet in Indonesia this week. Yet instead of providing unity, the talks may well exacerbate existing divides over the Ukraine conflict.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are set to attend the Group of 20 meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali, which will set the stage for a summit of G-20 leaders at the same venue in November.
China and many other participants, including India, South Africa and Brazil, have resisted signing onto U.S. and European full-throated opposition to Russia’s invasion. Some have outright refused Western entreaties to join condemnations of the conflict. … Thus, there may be difficulty in achieving a G-20 consensus on efforts to mitigate the food and energy impacts of the Ukraine conflict, particularly with China and Russia in the room. That will not stop the U.S. from trying, according to American officials.

Shashi Tharoor: Are the BRICS Breaking Up?
India has always been the indispensable swing vowel in the BRICS acronym. If the bloc’s current strategic direction and possible enlargement push the country toward the exit, the grouping will become not just unpronounceable, but also unviable.
(Project Syndicate) The recent virtual BRICS summit, which brought together the heads of state and government of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, was interesting as much for what did not happen as for what did. The two-day gathering was marked by some constructive discussion but also platitudes and pablum, and concluded with a grandly titled but thoroughly anodyne “Beijing Declaration.”

On 4-5 July 2022, Switzerland jointly with Ukraine hosts the international Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC 2022) in Lugano
Initially, the conference in Lugano had been planned as the 5th Ukraine Reform Conference – an annual high-level political event. It would have been in continuation of four previous editions of the conference held in the UK, Canada, Denmark and Lithuania that allowed Ukraine to highlight its reforms progress and discuss the next reform priorities. Against the backdrop of the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine since 24 February, 2022, Ukraine and Switzerland have jointly decided to proceed with the organization of the conference, but to refocus the priorities on a topic that is more relevant to Ukraine in the current situation.
Ukraine needs $750 bln for recovery plan, prime minister says
(Reuters) – Ukraine needs $750 billion for a three-stage recovery plan in the wake of Russia’s invasion, its prime minister said on Monday.
Denys Shmygal also told the Ukraine Recovery Conference hosted by Switzerland that there had been over $100 billion of direct damage to Ukrainian infrastructure from Russia’s invasion.
“Today, the direct infrastructure losses of Ukraine stand at over $100 billion,” he said. “Who will pay for the renewal plan, which is already being valued at $750 billion?”

28 June – 7 July
Scowcroft strategy scorecard: NATO’s Strategic Concept clear on threats, but will require sustained commitment from Alliance
By Atlantic Council
Several of the Scowcroft Center’s strategy experts analyzed NATO’s new Strategic Concept, assessing the strategy based on five criteria [Distinctiveness; Sound strategic context; Defined goals; Clear lines of effort; Realistic implementation guidelines].
The reviewers generally agreed that the document was clear-sighted about threats facing the Alliance. However, implementing the ambitious strategy will require sustained commitment and high investment from Alliance members. Here are the full assessments…
Ian Bremmer: G-7, NATO summits show Russia may “win” in Ukraine but will lose against a united West
Russia is gaining ground in their war in Ukraine, but not in their war with NATO and the West.
NATO enlargement,
forward deployment,
budget expansion,
mission modernization,
global engagement
an extraordinary turnaround for the alliance
all thanks to Putin
All eyes were on Europe this week, where world leaders met in Germany’s Bavarian Alps for the G-7 summit before heading to Madrid for the NATO summit. Both gatherings were the most significant of their kind in over a decade, thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its threat to the international order.
…the biggest takeaway was just how aligned advanced industrial democracies remain in support of Ukraine and in opposition to Russia. Despite the remarkable political weakness of their leaders and the mounting economic pain they are feeling as a result of their response to Russia’s aggression, these countries continue to show little daylight on Ukraine.
Summit speed read: How the G7 and NATO pushed back on Putin
(Atlantic Council) Heading into this week’s Group of Seven (G7) and NATO summits, many observers (and the Kremlin) anticipated a weakening of Western support for Ukraine as inflation, soaring energy prices, and domestic political distractions continued to mount in the United States and many European countries.
That didn’t happen. Instead, major democracies rallied their economic and military might to push back against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and against Europe more broadly.
Steps taken by the G7 and NATO members varied: Some are ready to roll and be implemented, but others less so—with details and implementation (hopefully) to follow. Here’s a breakdown of what was accomplished with a focus on Russia-related issues. …
Madrid Summit Declaration
We [the Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Alliance] are united in our commitment to democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law. We adhere to international law and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We are committed to upholding the rules-based international order.
We condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. It gravely undermines international security and stability. It is a blatant violation of international law. Russia’s appalling cruelty has caused immense human suffering and massive displacements, disproportionately affecting women and children. Russia bears full responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe. Russia must enable safe, unhindered, and sustained humanitarian access. Allies are working with relevant stakeholders in the international community to hold accountable all those responsible for war crimes, including conflict-related sexual violence. Russia has also intentionally exacerbated a food and energy crisis, affecting billions of people around the world, including through its military actions. Allies are working closely to support international efforts to enable exports of Ukrainian grain and to alleviate the global food crisis. We will continue to counter Russia’s lies and reject its irresponsible rhetoric. Russia must immediately stop this war and withdraw from Ukraine. Belarus must end its complicity in this war.
The US will increase its military presence across Europe as Nato agreed a “fundamental shift” in its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A permanent army headquarters will be created in Poland, while new US warships will go to Spain, fighter jets to the UK and ground troops to Romania.
The alliance is having its biggest overhaul since the Cold War, Nato head Jens Stoltenberg said.
The new plan in response to Russia’s invasion will mean more than 300,000 troops at high readiness next year, up from the current level of 40,000.

Finland and Sweden make security pledges to win Turkey’s acceptance of their NATO membership bids.
NATO leaders will formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance on Wednesday after Turkey lifted its veto on their membership, NATO’s secretary-general said Tuesday evening, clearing the way for what would be one of the most significant expansions of the alliance in decades.
The historic deal, following Turkey’s agreement to a memorandum with the two Nordic countries, underscored how the war in Ukraine has backfired for President Vladimir V. Putin, subverting Russian efforts to weaken NATO and pushing Sweden and Finland, which were neutral and nonaligned for decades, into the alliance’s arms.
(See: For Finland, the Cold War never ended. That’s why it’s ready for NATO.)

1 July
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: The WTO Is Back
(Project Syndicate) After nearly six days of negotiations at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference – culminating in a marathon 48 hours of non-stop talks – ministers and senior officials from the body’s 164 member states adopted a historic package of agreements. The multilateral deals – of a scale and scope that the WTO has not achieved since the mid-1990s – will help people, businesses, and the planet.

27 June-1 July
World Leaders Pledge Greater Action to Save Oceans from Existing, Future Threats, Adopting Sweeping Political Declaration as Lisbon Conference Concludes
The 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference concluded today with world leaders adopting an action-oriented Political Declaration to save the ocean from existing and future threats, including marine pollution, harmful fishing practices, biodiversity loss, and acidification.
Through the Declaration, titled “Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility”, Heads of State and Government and high-level representatives participating in the Conference — which focused on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water) — said that greater ambition is required at all levels to address the dire state of the ocean.
Ocean Health Holds Key to Reaching All Goals across 2030 Agenda, Experts in Final Lisbon Dialogue Stress amid Calls for Faster Action on Energy, Shipping Reforms
The sustainable use of oceans cuts across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, experts and delegates underscored at the eighth Lisbon dialogue, as they identified the interconnections and cross-influences between ocean health and food security, poverty eradication, clean energy, decent work and climate action.
UN Ocean Conference
The science is clear – the ocean is facing unprecedented threats as a result of human activities. Its health and ability to sustain life will only get worse as the world population grows and human activities increase. If we want to address some of the most defining issues of our time such as climate change, food insecurity, diseases and pandemics, diminishing biodiversity, economic inequality and even conflicts and strife, we must act now to protect the state of our ocean.

27 June
The Future of the West Is in Question
Opinion by Mateusz Morawiecki
(Politico) The war in Ukraine puts before us one crucial question: Does the transatlantic free world still want to occupy a position of leadership? Do we still believe in the universality of values such as freedom and the right of national self-determination? Do we have determination to defend them? If not, we have already lost our future.

Iran applies to join China and Russia in BRICS club
Iran has applied to join the BRICS group — an alliance of emerging economies consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Argentina has also submitted an application to join the bloc. The group was formed in 2009, with South Africa joining the following year, and member states have met each year for formal summits since. As Western nations punish Russia over its war in Ukraine, Moscow has also been trying to strengthen its relations with countries in South America, Asia and the Middle East. Both Russia and Iran have been the target of Western sanctions.

25-28 June

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson line up for a family photo at Schloss Elmau castle, during the G7 leaders summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

Russia sanctions, energy, food – what the G7 agreed
“We will explore further measures to prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression,” the final communique of the G7 meeting said.
“We will further reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia, including working to assist countries seeking to diversity their supplies.”
G7 Leaders’ Communiqué

President Biden and G7 Leaders Formally Launch the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment
When disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic strike, developing countries that lack essential infrastructure suffer more and take longer to recover, President Biden said.
“In our deeply connected world, that’s not just a humanitarian concern, it’s an economic and a security concern for all of us,” Biden told the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, on June 26.
He and the other leaders of the democratic nations in the G7 launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment to support development of sustainable, quality infrastructure in developing and middle-income countries.
Through the partnership, the G7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States aim to mobilize $600 billion in public and private funding for infrastructure by 2027. The United States is seeking to mobilize $200 billion for the partnership in the next five years.
The partnership will make energy, health care and telecommunications more accessible through projects that reflect the G7 democracies’ shared values by following global best practices for transparency, partnership, and protecting labor and the environment.

Control freaks: G7 leaders push to cap oil prices
As Macron proposes worldwide price controls, economists warn market manipulation could backfire.
(Politico) Like price-fixing apparatchiks, leaders of the G7, the world’s industrialized democracies, convened in the Bavarian Alps for their annual meeting with a plan to impose a price cap on Russian oil. Their goal was to cut off revenues that are bankrolling President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, while also aiming to limit inflation for their own citizens.
French President Emmanuel Macron, however, decided that such targeted market manipulation was not the way to go. Instead, he rolled out a head-spinning alternative on Monday — calling for a worldwide cap on oil prices that would require the cooperation, or coercion, of major suppliers, including countries such as Saudi Arabia and Nigeria that belong to the OPEC producers’ cartel.
The G7 faces dueling pressures: Penalize Russia while easing their nations’ economic pain.
(NYT) Struggling to choke off the revenue that enables Russia to finance its invasion of Ukraine, and hoping to shield consumers at home from the war’s economic pain, leaders of the Group of 7 nations on Monday moved close to embracing an aggressive but untried plan to manipulate the price of oil, the largest commodity market in the world.
The plan — which would allow Russia to keep selling oil to the world but would sharply limit the price — is an acknowledgment that the embargoes the United States and allies swiftly imposed on Moscow’s lucrative energy exports have not dented Russian oil revenues. And they have driven up gasoline and other fuel prices, prompting consumer backlash in the United States and Europe.
G7 grapples with packed agenda of world turned upside down
Analysis: A price cap on Russian oil and potential famine in Africa are among issues pressing for attention
(The Guardian) A price cap on Russian oil, deferral of climate change commitments, a potential famine in Africa and the further supply of weapons to Ukraine are to crowd into a meeting of G7 world leaders over the next three days held against the backdrop of the biggest geopolitical crisis since 1945.
Before the summit in Germany, Boris Johnson issued a warning for the west not to show war fatigue, a point that will be echoed when the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, addresses the meeting by video link. He is expected to emphasise the difficulties his troops are facing in eastern Ukraine as well as the need for heavier long-range weapons.
The overall message from the three-day G7 meeting will be that sanctions are slowly working in degrading the Russian war machine, and will be stepped up if damage to the wider world economy can be contained.
US president Joe Biden urged the G7 to show resolve as he greeted the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz. “We have to stay together, because Putin has been counting on from the beginning that somehow Nato and the G7 would splinter. But we haven’t and we’re not going to.”
A New Task for Biden: Readying Allies for a Long Conflict in Ukraine
In March, talk of victory was in the air. Now, maintaining unity against President Vladimir V. Putin is looking harder, with President Biden heading to Germany and Spain to rally Europe.

Last Best Hope: The West’s Final Chance to Build a Better World Order
If the West sticks to its old ways, it will bungle something that is exceedingly rare in international politics: a second chance. Only by seizing the moment, learning from its errors, and acting collectively can the West rebuild an international order that promotes the rule of law rather than the law of the jungle.
By Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay
(Foreign Affairs July/August) In the heady days after the Cold War, the order appeared both unchallenged and unchallengeable. Washington believed that its unquestioned primacy allowed it to determine the future of other countries as well as its own. U.S. allies believed they had escaped the tragedy of great-power politics and had entered an era of self-enforcing rules. As time went on, however, habits of collaboration eroded, and the sense of common purpose faded. Rather than using the unique moment of U.S. dominance to deepen and strengthen the rules-based order, the West let that system wither.
Washington and its allies now have a chance to correct that mistake. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s historic miscalculation to attack Ukraine has reminded them not just of their shared interests and values but also of the importance of acting collectively. The West responded to the invasion with a show of unity not seen since the height of the Cold War. The United States and its allies have levied unprecedented sanctions, begun weaning themselves off Russian energy, and shipped massive quantities of weapons to Ukraine. But this surprising unity may not last. As the economic pain of sanctions increases and the war settles into the prolonged battle of attrition that intelligence officials forecast, domestic and other concerns may start to sow divisions within the West.
Even as the West works to manage these differences, it should turn its newfound unity into a broader effort to save the rules-based order. The first step should be to create a new group, the G-12, that would bring together the United States and its leading allies in Asia, Europe, and North America. Every member of this group has a vital interest in preserving the order, and none of them can do it on their own. But formalized cooperation alone will not be enough. The United States and its allies will need to take the second step of learning from the mistakes they had made over the last three decades. Washington will need to curtail its penchant for unilateralism, to listen as well as talk, and to give as well as demand. Asian and European allies, for their part, will need to accept more responsibility and overcome their tendency to free-ride.

24-25 June
Commonwealth ends summit with call for action on climate change, trade, adopting the ‘Living Lands Charter’ agreeing to voluntarily dedicate a ‘living land’ in their respective countries to future generations, in line with the strategy set for the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The non-binding ‘Living Lands Charter’ mandates that member countries will safeguard global land resources and arrest land degradation while acting against climate change, biodiversity loss and towards sustainable management.

Communique of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) “Delivering a common future: connecting, innovating, transforming”
Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Rwanda from 24 to 25 June 2022…at a time of uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, new threats to economic security and political stability in the international system, and when many across the Commonwealth are directly and increasingly affected by the impacts of climate change.
Commonwealth’s Fissures Exposed at Week of Meetings
This year’s summit for the group of nations came as they grappled with the place of the monarchy, and as many were forging connections with powers like China and Russia
(NYT) As the leaders of the Commonwealth wrapped up a week of closed-door meetings, panel discussions and formal dinners on Saturday in Rwanda, this “family of nations” still stood at a crossroads, with questions remaining about its usefulness and whether it can reinvent itself for the 21st century.
The Commonwealth, which comprises 56 nations across five continents and represents about 2.5 billion people, was born out of the dissolution of the British Empire, with the hope of advancing shared values of democracy and peace. But the Commonwealth is struggling to confront a legacy of colonialism, at a time when the people of some member nations, catalyzed by Black Lives Matter protests, are pushing to either sever relations with the monarchy or insist on apology or reparations.
The summit in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, took place as many nations forged deeper connections not among themselves, or with Britain, but with other far-flung powers like China, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Charles tells Commonwealth leaders dropping Queen is ‘for each to decide’
(The Guardian) Prince of Wales says at summit any move by members to become a republic can be ‘without rancour’

24 June
XIV BRICS Summit Beijing Declaration
Recalling the BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System adopted by our Foreign Ministers in 2021 and the  principles outlined therein, we agree that the task of strengthening and  reforming multilateral system encompasses the following. …
The 14th BRICS Summit Is Held President Xi Jinping Chairs the Summit
On the evening of June  23, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the 14th BRICS Summit in  Beijing via video link. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa,  Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Summit.

23 June
Xi hosts 14th BRICS Summit, stresses importance of fostering high-quality partnership
(Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the 14th BRICS Summit on Thursday evening in Beijing via video link. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Summit.
Under the theme of “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development”, leaders of the five countries held in-depth exchange of views on BRICS cooperation in various sectors and major issues of common concern and reached important consensus. They agreed on the need to stay committed to multilateralism, work for greater democracy in global governance, safeguard fairness and justice, and inject stability and positive energy into the turbulent international landscape.
They agreed on the need to jointly respond to COVID-19, give full play to such mechanisms as the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center, promote fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, and enhance preparedness in the face of public health crises.
They agreed on the need to deepen practical economic cooperation, firmly defend the multilateral trading system, work to foster an open world economy, oppose unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction”, strengthen cooperation in such fields as digital economy, technological innovation, industrial and supply chains, food and energy security, and jointly promote world economic recovery.

EU grants Ukraine candidate status in ‘historic moment’
Reuters) – Ukraine became a candidate to join the European Union on Thursday, a bold geopolitical step triggered by Russia’s invasion that Kyiv and Brussels hailed as an “historic moment”.

(The World) Rwanda is set to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on Friday with the leaders of 54 nations. Having the summit in Kigali has been overshadowed by concerns regarding the UK’s plans to send asylum-seekers for processing there and over human rights abuses in Rwanda — something the government has denied.

18 June
The World Has a Choice: Work Together or Fall Apart
(NYT editorial board) Covid, climate change and now the specter of a global food crisis show clearly that the world’s problems are intimately linked, as are solutions. The power of cooperation has been on display in the coordinated response to Russia’s aggression. More cooperation, not less, is required to navigate a path forward through other crises.
That’s true even for inflation, an acute problem that Americans, like people in so many other countries, look to their national governments to solve.

17 June
No monologues allowed and dancing to ‘I Will Survive’: how the WTO’s ‘Geneva Package’ was won
(Reuters) – Since Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took over as head of the World Trade Organization last year, one of her main bugbears has been the negotiating style of member countries, which she says is ineffective, inflexible and needs to change.
The WTO, a global organisation that regulates international trade, is often accused of being outdated and unproductive, criticisms Okonjo-Iweala has sought to address directly since taking the helm as its director-general.
“You have to talk to each other. And that means there has to be compromise; no one side will get 100 % of what they want,” Okonjo-Iweala chided at the start of the WTO’s biennial ministerial conference this week.
The conference overran by two days but delivered the biggest package of multilateral trade deals since the Uruguay Round of Talks that launched the WTO 27 years ago. It also created new global trading rules, related to fish subsidies, for only the second time in the organisation’s history.
WTO strikes global trade deals after ‘roller coaster’ talks
Deals reached on food, health and fishing
Formerly defiant India joins consensus
Package seen boosting credibility of WTO

2 June
Samoa’s PM says China’s expectation of Pacific-wide deal ‘something we could not agree to’
Regional matters must be taken to Pacific Islands Forum, says Fiame Naomi Mata’afa after countries declined deal with Beijing

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