Challenges of Multilateralism

Miss Megha Singh Chauhan

The “America-First” Policy of Trump coupled with its Protectionism calls and the retreat of the Global hegemon from UNESCO, Trans Pacific Partnership, Paris Climate Agreement, and lately, WHO is a call for concern among countries having faith in Liberal Institutions. This has coincided with China being more than ready to fill in the void left by the USA. This is not acceptable to other Global Powers considering the inherent Communist nature of China and they look at China as trying to change the very character of the International Global Order established and sustained since World War II. India, on the other spectrum, hit hard in economic terms due to the pandemic, has called for a “Self Reliant” India which is self generating and self sustainable. Emerging Economies like India, Brazil are calling to decolonize global Institutions and want a larger share of the pie at the UN and other multilateral platforms. Ironically, developed as well as developing countries have raised slogans of revival of their National Identity. BREXIT is another reality facing Liberal Institutionalism. However, the world is witnessing an unparalleled situation due to Covid-19 Pandemic and this exposed how important is the role of shared collaboration and collective vision, which can only be guaranteed by Multilateralism. Two clear trends can be identified here- One of Unilateralism and another of more and more Multilateralism and cooperation. India and other G4 countries( Japan, Germany, Brazil) have been very vocal in expressing discontent with the colonisation of Global Institutions and make customary calls for UN reforms at UN General Assembly speeches every year.

This paper aims to carry out a qualitative research on the two contrasting trends vis-a-vis Multilateralism. One, where Multilateralism seems to be of greater importance than ever before to face unprecedented challenges like COVID-19 Pandemic and on the other hand, retreat of USA- the global hegemon since World War, from Multilateral Institutions and recent calls for Selective Unilateralism by global powers. This is relevant to the theme of the Congress considering the New Nationalism triggering such responses by Global Powers keeping their National Interests and Charismatic Leaders in mind.