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Germany and France Will Form the Axis of Multilateralism

Germany and France Will Form the Axis of Multilateralism
QUX.ME, International - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the "Multilateralism Alliance" initiative to promote global cooperation.

Both politicians said Tuesday (02/04) in New York, this was important amid increasing nationalism and isolationism. Canada, Japan and Australia expressed interest in joining. Germany in April 2019 will lead the UN Security Council, which is rotated among its members.

The alliance will officially be launched next September at the UN General Assembly, said Heiko Maas and Jean-Yves Le Drian at a joint press conference after their meeting.

Le Drian said he and Heiko Maas had spoken with Canadian and Japanese leaders about the effort. Australia, India, Indonesia and Mexico might be able to join this initiative too.

The alliance's first goal was to show that countries that "support multilateralism and support the United Nations" remain the majority in the world, said Le Drian.

The second goal is to build a network of countries that are ready to support multilateralism and establish cooperation, including joint efforts to deal with social inequality, climate change and the consequences of new technologies.

To face Donald Trump's unilateral politics
"We are in a good position to show the world what can be a consequence of unilateralism and isolationism, and what allows nationalist and extremist narratives to develop," Le Drian said.

The politics run by President Donald Trump has always been based on the principle of "America First" that was proclaimed. The US government has cut funds for the United Nations, withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO and from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Heiko Maas and Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that the axis of multilateralism was not aimed at the United States. Maas said he would be happy if the US joined the initiative, but he added that alliance members were expected to commit to a rule-based international order.

"We see multilateralism under threat ... and all who want to join this initiative (must) also declare themselves as multilateralists," said Heko Maas.

"In the end, everyone has to decide which side they are in," he added.