Multilateralism key to tackling global challenges

By Sajjad Malik
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 3, 2021
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The logo of the World Economic Forum is seen in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 22, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

The World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering in Davos is an annual conference for entrepreneurs, thought leaders and policy makers to exchange ideas about the burning economic and political issues of the day.  

A microcosm of the world's influential minds, the conference provides an ideal locale for multilateral interaction and cooperation, which are the cross-cutting themes embedded right in the foundation of the WEF. The topics of the event are keenly awaited because they mirror the aspiration of leaders to achieve economic miracles and set priorities to address challenges. 

The latest Davos Agenda event was held virtually at the end of January under the theme: "A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust." The discussion recognized that the world is faced with two gigantic simultaneous challenges, the first being to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and the second being to tackle climate change. Both challenges are global in scale and hence not confined to a particular nation or region. The sheer magnitude of the two threats leaves no option but for countries to closely cooperate.

In the face of the daunting challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity was forced to realize that cooperation with others is the need of the hour. The key lesson of the pandemic is whether we like or not, we are all part of a global village, and our worries are the same. The Davos Agenda showcased this lesson by offering a forum to discuss the issue with an open mind and also highlight solutions. The major takeaway is that multilateral cooperation is needed in the face of current and future challenges.  

The other global challenge we all face, and which also resonated at the Davos Agenda summit, is climate change. The very survival of the humanity is at stake and the only way forward is to deal with the threat through multilateral efforts and consensus building.

China has always upheld multilateralism and rallied against protectionism, isolation and anti-globalization. The latest example is its readiness to share its expertise in defeating the coronavirus and to even offer its vaccine to other nations.

Containers transporting Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine are seen at Noor Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Feb. 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Recently, Pakistan has received half a million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated from China. Providing the vaccine to other nations is yet another manifestation of China's support for the global struggle to control the pandemic and restore normalcy.  

China has demonstrated on several occasions that it supports a multilateral approach to solve international problems, including fighting poverty, economic recession and terrorism. Under multilateral frameworks, it is all the more important for countries, particularly major countries, to coordinate their interests, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and reach a consensus on development. This approach will not only help countries rebuild mutual trust in the post-pandemic era, but also ensure concrete progress as soon as possible in specific areas such as global trade and economic cooperation.

China has taken concrete actions to safeguard multilateralism, such as proposing initiatives and building institutions. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are prime examples. It has also been hosting international expos and investment conferences to promote global rule-based integration, and open up gradually and systematically, so as to build a favorable environment for foreign businesses.   

China has proved with its actions that it is resolute in pursuing global cooperation which is needed to achieve economic prosperity for the entire international community. It will also continue to support a multilateral approach to address the myriad of problems faced by the world.  

Sajjad Malik is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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