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February 20, 2007

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Re-exploring Multilateralism

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by Josephine Osikena

The Foreign Policy Centre recently hosted a seminar and reception entitled: “Redefining Multilateralism: The Commonwealth as a Catalyst for Change?” The event was addressed by John Battle MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development and Rt Hon Donald McKinnon, Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

In May 2006 the Prime Minister argued that:

“There is a “hopeless mismatch” between the global challenges we face and the global institutions available to confront them,[…] now is the moment for reconciliation in the international community around a unifying agenda for global action.”

Today there are a number of obstacles to promoting international co-operation. From the indefinite suspension of the Doha Development Round, to developing a reformed United Nations system which meets the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. We witness the crisis in the International Monetary Fund and the growing irrelevance of the Work Bank in meeting today’s global development concerns.

This discussion paper is a response to some of those challenges, and is intended to provoke debate about how to respond to new ideas about multilateralism

The event and paper was kindly sponsored by Hill and Knowlton.

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