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Transcript of Panel Discussion Westlessness in the world Multilateralism in a Changing International Order

March 06, 2020

Host: So, good evening everyone and very hearty welcome to you all! This session is on Westlessness in the world, multilateralism in a changing world order. And it is a great honour and a pleasure for me to serve as moderator for this discussion. We have an exciting and lively one-and-a-half hours ahead of us with extremely distinguished panellists and to kick-start the panel discussion we have with us the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas, who will be addressing us for 10 minutes. Under Heiko Maas's leadership, Germany has been playing a key role in reinvigorating the political policy and public debate on multilateralism. So, without further ado, let me invite Minister Maas to take the floor and to share with us his ideas on the state of play and beyond. Please join me in welcoming the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas.

Heiko Maas: [foreign text]

Interpreter: Ambassador Ischinger distinguished colleagues, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the world in disorder. This was one of the catchphrases six years ago when then Federal President Joachim Gauck was in Munich here and spoke at this conference and called for more German responsibility. if you listen to the successor this afternoon, you must admit that 'the world in disorder ,that is a catchphrase of yesterday not because the rule-based world order continued its success story started 75 years ago, but because international cooperation has been going through an unprecedented recession for years. A new order is being developed but it has little to do with principles such as liberal rule based. What is new? It's not the rise of China which we've seen for decades and the shrinking strategic significance of Europe after the end of the Cold War that isn't new either. The real game changer is the fact that an era of omnipresent American policemen, global policemen is over and everyone can see that. Think of Syria. Think of Afghanistan and Africa. Not because the United States lacking military or economic power but because the commitment of those responsible in the White House has changed when it comes to the world order that the United States have helped bring about. This is geopolitical gap that is especially apparent in the middle and near east and this gap is filled by others - Russia, Turkey, Iran and they often stand for different values, different interests and different concepts of world order. So, the future of the Middle East is decided upon in Astana and Sochi, rather than Geneva or New York. Such systems are often built on sand. We can see that when we think of the escalation in Italy. So, ladies and gentlemen, we, Americans and Europeans, we must ask ourselves the question how we could allow it to happen and what we can do in order to change this. You must be critical of ourselves. We Europeans have long closed our eyes to uncomfortable realities, what does it mean for the United States to withdraw from military commitments and from international contracts. We have closed our eyes but even if we would have kept our eyes open, we couldn't have foreseen how quickly the pendulum of American diplomacy and politics would swing the other way. But there is some good in this development. We saw this during the presentations and discussions we've heard. Everyone in Europe has now understood that we need to do more for our security and for the stability of our neighbourhood. And it is true, Europe is doing more from Ukraine to close of Middle East to Libya and the Sahel region we do military things, civilian things and diplomatic things. But it's not enough. All these crises will keep us busy here Munich to do the discussions we'll have here. So, let me focus on three statements. First of all, Europe is going to play on its strengths. It will have to do that. Of course, I'm thinking of the development of a European security and defence Europe as a strong pillar, European pillar of NATO. And this is the most important challenge when it comes to shaping the Europe of the future, the 2020s. It's not a matter of whether we're going to do this. The question is 'how'? We cooperate closely with France and we're going to take president Macron up on his offer of a strategic dialogue to deal with these questions. We will have to do that and we will. Let me put it clearly. Germany is prepared to increase its commitment and that includes our military commitment. But this military commitment must be embedded in a political reasoning and this is just what our federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier said this afternoon. Ladies and gentlemen, our former Defence Minister Peter Struck was right when he said German security is also defended at [not audible] and from today's perspective we must add, the same is true for Iraq, for Libya and for Sahel region. But the same is true for negotiating tables in New York, Geneva and Brussels. Without diplomacy, without clear political strategies, without capacities that can be built in the regions affected, military operations will in the best case be ineffective but in the worst case they can exacerbate crises. We saw that after 2003 in Iraq and we are now witnessing the same development in Syria and Libya. More responsibility, more commitment cannot be the same as more military because if you think that way, you can never solve the complexity of these conflicts. I'm thinking of Europe's economic power without which the reconstruction of Syria will not be possible and at the same time, we must achieve a political solution. We will not participate in a reconstruction process that will result in securing Assad's power. Whether as important as that he is the presence of models that Europe can provide that work in the long run. After the Wars of the past, we've seen this development many times - The Westphalian peace, you know, World Order treaties of Rome and the Helsinki Final Act. Russia, Turkey and others may be able to achieve short-term successes in Syria, Ukraine or in Libya, but where are approaches that work in the long run that achieve sustainable stability and peace because different players can identify with them. So, Germany and France have been working on a peaceful solution for Ukraine for many years. In the last few months, we have revived the Minsk peace process supported by the new Ukrainian president, we have worked for the separation of troops and the exchange of prisoners that is only part of the solution. The main question is are all the parties involved, prepared to move beyond the reasoning of geopolitical influence and to work together on a European security. [Not audible] it's based on international law. So, we will talk about this here in Munich with our colleagues from Paris, from Moscow, and Kiev and thus we will lay the basis for another Normandy format meeting in Berlin. Ladies and gentlemen, it is no coincidence that the efforts to achieve peace in Libya emanated from Rome, from Paris and lately from Berlin. The Security Council reinforced the results of the long and difficult negotiations that took place in Berlin. Last week the parties to the conflict negotiated a ceasefire for the very first time and on Sunday, foreign ministers will meet here in Munich in order to continue the process started in Berlin and to create a mechanism to monitor and implement the decisions that were taken there. On Monday, we will talk about this with the European foreign ministers. We will talk about the contribution that you can make in order to implement the weapons embargo. For the EU, there can only be one answer and I'm looking at Josep Borrell now. We are ready to help when the United States and nations and the parties to the country to ask for our support. Ladies and gentlemen, my second point is we must adapt our multilateral alliances to the new geopolitical realities. This is true for the European Union first and foremost. Its geopolitical approach will not be limited to a new strategy towards China or to a more realistic view to new technologies. We're talking about more European sovereignty from a political, from an economic, from technological and from a values-based point of view. So, we will have to come to an agreement with a new EU Commission and we in Germany will preside over the EU Council in the second part of this year and this is a great opportunity. We must reconsider the role to be played by NATO as well. In 2003 NATO did not take part in the war in Iraq and that was the right decision. But now 17 years later the situation is different. Now we're talking about training Iraqi security forces to fight terrorism, terrorists of the Islamic state and the Iraqi government has asked for NATO support because NATO respects Iraqi sovereignty. It stands for a multilateral approach. We all share the interest to preserve what we have taken great efforts to achieve in the last few years. So, we would like to continue our commitment in Iraq with the consent of the Iraqi government .be it as part of the ante is coalition or be it as part of a NATO mission. So, at the end of the day this will take care of two strategic interests. First of all, we continue our policies in the Middle East which means de-escalation not maximum pressure. And secondly, we can help keep the United States in this partnership. This can lead to a new transatlantic dynamic and this is not a side effect. It is our objective. So, my third point is more European contributions will keep the United States on board. I'm thinking of Afghanistan. In the past few months, we provided support to the United States. We supported them in negotiating a peace agreement between the parties of the conflict in Afghanistan. An internal Afghan dialogue has been initiated. So, we think the reports about a possible Understanding between the United States and the Taliban are very positive news. Whether it results in lasting peace depends on the continuation of these negotiations and we must not go back on what we have achieved. In together out together the principle so that should be our guiding principle and we are the second largest troop contributor in Afghanistan. I'm also thinking of the Sahel region which has become a safe haven for international terrorism. Germany and Europe are strongly committed there militarily and by civilian measures. In last three years, we invested three billion euros and the stability of the region we are prepared to do more. We work on security policies and we help build state structures here and we will need the United States to do this. Because at the end of the day Islamist terror is a threat to people in Bamako, just the same as in Paris, Berlin or Boston and there have, ladies and gentlemen, we must talk about transplanted building sharing. It's true in Brussels, in Washington and here in Munich and in Berlin. we know we must do more. The Federal President line have pointed it out this afternoon and we've started doing that. But let us not narrow down the discussion to this single question. The strength of an alliance cannot be measured in terms of euros or dollars. What we need is a true political debate about the transatlantic partnership in the 21st century. Bearing in mind the situation we live in today's new realities; this is a process we initiated in December last year in the frame of NATO. We believe that not maximum disruption but discussion is the way to achieve good results. That is the only way forward. We know that only by acting together can we summon the economic power, the military potential and the political ideas we need in order to defend our rules-based global order. Let us start where the Westlessness we've read about in the Munich Security report, it can be felt. First of all, it is in the crises before our front door and this includes Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine and the Sahel region. Let’s make sure we do not repeat the pain, the mistakes of the past. Let us not leave these crises to those who export weapons and mercenaries but not security and peace. Thank you very much!

Host: So, thank you very much Minister Mass for that very stimulating speech. You have given us a lot of food for thought and so, it is now my great pleasure to inviteour esteemed panellists to join me on stage. So, our first panellist is Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs for the Republic of India. Dr. S. Jaishankar, please. And our second panellist is Margrethe Vestager and I invite her to join us on stage. She's the Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age of the European Commission. You're very welcome!

Margrethe Vestager: Thank you!

Host: Joining Miss Margrethe Vestager and Dr. S. Jaishankar is Miss Kang Kyung-wha, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. Thank you! And last but certainly not least, I am very happy to welcome Senator Lindsey Graham on stage, the chairman of the Senate Committee on the judiciary, United States of America. So, we're very privileged to have you here with us to address some of the very fundamental problems that we are facing today and both on the questions of Westlessness and multilateralism and I'm hoping we can also try and explore some solutions in the course of our discussion together. A warm welcome to the four of you and the plan is to have an exchange amongst the panellists, followed by a Q&A session with you, esteemed audience and also questions coming in from a livestream with the engaged public at large. So, if you see me fiddling with this device, it's not because I'm checking my Twitter feed. It really is because I'm looking for questions that people are sending in. So, now to set the ball rolling, I would like to begin our debate with a simple better but a fundamental question which I pose to the four of you and I would be grateful if you were to restrict your remarks to about three to four minutes each and we have further time for debate that way and the question is a simple but not a simplistic one and it is there seems to be a recognition across countries that global problems need collective solutions. We heard that in many of the presentations today as well. There is a recognized need for multilateralism because multilateralism is an instrument that can help us achieve these goals. And yet we find multilateralism in facing serious challenges. Why is that the case? Is it because of multilateralism has failed to serve its purpose for individual countries, for individual actors? Or is it that the world has changed so dramatically that our old institutions are no longer fit for purpose or is it this Westlessness that we have been discussing today or is it something entirely different? Dr. S. Jaishankar, why don't I start with you?

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Thank you! First of all, let me say it's a great pleasure to be here. So, let me sort of look at the two key concepts you mentioned - multilateralism and Westlessness. I think clearly multilateralism has become weaker and clearly Westlessness is an evidence and I would suggest that there is a correlation between the two. It's not to say that multilateralism is solely dependent on the West or the West has always been faithfully multilateral. I think it is not. But there is a relationship. So, what has led to weaker multilateralism and restlessness? I think the first point is we've seen in the last 20-30 years, economic rebalancing in the world, it was a question of time before the economic rebalancing translated into political rebalancing and we're seeing that. I mean in 2008 G7, G8 became G20. I think that's the beginning of an era, it's not the last word. So, if there's going to be political rebalancing, then clearly, we are going to be, you know, in a transition era. The second is that there is no question the world is more nationalistic and it's more nationalistic, the United States is more nationalistic, China is more nationalistic different countries in the world are Lord of this nationalism has been electorally validated and there are multiple reasons. I mean there are countries where it's a sort of positive, assertive nationalism. In some cases, it's more insecure nationalism. But the fact is a more nationalistic world obviously is a less multilateral world. The third is that the West, which was in a sense the old order, the... I would say, if you talk of Westlessness, there is a Westfulness and no pun intended. But that era, I think, the West was so sure that it would sort of extend into infinity. That it actually didn't cultivate broader constituencies of support in the rest of the world. And so, when political rebalancing happened, I think today, you can see, the gaps in a sense and I say this, say between the west and the south and bear in mind that large parts of the global South are actually democratic and most, you know, most of all beginning with my country. So, even though they share a lot of political values and beliefs, yet there is a very visible gap between the west and the south. To some extent, there's the, you know, dichotomy of interests and beliefs, you know a lot of countries didn't practice what they preached. So, what happened was when it came to multilateralism?The exceptions were so many over such a long period of time. But I think the rules got weakened and of course it didn't help that the United Nations is far less credible than it has been in history, which of course is not entirely surprising because when you think about it, you know, in your daily life, there aren't too many things which are 75 years old and still as good as the way. So, clearly there's something which needs to be done there. A lot of new challenges to the world faces challenges of technology which were discussed, challenges of connectivity. I think these are not readily amenable to multilateral solutions. These are also less influenced by the West. So, the West fullness factor kicks in... Westlessness factor kicks in there as well. So, I think all of these have been trends which have reinforced each other over a period of time. So, we come to the other issue raised. What do you do about it? I think for the West if it is going to be less dominant in the world, you do what you do in politics. You create coalitions. You look for convergences. So, if the multilateral system is not working well enough, you support it with plurilateral arrangements. You make new compacts. So, I think those are and those could be political, those could be security. You know, burden-sharing is a term which has a specific connotation in this geography. But I think it's frankly a practical concept today in the world. I think issues like counterterrorism, maritime security are issues where there is need for greater global burden sharing. I would also say one of the challenges which the West will face is how to get out of the Alliance mind-set. I mean it's the business of the West to mind its alliances. I'm not disputing that. But I think the reality of this new world is Western countries have to look beyond the alliances and work with partners beyond alliances, who will come from a different place with a different history. So, how do you develop the mechanisms to work with such countries? So, to sum up really, I would say if you are looking at a more multipolar art world then clearly, you know, how do you... I mean to me, it's important that... and a multipolar world is a restlessness world. It’s important that a multipolar world requires actually more not less multilateralism. So, that there is greater stability because at the end of the day, when we all speak about global rebalancing, what we don't want is imbalance. Okay.

Host: Thank you very much Dr. S. Jaishankar! Just a quick follow-up on that because you ended with this lovely line about a multipolar world requires more multilateralism, not less. To what extent do you think that even the focus of the Western democracies on the notion of the West and now Westlessness, is in fact making it harder for them to find common ground with other countries which are from the global south for example... which perhaps share some of those values, it's just that they don't necessarily call them Western values. We heard a little bit about this also in the previous panel.

Dr.S. Jaishankar: Well, I look I think it would sort of depend on the issue President Steinmeier reminded us earlier in the evening that the United States, for example, is focused much more on Asia than it used to be much more on Asia perhaps than on Europe. So, you've seen a sort of a nimbleness on American adaptability to a new global national security situation. On the other hand, I would say if you look at Europe, Europe has realized the importance of working with the global south when it comes to climate change. So, I wouldn't say that one has necessarily been smarter than the other. I think it depends on the issue. I think both have done well in some areas, both have done not well in some areas.

Host: Thank you very much! Vice-president Vestager, over to you. Europe itself is a multilateral actor and it has been very influential in shaping our notion of multilateralism, a universal multilateralism more broadly in the way that it negotiates in the World Trade Organization, for example and yet, Europe too is facing some serious problems. Why are we seeing these problems?

M. Vestager: Well I think it's it's a very interesting question and as you say, it's simple but definitely not simplistic to figure out. Well when we're in a world where we obviously need common solutions, we're not going to fight climate change on our own, obviously. Then why is it that we find it so tricky to find it. Well for me, multilateralism is a tool, it's a tool to be able to do something and that is the way I think for everyone to have a kind of a rule-based international order. You're right to say that the rules were set up by the so-called West and I think the limitations coming from that, they have been well discussed. Also by a perception, right or wrong that the West also saw itself as being somewhat elevated and I think it's a very good thing that that has been changed but the other thing is that our multilateral system was set up in an analogue world and the world is definitely not analogue anymore. We are lucky here to have a physical interaction, we can feel each other, we can better, I think read each other because we're in the same room but very often will not be in the same room. We are in a digital world where opinions are being formed, economic value is being created, great powers competes. It is a, it's a major change and that also means that the tools of power, they do change. That be industrial espionage, tax avoidance, disinformation, foreign influence on elections, terrorist propaganda, the security of critical infrastructure, mass surveillance. We're really in a different world compared to the world when our multilateral system was set up and that of course allows both people and businesses and states to be less accountable, because it is opaque this digital world. Because we do not have a multilateral system that is digital and that allows for an opaqueness to come about, which I really do not think serves anyone well. So, the question is of course when our multilateral system is outdated, well what do we do? Do we abandon it or renew it? Well as I see it very often in competition law enforcement, which is one of the things I do in the European Commission, well the fundamental rules they're fine; because they deal with greed and with fear and with the lust for power. These are fundamentals and it may be that we're now digital but as humans we have not changed whatsoever. I still think that the fundamentals they remain the same and the tricky thing is that we, if we allow a world without order, then to be the new world, well we know what is going to happen. Then the weaker ones, they will suffer because of the strength of others and we know from history what that leads to and that's I think we should not allow to happen. So, I think it's very important that we find ways to change the way multilateralism works. But not to give up the tool, because the problems are the same. Security problem, climate change, tax avoidance; these problems they need a global approach. And Europe will participate in that renewal of multilateralism and to find new ways, but of course we'll try to do that from a position of strength. Because I think that nationalism is a way to renew multilateralism as well, because when people have a stronger identity, actually very often it's much easier to deal with them because you know where you're starting from, you know this is the problem, so that you can find a common way to go. So, it can be if interpreted in a positive way instead of setting us apart, be the thing that allows us to work together in a different way. And in that, for instance, we push for global standards for privacy and of course very happy to see that the general data protection rules that we have are inspiring a global debate. We want to have ethical human-centred AI, especially if it's risky when it comes to fundamental values, of course make up our own mind, but of course we hope to inspire also globally. We're very active within the OECD, when it comes to taxation to sort of renew our take on taxation globally, because in a digital world is a completely different matter than what it was twenty years ago. When it comes to subsidies, the WTO really needs renewal and with US, France and the Japanese, we have proposed changes in order for the WTO to work much better, much more efficiently with subsidies. So, I think the important thing is to sort of be more assertive for everyone who wants to be in a new political game. But to use that assertiveness to reassess, well how can we then make multilateralism work and at least for us, as Europeans this is a priority.

Host: Thank you very much. That is fascinating and your point about the change from the analogue world to the digital world, in fact being a game changer also for our institutions is a very important one and it has, it creates new linkages between economics, economic issues and security issues. But and so you outline some of the ambitions that Europe could take on in this and that aligns also with what Minister Maas was saying, he was setting out a very ambitious agenda for Europe. But my quick follow-up on this would be how ready is Europe to take this on, given some of the internal challenges, internal divisions that Europe faces now, also because of the challenges of digitalization?

M. Vestager: Well, I think there's a very strong realization of the rebalancing of the economy and because of that also rebalancing of global sort of political power and that basically is a success. It really is a good thing that many more people are richer, better-off, asserts himself on a global scale, that's a good thing. The thing is we have had, may sound strange, but there is a silver lining to everything. The experience during the Brexit, the first phase of Brexit, what the twenty-seven can achieve when coming together. And I can tell you it wasn't for lack of temptation for one European Member State or another European Member State to sort of to break out of the unity between twenty seven, but because of the transparency in the process that Parliament was briefed every week, that member states, they were briefed every week; with the transparency then unity could be achieved. Because obviously you put the finger on the sole point Europe can achieve amazing things but only if we have the unity and the willingness to find compromise.

Host: Thank you very much. Minister Kang, over to you. South Korea is also, if we have a big debate in Europe about being caught between the pincer movement of China and the United States. South Korea also faces some of these challenges and has been a very keen multilateralist, as some of your own previous appointments also show. So, perhaps you could give us some insights also from the region, in terms of why multilateralism is facing this crisis now?

Kang Kyung-wha: I think it's important to start out by saying that the values that have underpinned multilateralism are no longer the preserve of the West. These are now universal values that shape the conduct of Governments, civil society, peoples to varying degrees, mind you but they are the standards that all countries aspire to achieve. So, this idea of Westlessness may be a necessary soul-searching point for Europe, the center of West at this point and may be natural in response to the to the rise of non-western powers in other parts of the world. But for somebody coming in from the non-West and taking part in this debate, I feel that the discussion is too insular and I think we need to take multilateralism beyond the Western, the European context and to see how multilateralism is played out in other parts of the world. For example, in Asia we talk about ASEAN centrality. In ASEAN is a sub grouping, it's a multilateral grouping of ten ASEAN countries that have been around for half a century and they offer another model of multilateralism that has worked very well for the countries and the countries around the region including South Korea now talk about ASEAN centrality. So, there's a lot more to multilateralism than the models that we discuss in this context. Yes, Korea is a huge beneficiary of multilateralism and we have become a model democracy and market economy by fully embracing the values of universal values that this multilateral inter order has established and really made the most of the openness and the interdependencies that this has created and we certainly hope to explore new opportunities for multilateral endeavours with partners who share the same vision and goals and we very much support the German-French initiative of the Alliance for multilateralism and trying to revive the idea of the dialogue and solutions that have the greatest buy-in of those who take in part; because clearly the global challenges require that collective response and that collective response is not going to have much of an effect it doesn't have that collective buy-in. So, we're very very supportive of that. I think in Korea the idea of multilateralism is all the more keen ironically because; in our part of the world we have a lack of it. We don't have regional security structures and perhaps this is a reflection of the history and the recent history of the region. Because we're also you know the last remaining legacy of the Cold War and then the idea our immediate challenges to overcome this legacy i.e. the division of the Korean Peninsula into south and north and this challenge of course has been made many times more difficulty by North Korea's nuclear and missile development. But with the support of the global community, we have been pursuing a Korean Peninsula peace process of diplomatic engagement with North Korea to overcome this Cold War legacy and to achieve North Korea's complete denuclearisation. The dialogue recently has stalled but we are determined to stay the course and make progress and, in the meanwhile, we are proposing some multilateral initiatives, if you can call it that way. For example, asking the international community in particular the UN agencies such as UNESCO to work with us to get the DMZ between South and North Korea are declared and supported as an international peace zone which would be then a physical and institutional guarantee if you will of security both ways, both to the north and both to the south and we think these would be concrete steps toward resolving the legacy on the Korean Peninsula. I think it's important when we talk about multilateralism to make sure that we do so in connection with the people who we ultimately serve. None of this would matter if it doesn't mean much to the people on the street and here, I think we have some troubling trends as well as some encouraging ones. On the one hand we do see that the public is increasingly impatient and a huge amount of discontent with the political leadership, whether it's local or national and we've seen this play out in in last year through, some you know, explosive, massive and sometimes violent demonstrations on the streets in many countries of the world. And so, there is this sense that the political leadership is not delivering and this is an awesome challenge for national governments but also global institutions that are the preserve of multilateralism should also clearly see where the limitations are in delivering for the discontent the anger on the street. On the other hand, the positive side of this is that the people are thinking, people on the street are thinking and wanting to act globally and also wanting more global action and clearly we see this on the climate agenda and I think in particular when we look at the younger generation, they are keen to take on the challenge. They are transcending the physical and mental barriers of borders and I was just recently talking to the SG's envoy who is conducting a series of discussions with young leaders around the world to mark the seventy fifth anniversary of the United Nations and he says wherever he opens up this discussion invariably the voices are one of strong hope and high expectations for global solutions to global issues and that is what multilateralism is. And I hear, you'll excuse me by gloat a bit and point you to the triumph of the Korean film, you know what I mean, Parasite at the Academy Awards. In fact we were also very shocked how much of an appeal this very Korean movie had to the global audience and it wasn't just the Academies, this film has been collecting hundreds of awards at various film festivals throughout the year, clearly indicating that there is a global mind-set that is receptive to things that are not necessarily tied down to the national context and I think we need to make the most of this. This global mind-set which certainly the multilateral endeavours over the past decades have created have helped to nurture but they're now running ahead of us. I mean there are supercharged by the new media and I think unless we come to grips with this, we will be losing a huge track where we need to see action on reviving the multilateralism. I on this on the name of this conference, Westlessness, I think yes, I understand that perhaps it's necessary and perhaps natural in the current historical context but I assure you as somebody coming from the non-West, the West is very much alive and not necessarily physically; but you know in the East, people in the East as I hope the East is very much in the mind-set of the West. So, perhaps the better framing when we discuss the future of multilateralism is not necessarily to tie it down to the West, not necessarily tie it down to any geographical distinctions for that matter and throw the discussion open wide to the larger globe. Thank you.

Host:
Thank you very much for those very fascinating remarks. I have a bunch of questions. But I will restrict myself to one and a half or a quick follow-up. One you talked about it's very helpful that you remind us that Westlessness may be a little bit of an unnecessary soul-searching on the part of Europe right now; and then you give us some nice examples for also ASEAN and I was curious if you could give us any examples of different approaches to multilateralism that's the west, the north, that Europe, that the US could learn from in the rest of the world that's one. And two, I'm very happy you mentioned the Alliance for multilateralism in something that Germany and France have been taking a lead on and I would be very curious to hear how you see this Alliance expanding and by expansion, I mean it does the agenda right now? It looks like a very pragmatic alliance along the lines of what Dr. S. Jaishankar was also saying. But you see it as also developing into something more principle-based, more value-based.

Kang Kyung-wha: I think President Steinmeier had given us some key terms in his speech today which was realism. This is no point you know wallowing in what is no longer there. You deal with the reality and you bring to the table the values you think are important. Yes, I think values are absolutely important. They anchor the discussions and they give you the direction but based upon realism and also curiosity. I think we fail in many times when we go and I know this myself because I've been a part of the system, mainly the Human Rights office and the humanitarian office ,if we fail to be curious. We go to the ground with preconceived agendas and I think that limits us, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and much depends on the receptivity on the ground. So, I think the President was underscoring this point as well that realism and curiosity plus I think he was also speaking about humility. The ASEAN approach is if I think much more that kind of an approach. It's it you know, it doesn't impose and I think that like you know, not imposing makes it easier for Member States to be a part of the solidarity and I think that then creates the space for endeavours toward common norm setting. There's a huge amount of ASEAN norms that have evolved over the over the past five decades. It may not be satisfactory to the let's get business on the quick and you know, want you to codify everything every time there's an issue. I think eventually codification is important because that's the ultimate standard that you come up with but I think you know pacing it with the reality and making sure that the receptivity is there you can't go from minus ten to ten degrees overnight. I think you need to have a sense of what is realistically feasible.

Host: Thank You Minister Kang. Senator Graham, we're very happy to have you here with us and especially as in Europe there seems to be almost a sense of hurt about how the US, the big game changer for many in Europe, is that the US which is which had helped set up the multilateral order is now abandoning it. So, is that feeling justified that we get in various media reports and various analyses and so forth and if it is, what will it take to bring the US back to the table and that's really going back to the fundamental question why is the US so unhappy about multilateralism as it functions today?

Senator Graham: Well one thank you for having me. How many people here are elected officials? So, we have forty members of Congress that are here in an election year. How many of you can vote in South Carolina? All right I'll see you in a minute. So, the point I'm trying to make is that we care or we wouldn't be here. You've got the speaker of the house, you've got the Secretary of Defence, you got the Secretary of State. You've got forty-one members of Congress or forty-three Republicans and Democrats chose to be here. When there's more votes over there. So, the reason I come here is because my dear friend John McCain taught me and anybody who's willing to learn that when it comes to threats it's the better to have partners. When it comes to doing things, you wish you didn't have partners. So, here's the point President Trump ran an America first campaign. Is it like the America first of the thirties? No. Isolationism? No. I've come to believe it's not, it's about burden-sharing. And he struck a chord that NATO is paying more, that's good. Four hundred billion dollars. That makes it easier for me to go back to South Carolina and say that this is a good deal for the United States. Trade deals Clinton and Trump both ran against the trans-pacific partnership agreement. Obama tried to negotiate it but the Democrat the Republican said bad deal. So, President Trump was able to tap into the idea that trade agreements the WTO as we know it needs to change. There's the WTO before China's rise and there's the WTO after China's rise and if we don't change the WTO to deal with the new China then you're gonna get frustrated people looking for ways to deal with their problems. So, my belief is that the American people get it when it comes to NATO. That has been a long-standing commitment. Millions of American soldiers have come to Europe serving in American military and we're all there to defeat communism. The problem for these groups now is usually multilateral organizations are designed around opportunity or threat we come together to deal with a threat like climate change. So, he got the Paris Accords, the President Trump's it now not really that good deal for us, really good deal for China, really good for India but not that good deal for us. The point I would make to President Trump is what would be a better deal? When is it a problem and if it's a problem if it's half the problem we said it is then you're going to need a multilateral approach you're all agree I mean you can't solve climate change from the United States or Europe or India. So, I'm hoping to have the Trump administration tell the international community what they're looking for I think we owe that to you. One thing not mentioned by the foreign minister of Germany was arrived. Part of the problem here is we maybe see Iran a bit differently in terms of threat. We all get it when it comes to ISIS and Al Qaeda and Al Shabab, you just fill out the list right. I'm a pretty interventionist guy for American politics in twenty twenty. Not because I want to go fight all the time, I just want to keep the war away from home. Don't you think there's a fatigue in the West about the war on terror? Remember the Marshall Plan. I can show you what we got for all of our money. We got a vibrant democracy here in Europe all over the place. Our reconstruction efforts in Japan, South Korea. It's pretty hard to tell the American people what you've got in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria after a lot of money and a lot of dying. And here's what I would tell them you have hope. It's pretty hard to talk about a war if people can't explain what winning looks like. What is winning? If you want a European Defence Force? Fine. Who's the enemy? So, the problem we have, I think in the West and throughout the world is to explain to the American people and our European friends that winning in the war on terror is not conquering a capital. It's not shooting down an Air Force, it's not sinking a Navy; it's defeating an ideology. And people have lost hope in growing numbers that that can be done. Count me out. I've got more hope than ever and I'm an outlier. With John McCain, I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan fifty-seven times. What have I learned? You know when you get it right and know when you get it wrong. There are millions of young girls who've been educated since two thousand one that if we stay with it, we'll have a voice for their children. That's never been had in Afghanistan and I'm constantly talking to President Trump. The payoff is generations away and the hardest thing for democracies is patience. When the threat is real, nobody is more engaged in the United States but we want to leave as quickly as we can. When will it be over? Is there any hope of winning? So, here's what I would say to the West, when it comes to fighting in Syria and Iraq, in Afghanistan, we have to do a better job of explaining what the payoff looks like. In President Trump has bought us some time by insisting that people on the ground over there do more. We're down to eighty-six hundred pretty soon in Afghanistan, that's a counter terrorism footprint we can sustain for a very very long time. I can sell that. I can't sell hundred and fifty thousand people in Iraq and Afghanistan than forever. NATO when you put three or four thousand on top of eighty six hundred, it is so much easier for me to sell it back home. So multilateralism is suffering from fatigue. When it comes to the war on terror, when it comes to the world economy is changing so quick, it makes your head spin. We’re yet to get our hands around how to deal with China. It's gotten so big and so prosperous so fast that the rule making systems that were designed after war to seem to be up left into the dust so. And with this thought to everybody that I appear in front of in South Carolina, I say that you may be tired of fighting radical Islam they're not tired of fighting you. You can fight the war in their backyard or your backyard those are your choices. You can play like the economy is not global and you will lose because it is. If you don't believe in climate change you're making a big mistake because you're gonna wake up one day and the world's gonna be fundamentally different. So what I say is you pay now or you pay later? And the best way to get outcomes to have other people work with you that's a hard sell in a soundbite world. But there is no other alternative.

Host: Ok. Thank you very much senator Graham for this for some very frank comments. And I have a ton of follow-up questions for you but I know that the audience is keen to ask questions. Actually there's the tradition of our Munich young leader going first so Claudia over to you. Please Claudia.

Claudia: Hello! My name is Claudia Cammon. I'm a member of the European Parliament. So one of the elected officials and I would like to pick up on something that Senator Graham has just said about the institutions that were formed after the end of the Second World War. We have talked a lot about the importance of rule based institutions in multilateralism but there is one example to make it concrete the WTO and the missing reforms. However it has been paralyzed also by something that the United States have done blocking the appointment of judges to the appellate body, bringing us back to the gat times which kind of gave rule breakers the upper hand at the time and now the EU has joined a coalition to do a work around it diminishing any leverage that would have been had for reform. So what is the contribution of the United States to reforming these systems or are you planning to abandon the WTO and what will happen then? Because this will be one of the points where we could very concretely talk about how to revive multilateralism in today's changing economy?

Host: Thank you.

Senator Graham: Really good question. I think you got to convince President Trump the WTO could work. Because I'm not so sure he believes it will. He believes it's failed miserably when it comes to China. But White House and the others see the WTO reformed in the right way is the best control on a China who cheats on multiple levels. So we're having this discussion back home is how do you reform it versus breaking it and president Trump is going to have to make a decision about when to take the pressure off and engage give you a list of reforms. What do you want President Trump? What do you want the WTO to look like? If you don't like the Paris accords what do you like? If you don't like the Iran nuclear agreement, what do you like and I'm not beating on the President but these are hard things Britain. If you don't like the European Union what do you like? So I think we owe it quite frankly to give you some feedback as to what it should look like. I've got an idea with Senator Menendez to replace the current JCPOA with a international fuel bank in France or wherever you want to put it. Where all the Arab nations and the Iranians can have all the nuclear power, they want but the fuel rods will be made outside the region and it will be a guaranteed fuel supply so nobody has to enrich and enrichment is how you get a bomb. So I'm trying to find ways to not just say what we don't like when it comes to the Paris Accords. Hopefully we can start talking among ourselves as Americans what would it better deal look like I think we owe that to you.

Host: Thank you. Please the gentlemen in the front.

Audience: Hi! My name is Paul Horvath and I'm a guest of the US delegation. I'd like to direct my comment of our question to the distinguished foreign minister of India and maybe asked you to expand on, I believe is your second point which is that the West was so sure of its infinite supremacy that it failed to explore other avenues of engagement with other parts of the world. I'd like to I'm not so sure I agree with it and indeed I think one of the reasons at least from the US perspective that we may be in the mess that we're in is there's many who believe that it was quite the opposite that it was incredible amounts of in actually with India and China. China more and trade India more an information technology that got us to worry worse. So maybe you could expand on then explain it. Because it's not something that I'm quite sure I understand.

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Well you know I was looking over a longer time frame say post Second World War not just the last ten or twenty years and the reason I said that was today if you look at a rules-based order, if you look at democratic practices, you look at pluralistic societies. I think after nineteen forty five one of the reasons why people thought that political democracy market economy pluralistic societies could be the universal norm was because a poor developing country which had just got its independence chose those options. So by India choosing those options, it took it out of it being a solely Western characteristic and made it much broader and over a period of time a number of other countries in the global South in Asia and Africa have followed suit. Now when it comes today to lot of these practices. I think it's important that if the standards and conversations and interests are narrowly West, then the tendency is to say, well you know this is a Western problem this is not a global problem. I mean we've seen you know when we when I was analysing why is it multilateralism is weaker, why has restlessness happened part of it is that you know the resort to conveniences. I mean I'll give you an example- you know there was a period where we had a military dictatorship to the East of India and to the West of India at the same time. The one East of India got sanctioned in Myanmar. The one West of India ended up as a major non-NATO Ally. So you know these so what happens is in many ways, I would say the lot of the messages about values and beliefs and order and rules tended to be vitiated by the politics of the day. And I think what it did was it in a sense there is today a constituency I think for the West beyond the West. I mean if you ask me in India and I think my colleague from South Korea in a way said it perhaps not as explicitly as I'm saying to you. I would I think non-western democratic societies have an interest in the West. They would not like to see the West weaken. You know for them today the West would be less dominant but still an integral indispensable part of a global multiple our society. And for that I think you need you know shall I say much more conversations more working arrangements when it comes today to challenges like maritime security, counter terrorism, you know the whole lot of global Commons management issues. I do think that the West would be better served finding partners beyond the West and I think beyond the West is open to that.

Host: Role in Paris. The gentleman at the back there.

Audience: Very much a very interesting discussion so far. Mike were all in Paris from the University of Ottawa in Canada a former adviser to Justin Trudeau. Question is for Senator Graham and United States is asking in some cases insisting that its allies do certain things in relation to China now and the question really is whether the United States will have its allies back and the specific question I want to ask relates to the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou in Canada on a United States extradition request, as you well know China right afterwards detained two innocent Canadians in apparent retaliation and a year ago at this forum you addressed that issue and you said and this was very much welcomed by Canadians that you thought that the Trump administration should be doingmore to try to secure their release. Could you comment on what your thoughts are in relation to the US administration's actions a year later? Thank you.

Senator Graham: I think we need to do more as a world. This is a big deal do you understand what he's talking about? Ok. So you got a Huawei official and that we indicted in the United States, lives in Canada, you have an extradition treaty. She's fighting extradition lawfully. China grabs two Canadians cause they're pissed. It could be you next so what we got to do is get this one right so when I get back I just talked to the Prime Minister Trudeau today and he's been a really good allies standing up for the rule of law. China's not known for the rule of law. They made a deal with Hong Kong. They're trying to break it. If we let him get away with that, any time you let somebody break a deal to the benefit of you and your friends you'll regret it if you don't push back. So he challenged us today to try to make us more international response. Not only should we do more but we should almost have sort of an article five response economically until China. When you grab two Canadians because of an extradition treaty with the United States and Canada, that's not going to be accepted because literally it could be your citizens next. When you push back on China they don't play by the rules. Huawei and the one thing you need to get is that politics back home is about as screwed up as I've ever seen. We just got beaching the President and the State of the Union address. what do we agree on that Huawei technology is a threat to the United States and we really think to world order so Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump probably not gonna have many dinners together but you ask him about British purchase a while way they'll give you the same answer now we owe it to the world all of us do to give you an alternative. We just can't say no forever to 5G but we're very firm in our commitment Republicans and Democrats that if you go down the Huawei road, you're going to burn a lot of bridges. Back to your original question, not only am I going to go back home and say we need to do more I'm gonna try to get a more of an international response because what our Canadian friends are asking is not too much and the world should actually come to your aid not just the United States.

Host: Thank you. The lady in the front here please.

Audience: Hello. Professor Katherine Episkine. The director of the European Academy of diplomacy in Warsaw Poland. I wanted to challenge you maybe on the definition of the West. Because the West itself seems very exclusive. I mean in the sense that you're the West or you're not the West. Shouldn't we be actually talking about countries that are democracies and those who which are not those who care about their citizens’ rights and those who don't those who understand the rule of law and international law and those who do not and if India or Denmark and Korea or the United States fail to meet those standards. They should simply not be seen as part of the West while those who do aspire and want to and deliver should be part of the West. My country was part of the East for so long and all of a sudden I find myself on a conference when people see me as the West. It's wonderful because I remember still as a young person that we were these Easterners from the utter block that has changed so how should we make the best more inclusive and is that democratic approach the way forward? Thank you

Senator Graham: Real quick the West a cinnamon does it mean democracy. When you say West do you mean democracy. If you do then it's not about the West. It's about democracy and this is the hardest thing right now to get the American public behind the idea that supporting young democracies is in our long-term best interest. Because we've had so many stops and starts in Afghanistan and in Iraq and Syria is just a complete mess. But I think you put your finger who are talking about here? is the rule of law and representative government. We’re not talking about Jefferson an American democracy. John McCain to his dying day believed two things that their rules and you should follow them and that every human being on the planet has the right to self-determination and I think that really is what the West means? In the West is really South Korea.

Margrethe Vestager:
I think that's an excellent point after all the planet is round. So yes where is the West that's sort of built on an idea that the world is flat and eventually you'd fall off. So to some degree, it's nonsense and for me it's very sort of interesting because I never ever thought about Westlessness before I heard it in this conference never. So for me its like are we here discussing our own depression and asking the rest of the world sort of to join in as a sort of a collective mindfulness exercise? I don't really get this because I see the values that were you know first put to the world stays in well probably before Greece but at least in Greece. They have expanded. You see the Moller where you see them in the world's biggest democracy, you see them in Asian countries, you see them down under you see them everywhere and exactly the rule of law and the integrity of the individual that is how you know it and that is how you should know it and for us it's just step out of depression and say well this is Europe. This is great we want to be a wonderful strong partner with the rest of the world that's the point.

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Yeah you know look I think it's an interesting point you raise. Because historically there is a reason why Western democracies are equated. But over a period of time I think the West needs to outgrow that because today more people live in non-western democracies and in Western democracies. So you know still we are all creatures of habit so we use shorthand formulations even if they are anachronistic. So I take your point about I think part of Westlessness is a kind of the West has to understand this larger rebalance as I said the rebalancing the fact that even democracy today. There are people in other continents who own it and claim it as strongly as people in Europe or North America do.

Host: I think

Dr. S. Jaishankar: No I'm part of the East and part of the South. I'm part of the West. I’m Universal. I'm India.

Kang Kyung-wha:The Senator Comment I think hit the nail on the head. South Korea is west if you're going by values. I think I think there was a comment and the film that was introduced at the beginning when one said instead of talking about the West, let's talk about the values that we were trying to prove and I think as long as these values are grounded in the dignity of the human being and I think there's much common ground and but it's also important to remember that we also need to talk to those who don't share our values. You know we have a neighbor who don't share our values definitely but we need to talk to overcome the the huge security challenge and so as we try to promote and strengthen the values among like-minded we also need to talk to those who necessarily do so.

Senator Graham: This is a really good question I think. So, if Scotland gets out of the UK it'll be through the democratic process right? Ok. Crimea was annexed with a Russian tank in front of your doors probably not a good way to vote. I end every discussion at home about war and democracy and why it matters were over there? I said name a war between two democracies and here's for Pakistan and India have to make sure I'm never wrong. So I can't think of a war between democracies can you? Because we will find a way through the rule of law and trading and working our problems out and when you got a land dispute, you work it out well the China's not working it out. They're building military bases on islands in dispute, Kashmir. You got two democracies, two very good allies. India over a billion people. You got China who's trying to shut down everything close to democracy and India, you're moving forward, you’re having an election. She got your problems like we do at home but you've chosen the Democratic path. When it comes to Kashmir I don't know how it ends but let's make sure that two democracies will end it differently. And if you can prove that concept here then I think is probably the best way to sell democracy.

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Don't worry senator one democracy will settle it and you know which one.

Host: And the gentleman over there. And if the panel feels ok about this perhaps we could collect a couple of questions is that okay with you.

Senator Graham: I have to go in about two minutes.

Host: okay so please be brief.

Audience: Ok. My name is Abbas Aslani. I'm a meaningfully there 2020 member. I'm a senior research fellow at the centre for Middle East Strategy studies based in Tehran Iranian capital city. Medicine most said that the feature of Middle East is decided in Astana rather than in Geneva or in New York if we could consider that there could be challenges or threats to the west or the very order that the West itself has established but it is undermining and questioning today. If it comes from whether it comes from inside as a result of the division among the members in this camp. If that is the vision does it come as a result of let's say the dynamic of the developments which might bring miscalculation to make mistakes or does it come as a result of unilateralism when the United States withdraws from the nuclear deal ignoring the will of other countries. On the second hand we might have an external threat or challenge which can be the rising of other countries that can be China, Russia, India, Korea, Japan, and other countries in the West question

Host: did you ask your question?

Audience: which part or element would you blame more for this for that restlessness? Is it external threat or internal. For the internal threat, is it for the unilateralism or for the dynamism? Thank you.

Host: And the gentleman here who's been very patient as well.

Audience: Thank you madam. The Latvian vice prime minister and defense minister I very much agree with Korean Minister because even in Europe, we sometimes to discuss is it every European country enough Western or not but definitely South Korean is West in my mind but once we do discuss restlessness, I think we sometimes means that our value system and our role in the world is falling and isn't it that sometimes we are trying particularly in Europe to stress more our fight for values just because we are losing power and the paradox is that we will not be capable to keep West more seen. If we will lose this power which requires instead occur again a practical and rational approach which sometimes may be we are in real politics missing?

Host: Thank you. Please who would like to.

Senator Graham: Well you got to go back to the threat. North Korea, I don't believe that Kim Jong-un is going to wake up tomorrow and you know hit Los Angeles I don't want to give him that capability and miscalculate I do worry that. If he gets hydrogen bombs and more missiles he'll sell them or they'll get compromised. I believe the Iranian regime if they had a nuclear weapon would use it the Iranian people, I think would be great allies to the world the religious theocracy and Iran to me is the greatest threat on the planet and any nuclear deal has to understand who you're dealing with. It's hard to believe that and Hitlerwanted to kill all the Jews but he did and he wrote a book about it. Now when our German friend was talking about all the problems throughout the world. He never mentioned Iran once if you want to fix Syria you better get the Iranians out of Damascus. If you want to keep Iraq from falling apart you need to deal with a rhyme if you want to keep a Lebanon from going south you need to deal with Iran it's been the cancer of the Mideast. Count me in for peaceful nuclear power for the Iranian people if you want a nuclear power program you can have it there are sixteen countries that have nuclear power plants that don't make their own fuel so here's what I'd like to offer to the Iranian government. Sanctions relief for a deal that would put the Arab states and the Iranians on the same footing everybody can have nuclear power. The fuel supplier will come from France or someplace else guaranteed but nobody can enrich. The biggest miscalculation of the JCPOA and my view was not understanding who you're dealing with. They want a bomb. I hope they proved me wrong by accepting nuclear power without enrichment and I've got to go god bless you all.

Host: I would like to give and would any of you like to respond to the last two questions.

Margrethe Vestager: I would like to respond to the last question.

Host: Thank you.

Margrethe Vestager: Because I think the important thing here is that we stop talking about the West because it keeps us in the past. It keeps us with an idea of the West. West being a superior place and not accepting the rebalancing of the world because basically the last seventy years have been in general hugely successful. In particularly the last twenty years where we've been fighting extreme poverty, diseases lack of education. you know the world has been so successful and now here we are complaining about the West not being sort of on the top of the world, instead of seeing ourselves as renewed partners for a much stronger world where the values that we originally in Europe built the society. They are now widely shared and in some places outside of Europe even stronger than with us.

Because we also have the internal tensions and I think it is important to break out of this say well we're on a round planet and we found fine partners all over the world, not in regret of what was but in full engagement to create a much stronger multilateral system and I think to some degree we have and this is why I find this also there is a cleansing effect of this debate to say well okay. Now we discussed it lets now leave it and see the role that it is because we have amazing partners based on the rule of law and with a fundamental respect of the integrity of the individual and that is what builds multilateralism.

Host: Thank you very much that is a beautiful eloquent summation of a very vibrant debate. We’ve covered a lot of ground. Thank you very much. Please join me in thanking the panel.Thank you

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