G20: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the session on ‘strengthening multilateralism’ of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting

Bali, Indonesia
EEAS Press Team

The multilateral system is under pressure like never before. We are seeing an aggravation of the “deficit in multilateralism”, at a time when we need it most: thing climate change, vaccines, the pandemic, or the digital revolution. In each case, science and technology are advancing, but diplomacy and rule making are not, or not enough.

The main reason has been the rise in power political competition. The price has been paid in terms of problems not solved, wars and conflicts that fester.

This G20 meeting takes place in a particular grave context following Russia’s appalling war against Ukraine. This deliberate planned, and long denied aggression constitutes a blatant violation of international law. 

It contravenes the UN Charter. It brings fragmentation of the world order, and endangers the global economic recovery.

But make no mistake; this is not just a war affecting Europe, or a Western conflict, but an international conflict of extreme gravity.
140 states – yes, 140 states - have condemned this aggression. In addition, no member of the G20 apart from the aggressor opposed this resolution.

In the face of aggression, no one can be neutral. No one can live safely in a world where the illegal use of force is normalised or tolerated. 

Together with more than 40 partner countries around the world we have rolled out extensive  measures against Russia.
The decision to impose them was not taken lightly. They were decided in the spirit of the UN Charter, which envisaged such tools as necessary to address grave threats to peace and security. I urge all of you to help end the war, to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and to ensure that the global fallout is contained.

Russia’s war against Ukraine is exacerbating the global food crisis with yields suffering because of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. We can only tackle these challenges together and solidarity should be our guiding principle.

On this you have our word: Europe stands by its partners. There are also major global trends and challenges for which we need global cooperation and global governance reforms that are key to make our multilateral system deliver on agreed commitments:
The EU promotes the modernisation of key institutions such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

It also means that the EU and all the others need to meet their pledges both politically and financially and stick to our commitments on climate goals and financing for development.

Thank you.