World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) and Bertelsmann Foundation convene ‘Multilateralism that Delivers’, WLA-CdM’s flagship Annual Policy Dialogue. At a time when trust in multilateral institutions is running low and national-grown solutions are on the rise, we look at ways of breathing new life into multilateralism. It is our best chance to address the challenges we face and shape humankind’s future based on universal, shared values.

As the world becomes increasingly complex and humankind faces a myriad of different challenges, a lack of global cooperation results in a mounting set of unresolved problems: from global warming to digital governance, from COVID-19 to inequality, and many more. To successfully address the challenges of our time, every country for itself is not going to work. We cannot circumvent multilateralism.

Since the foundation of the United Nations nearly 75 years ago, the existence of a strong, inclusive and rules-based multilateral system has been a key instrument for the global community to articulate common responses to common challenges. However, trust in institutions of multilateral cooperation is running low. Alternative approaches, such as national-grown solutions to global problems, opaque bilateral negotiations and non-governmental approaches to international cooperation are on the rise.

We should reclaim the optimism and boldness that 75 years ago drove us to create a well-oiled system of global cooperation. Such a vision can become a powerful driving force to update the current multilateral system, one that breathes new life and reflects new realities. It is only with leadership based on values of solidarity, equity and cooperation that we will be able to transcend the sole focus on national interests and shape a future based on our common universal values.

Our aim

By convening this Policy Dialogue on Multilateralism that Delivers, on 20 and 28-30 October, WLA-CdM and Bertelsmann Foundation, along with other important partners and supporters, will discuss the state of multilateralism, its challenges and the priorities where global cooperation is needed, such as the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. More than thirty-five former Heads of State and Government, all Members of WLA-CdM, will join experts and other representatives from governments, academia, think tanks and institutions during these days to propose solutions and recommendations that give new life to multilateralism and global cooperation in our era.

The United Nations, conscious of its role as a leading multilateral institution, has launched a global conversation – UN75- inviting people, institutions, experts and private actors of the world over to express their views on priorities for our shared future and specific reforms that enhance global cooperation. Conclusions of the dialogue will feed into the UN75 process, UN2020 and the work of the Alliance for Multilateralism, as well as other important conversations on necessary reforms of the multilateral system.

Thanks to WLA-CdM’s convening power and network, our Annual Policy Dialogues provide a unique platform to inspire democratic policies with global reach. This is done through the sharing of lessons learnt in a dynamic pursuit of practical policy recommendations. Democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the world bring their individual and collective leadership experience to this singular meeting point where, together with experts, leaders from the private sector and civil society, actively engage as agents of change.

Policy Dialogue 2020 – Upcoming Events

20 October 2020 – Virtual Breakout Action Labs: Action Labs will take place one week before the plenary sessions. A smaller group of participants will discuss in three virtual rooms the following three dimensions:

·     Transforming Multilateralism for 21st Century Social Justice and Inclusion

·     Digital Cooperation and a better global future

·     Leveraging multilateralism to build back better towards a more sustainable future

28-30 October Policy Dialogue – Multilateralism that Delivers: The Plenary sessions of the Policy Dialogue will include an analysis of the state of multilateralism today, regional perspectives and panels on ideas to reinvigorate multilateralism. The COVID-19 crisis will be a cross-cutting theme throughout the dialogue.

Club de Madrid

German Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Friederich Ebert Stiftung

Boston Global Forum

World Economic Forum