In-person EIAS Book Launch: Opening to Omnilateralism
The EIAS book launch in cooperation with Dr Wolfgang Pape presented his book ‘Opening to Omnilateralism’. The event included an interactive Q&A session between the panellists and the audience and was followed by a networking reception.
After a century of western-inspired multi-lateralism, its much criticised 75-years old stronghold, the UN, needs a new narrative: omni-lateralism. The right vehicle is omnibus – for and by an -, firstly, to widen the way for input of more ideas and good practices of non-Western origin, and secondly, to include non-state actors as legitimate stakeholders in global governance.
Some trends already signal an opening towards omnilateralism: enhancing global governance in the COP by adding Eastern understanding of cycles in nature to protect the environment (e.g. in circular economies) and a wider appreciation of ‘holism’ beyond the rather linear individualistic thinking of Western societies; also accountable groups of civil society – more trusted than officials driven by narrow national interest – increasingly enrich deliberations about climate change and other global problems that need global solutions. These require East-West and North-South cooperation as currently obvious in the urgent cross-border exchanges among experts to combat the pandemic and save lives and livelihood worldwide. Globalisation has elevated millions out of poverty. However, narrow-minded politicians still claim national ‘sovereignty’ and parochial interests against global solutions for the common good while the Westphalian ‘nation’ is becoming a historic aberration.
Almost all governments nowadays claim democracy, but respect for its principles is falling. Democracy must adapt to each level of governance, from local, national, regional to global. More direct democracy may suit the directly informed local stage. The higher the stage and the wider the impact, the more expertise and responsibility with all stakeholders is needed to reach the common global good, i.e. omnilaterally.
16:00 – 16:10 Opening Remarks
Lin GOETHALS, Director, European Institute for Asian Studies
16:10 – 18:00 Panel Discussion – ‘Opening to Omnilateralism’
A discussion by the author and speakers about the book, followed by an interactive Q&A session with the audience
Erik FAMAEY, Senior Associate, EIAS
Wolfgang PAPE, Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies
Raymond YAMAMOTO, AssociateProfessor, Aarhus University
Yuan FENG, Scientific Collaborator, Institut des Études Européens, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
18:00 Networking Reception