Inclusiveness of Security and Cooperation
Dominique de Villepin
The 5th World Peace Forum organized by the University of Tsinghua, known in the world for academic excellence and intellectual commitment, gives opportunity to deal with major issues in a period of troubles. It’s not only a place bringing together different points of views on peace building, it is also a demanding forum fostering debates between all the participants, speakers as well as professors and students. In this respect, the aim of such a forum highlights the Chinese commitment to the world and to the peace of tomorrow.
- Dealing with inclusiveness is more than necessary in a world torn apart between rival identities, failing States, regional instabilities and rising confrontation of international powers. Wherever you look, it seems that globalization is at the root of two main paradoxes:
• First, globalization has opened a new world order in which every country, each people and each individual is in quest for recognition in an ever more confusing world. Yes, history is back for better and worse instead of the pacified “end of history” some believed in after the end of the Cold War. Wounded identities and local rivalries are at the heart of the risk of confrontation increasing all around the world.
• Second paradox: globalization has created political, economic and cultural interdependences that led to facilitate cooperation, on the one side, and to spread fear and violence all around the world on the other side: instead of creating closer links and dialogue, globalization led to new kinds of exclusion, isolation and radicalization. That’s what we face today in the rise of terrorism and the expansion of regional conflict. In recent days, fear of globalization also appeared in the UK’s referendum rejecting both global migration and European cooperation.
- In this new world, we have to learn to face together huge challenges: on the one hand, the common threat of terrorism. On the other hand, the rising risk of major power confrontation in Eastern Europe and in the Middle-East as well as in Eastern Asia.
I) Diplomacy seems to be in danger in a time of rising confrontation. We have failed to build a long term vision for peace
1) Over the last decades, the main arguments of the international community have been limited to exclusion, sanction and military operations
The overuse of economic sanctions has hindered the diplomatic work on mutual understanding
- Demonization is the opposite of what diplomacy should advocate for. It only leads to break the link and exclude partners:
• It’s true in Russia: economic exclusion decided by Europe and the US during the Ukrainian crisis has only worsened the situation:
• Russian people is all the more supporting leadership policies as it is hard hit by sanctions;
• European economy, on its side, has been affected by this series of sanctions and counter-sanctions;
• It was also true in Iran until a recent period, where economic sanctions contributed to impoverish the populations and to demonize a potential partner.
Recurring use of force has given legitimacy to criminal groups by fueling resentment among local populations
- Through repeated military interventions, we have reinforced the spirit of war instead of the voice of peace:
• That was the case in 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan as the Soviet Union had done two decades earlier. Of course, America had been targeted by terrorists on its own soil: but tackling terrorism is not about war and invasion, it’s about building the conditions of peace, integration and cooperation;
• That was the case in 2003 with the operation in Iraq when Western countries bypassed the UN rules, destabilizing the Middle East to an incredible extent:
• American intervention destroyed existing administrations and State;
• It contributed to further antagonize Shia and Sunni communities whose rivalries flared up again;
• That was also the case more recently with the intervention in Libya:
• War in Libya didn’t limit itself to protect civil populations as allowed by the UN, but overthrew the regime;
• Look at the current situation: spread of violence, free circulation of weapons in the region and expansion of Daech.
The problematic use of legal coercion can also lead to break the dialogue and increase escalation
- We see that in the ruling given on last Tuesday by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague regarding the territorial controversy between China and the Philippines:
• Exerting coercion by law doesn’t provide lasting response to disputes:
• Negotiating a legal solution means bringing people together around the same table: it means finding a common ground to initiate a discussion: bilateral dialogue is the priority;
• Arbitration is a diplomatic tool in a diplomatic process, not a judiciary decision that could be imposed on one of the parties;
• That’s why I think arbitration can only be common choice of the parties and not a way to force contentious decision;
• In the South China Sea, territorial and maritime disputes must be tackled on regional basis and in a cooperative framework to create a secure environment.
2) Because of the vicious circles of exclusion, our world is on the verge of major confrontations
Incapacity of dialogue has created a cycle of wars in the Middle-East
- First, incapacity of dialogue between the regime of Bachar Al Assad and divided Syrian opposition;
• Since 2011, Syria has experienced a terrible civil war resulting in humanitarian catastrophes, with more than 250,000 victims;
• Meanwhile, Daech managed to gain territories between Syria and Iraq, feeding on religious frustration and political exclusion at the crossroads of Iraq intervention, Syrian war and globalized distress;
- Second, incapacity of dialogue between the major powers of the region as we see in growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran:
• Iranian and Saudi powers appear as leaders of the old confrontation between Sunnis and Shia’s, but also between Arabs and Persians;
• They are involved in various conflicts that could escalate into direct or proxy wars like in Syria, in Iraq and in Yemen;
- Incapacity of dialogue between global powers in the region, especially between Russia and the USA in 2015. This lack of cooperation has made the Middle East a confusing battleground for soldiers of all countries and all origins.
Military threats and economic retaliation have also increased the risk of confrontation in Europe and in Asia
- Western countries and Russia are facing frozen conflicts in Eastern Europe: despite growing dangers of war, we don’t see enough ambition to revive cooperation:
• European sanctions against Russia have been extended in last June;
• Russia has decided to reduce energy supply;
• On both sides, the lack of inclusiveness is the major source of misunderstanding:
• Western countries have not heard Russian frustration after the collapse of USSR as is shown by the deployment of NATO troops on Russian borders;
• Meanwhile, Russia asserts its own vision of sovereignty and self-determination;
- We also see signs of tension between China and the USA in South China Sea:
• Containment policies belong to the past;
• We need to avoid any military escalation.
II) Today more than ever, we have to make inclusiveness the cornerstone of cooperation
1) Addressing cross-border challenges can be achieved only with coordinated and inclusive response
It is the case with terrorism that needs to be tackled collectively
- Far from being a local concern, terrorism has become a global issue:
• The entire world is affected by jihadist terrorism:
• It’s a global crisis in its consequences:
o Every major Western country has been struck, as proven with the 9/11 and more recently in Paris. Every member of the security council has been targeted, like Russia in 2004, London in 2005 and China with the bombings in Kunming in 2014;
o But let’s be aware that most of the victims of Islamist terrorism are Muslims, in fact more than 80%;
• It’s also a global crisis in its causes:
o In Africa and in the Middle East, the rising number of failing States has reinforced violent extremism ;
o In Western countries, marginalization of some communities has also been breeding ground for terrorism;
• Because it’s a global issue, terrorism needs a global response through a global alliance:
• It means reinventing the tools of cooperation by involving as many States as possible:
o We need to improve collective structures like the UN Counter-terrorism Center created in 2011;
o We need a new permanent military force though harmonizing recruitment;
• It also means sharing objectives and resources:
o We must create a global agenda on terrorism and a shared definition of the threat ;
o We also must optimize intelligence sharing about terrorist groups and individuals that constitute international dangers.
Implementing inclusive responses requires to launch concrete initiatives
- In the Middle-East, we need a new architecture of peace fostering robust, inclusive and comprehensive cooperation:
• Gathering regional powers around the table of negotiations is no longer about winning the war or building the peace, it is about avoiding collective suicide and saving the future of the region:
• First of all, the two competing leaders need to talk face-to-face: resuming dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of peace: together they could create common institutions of oil and gas management as France and Germany did in 1951 with coal and steel. The ECSC was created as a token of peace;
• Second, we should promote what succeeded in the past in the Helsinki Conference of 1975: I advocate for a Helsinki Conference in the Middle East about cooperation and security under the authority of the 5+1:
o This framework has proven to be successful last year with the Vienna Agreement on the nuclear program of Iran;
o The Security Council could give impulse to this conference joining together not only Iran and Saudi Arabia, but all the regional countries like Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Yemen.
2) Building a more balanced and representative world governance is also a priority to improve inclusiveness
Today, we still have to work on developing diversity and fairness in global governance
- Inclusive cooperation is coming up against Western hegemony:
• It’s visible in economic fields where the USA have huge privileges like the domination of the dollar and global influence of the Big three in credit rating:
o We could organize a G3 with China, the USA and the Euro-zone to enhance permanent currency cooperation on monetary stability;
o Likewise, I do believe that Asian credit system has a major role to play in providing new vision and methodology as put forward by Prime Minister Li Keqiang;
• It’s visible in technological area with the GAFA and American leadership in digital governance;
• It’s visible regarding military affairs: NATO has long been a testimony of these global unbalances;
- However, there have been some progress in sharing power at the global scale:
• Since the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, there were only small steps in improving financial cooperation:
• Inclusiveness of national players was reinforced by the gradual increase of State members of the IMF from 44 to almost 190 ;
• Representativeness of emerging countries was gradually improved: in 2010 through the governance reform and in 2016 through the integration of the RMB in the currency basket of the IMF. But a lot could and should still be done;
• Inclusiveness could also be achieved through new financial institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launched in 2014:
• It’s because they are inclusive and open that we should greet the creation of new multilateral tools;
• This new initiative has already led to great projects under the leadership of JIN Liqun;
Let’s be aware that multilateralism is key to guarantee inclusiveness
- For long time, diplomacy has been underpinned by common institutions of collective security:
• After the barbaric events of the Second World War, the UN aimed at creating a new world multipolarity. We saw that in the rising involvement of multiple stakeholders:
• Look at the growing inclusion of the world with almost 200 State members against only 51 at the beginning;
• Today, look at the growing commitment of emerging countries: China is more and more active in the world affairs, especially regarding the UN peacekeeping: there are more than 3,000 Chinese soldiers and experts implied in operations like South Sudan or Liberia.
- But the UN are facing difficulties. They need to be a place of legitimacy, of debate and consensus:
• In the recent period, the whole system has been strongly challenged and criticized: that was the case in 2003:the UN were unable to prevent the war in Iraq by enforcing effectively the international law;
• That’s why we need more diversity and representativeness:
• By enlarging the Security Council through extension in the number of non-permanent States and a longer duration of their mandates;
• By appointing new permanent members: India and Germany, for instance, as well as African countries would have a place in the Council;
III) Let’s be clear: inclusiveness has not only to be guaranteed, it has to be achieved
1) Inclusiveness is not only about dialogue and political exchanges. It is about concrete action making every part of this world able to become a responsible member of the international community
Inclusive diplomacy needs mediators and bridge builders to turn peace objectives into reality
- Mediation is the role of France: inclusiveness was the political legacy of General De Gaulle: in a time when China was considered with suspicion by the US power, he stretched out a hand of dialogue and friendship:
• In 1964, General de Gaulle was the first Western president to create permanent diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China;
• His goal was to base long-term relationships on two old States and cultures;
- There are at least three lessons that can be learned from this attitude:
• First, diplomacy requires openness and balance;
• Second, diplomacy needs long time to deploy and act efficiently;
• Third, diplomacy can only work in dynamic environment.
In the long run, development and prosperity are the best weapons against radicalization and remoteness
- Opening to education, employment and public services is the best answer to hate and isolation:
• I firmly think diplomacy as well as politics must focus on projects providing hope and progress. The One Belt One Road Initiative unveiled by President XI Jinping in autumn 2013offers a promise of development, a promise of growth and a promise of peace:
• First, the New Silk Road is a pillar for growth because it bets on infrastructures to stimulate economy and open up remote regions. By building ports, airports, roads, highways and railways from China to Europe across the Middle East and North Africa, it will create a huge network of countries and economies:
o It will boost growth because infrastructures are a productive sector with high return and a strong need of workforces;
o It will boost development because marginalized areas like Kirghizstan or Uzbekistan will become more accessible and open to the world;
• Second, the New Silk Road is a pillar for cultural dialogue as was the case in the old times Silk Road during the blooming period of the Tang dynasty:
o The rise of cross-border exchanges will create bridges between people and civilizations through tourism, art and education;
o University program could be launched along the New Silk Road to improve academic excellence and share intellectual views;
- I think the New Silk Road is only the start of numerous projects that could be implemented on the same model: for a long time, I have been supporting such a perspective between Europe and Africa:
• Stimulating trade and development in the frame of a Euro-African Union around the Mediterranean Sea appears to me as one of the most ambitious achievements we have to realize in the coming years:
• Economic achievement through big investments in resources, mining and agriculture;
• Political achievements through common policies and, if needed, military assistance;
• Environmental and cultural achievements as well to build a more open, stable and sustainable world.
2) We also need to reinvent inclusiveness by developing global State building expertise
Today, failed States have become the major source of wars: strong States like China and France as well as the international community have a huge responsibility in helping them:
- Implementing inclusive policies also means assisting endangered countries to be back on track and to be heard worldwide:
• It should be the aim of regional organizations to provide support to weak States:
• Existing organizations like the Arab League, the European Union or the African Union are supposed to promote cooperation and mutual development inside and beyond the borders;
• In the same way, good governance inside regional alliances should become a priority by learning from each other and sharing administrative good practices.
• The international community has also to set up specific task forces in order to assist failing states:
• We need to create alternatives to instability by building administrative capacities and local security forces;
• We also need to better share and monitor good practices in governance to fight corruption and stabilize countries.
Exclusion is a risk we cannot afford any more. Because exclusion creates insecurity. Because exclusion is the engine of a spiral of war.
On the contrary, all my experience taught me that inclusion and openness offer the best ground for stability.
While exclusion gives arguments to enemies of peace, inclusion deprives them from their weapons.
While exclusion makes peace impossible and repeatedly postponed, inclusion is the first step towards peace.
Because we live in a world striving for more recognition, more dialogue and more fairness.