Category: Global Governance

2020 Horasis Asia Meeting

During the annual Horasis Asia Meeting, which gathered 400 of the regions and the world’s most senior leaders from business and government, the speakers exchanged about the overcoming of the profound economic, political and social disruptions caused by COVID-19. This event took place on the 30th of November 2020.

Joël Ruet moderated one of the panels, entitled “ESG Investing in Asia Post-COVID”. Among the keynote speakers of this session were Ara Brutian, Director and Head of Digital Innovation for Sustainalytics, Rajiv Lall, managing director and vice-chairman of Infrastructure Development Finance Company, Kai Dai, CEO of Young Sustainable Impact Greater China and Chairman of the Kylin Prime Group, and Arun Sharma, President of Grovepike Associates. It was highlighted during this panel that data structuring and norms were at the centre of the post-COVID investments, and it was also underlined that this COVID crisis had to be considered as an opportunity for investment. The United States’ return to Asia, in terms of investments, was also noted. Voluntary disclosure and engagement was defined to be a key component of the future of finance, especially with the rising generational issues..

Democracies, Governances, Rules of law in Africa, which perspectives?

Alain Dupouy, president of the Objective Future Africa Club (O2A) think tank and Alain Juppé’s former advisor for Africa, hosted a workshop which gathered political actors and activists from West African countries, notably Guinea, Tchad, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Benin. This discussion was following the theme “Democracies, Governances, Rules of law in Africa, which perspectives?”. It took place on the 26th of November 2020. 

Among the keynote speakers were Cellou Dalein Diallo, President of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea and former Guinean Prime Minister, Succès Masra, President of the Chadian Transformers Party, Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, former chief of staff for the Senegalese President Macky Sall, Alain Juillet, former head of the French General Directorate for External Security, Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank, Laurent Bigot, former French diplomat, and Reckya Madougou, former Beninese Minister of Justice. 

The points that were made during these exchanges were that democracy was perfectly compatible with Africa, as long as criteria of social justice and wealth redistribution were met. The international community also has to encourage dynamism for the private economic sector to help the professional development of the African youth. Africa’s future must be decided in Africa to ensure its longevity.

RCEP agreement and India

Pranjal Sharma, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, wrote a paper for The Daily Guardian entitled “RCEP and India: Between the lines” on the 21st of November 2020. The RCEP is a multilateral trade agreement between Asian countries, started by China during the 2011 ASEAN meeting. China intends on using this agreement, which creates a coalition of trade partners, to counter the American and European influences in the global economy.

In this paper, Pranjal Sharma argued that India did not sign this agreement as it has been sceptical of regional trade agreements involving China, especially considering that Chinese cheap exportations have seriously affected many sectors in many countries, such as Indian engineered products. Joining such a trade agreement could harm Indian domestic producers even further. The Indian decision to remain out of the RCEP therefore is the country’s chance to develop its own manufacturing competitiveness, which could lead to India’s emergence as China’s new global rival.

US Presidential Election – What is the Global Outlook? Point of view of Jean-Claude Beaujour

Jean-Claude Beaujour, Vice-President of the France-Americas Foundation and member of the Brigde Tank’s board, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former French Prime Minister and President of the Prospective and Innovation Foundation, Hubert Védrine, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kanwal Sibal, former Indian Ambassador to France, Alexandre Orlov, former Russian Ambassador to France, and André Chieng, President of Asian European Trade, took part in a webinar organised by the Prospective and Innovation Foundation. This event aimed at gathering American, Asian and European perspectives on the American presidential elections and its potential global consequences. This webinar took place on the 20th of November 2020.

Jean-Claude Beaujour argued that the election process and institutions had been respected in the 2020 election. He argued that Joe Biden’s election was mainly due to the support of the democrats, but also due to the handling of the coronavirus crisis by the Republicans as well as a will to not have Donald Trump as President. However, an important part of the American population still supported Donald Trump, which highlights the division of the society. Jean-Claude Beaujour also argued that Joe Biden’s priorities, once he officially becomes President, will be focused on domestic policies rather than changing the transatlantic relations, which will then have to be a European duty.

Biden and the new diplomacy: India will need to recalibrate its strategy to suit changing global realities

Yoginder Alagh, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, wrote an article in the Indian Express entitled “Biden and new diplomacy: India will need to recalibrate its strategy to shifting global realities” on the 18th of November 2020.

In this article, he argued that the Biden presidency’s interactions with the political, environmental and global institutions would have major implications for India, particularly on the natural forests of Kashmir and the rights of Adivasis.

Indian lobby groups are still very active in Washington, whether they’re close to the Democrats (mostly the ones associated to NGOs of minorities) or to Trump supporters (mostly representing Hindutva groups). These lobbyists will play a key role in the representation and defence of Indian interests, in a changing context affecting the Americano-Indian relation as well as India’s place in international relations.

The COVID19 vaccination campaign in Morocco – Point of view of Joël Ruet

Joël Ruet was interviewed on 2MTV about the Moroccan vaccination campaign on the 12th of November 2020. He highlighted that Morocco has been very efficient in its handling of the COVID-19 epidemic since the start, by taking very early economic and lockdown measures. Vaccines, he argued, are the best weapon against this virus, and will help people to protect others, which will reduce and limit the COVID-19’s spread. The clinical study of the effects of this vaccine will also be helpful for the rest of the planet to understand the virus better.

Forum on the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General, Justin Yifu Lin, honorary Dean of the National School of Development under Peking University and former Senior Vice-President of the World Bank, Yves Leterme, former Belgian Prime Minister, James Kimonyo, Rwanda Ambassador to China, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and professor at Columbia University, Zhang Linxiu, Director of the UN Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership, and Sandrine Nduwimana, China-Africa Business Council, were among the keynote speakers of the Forum on the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and China’s Poverty Reduction Experience. This event was co-organised by The Bridge Tank and the CGTN Think Tank. It took place on the 17th and 18th of September 2020 online, and gathered over 140 representatives from 39 countries. 

Among the suggestions to reach the poverty eradication goals were the introduction of a temporary basic income for people just below or above the poverty line, deworming programs, as well as investments in children’s health, women’s rights and educational opportunities. Human ethics and management must be at the centre of the building process of a sustainable world without poverty.  

This event was broadcasted on CGTN, CCTV News, People’s Daily, Xinhua and Xinwenlianbo.

Around George Papandreou, Madeleine Albright and several Foreign Affairs and Prime Ministers, the 22nd Symi Symposium invented the “Hybrid Forum”

July 26th-30th, the progressive family resumed meeting, to discuss the current global and US situation, the future of Europe, and topics such as the lifelong learning systems, narratives of wars and progressive movements of care, energy renaissance, the Balkans, the BRICS. Striking a balance: both in person, the good old way, and through Zoom, the good new way.

Despite the pandemic and other shut borders odds, the Symi Symposium, annually organized by the Andreas Papandreou Foundation, could this year again gather George Papandreou’s political and academic, influencers, friends. Since 2017, The Bridge Tank is being part of what this year was perhaps the first “Hybrid Forum”: a fine combination of core in-house, closed doors debates with tailored amount of Zoom exchanges with leaders such as f. Secretary Madeleine Albright, NATO’s Dy SG Geona, f. Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd or Colette Avital former Presidential candidate in Israel.

Madeleine Albright from DC, George Papandreou from Symi Symposium and Colette Avital from Israel

Symi Symposium conversations take place under the aegis of the “Chatham House” rules; not disclosing the positions of various speakers, topics revolved around pressing issues: with Madeleine Albright and later with Richard Parker from Harvard on the growing understanding that racism in America has something “systemic”, and how generally speaking the US situation relates to the agony of an age when Americans were 80% rooted in American-European white population, now evolving towards a 4-5 streams of populations origins trying to organise a domestic polity; the US now stand at a point where they have to internally negotiate new political alliances: this might possibly be one root of America giving the impression it is now in a mess.

As Greece now chairs the Council of Europe, this edition was additionally a week long opportunity to discuss current issues with
Frank Schwabe, Chairman of the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, or Francesca Abrogast, Executive Secretary of the Group.

Frank Schwabe’s speech following George Papandreou’s welcome
Francesca Abrogast, here with Denis MacShanne, who was Tony Blair’s Minister for Europe

We also had the usual Symi Symposium conversations with leaders in the Balkans or struggling progressives of different parts of the world, such as Isadora Zubillaga from Venezuela, the Special Representative in Paris of Juan Guaido. Conversations with leaders who have just emerged out of democratic struggles (North Macedonia), or who are now into these (Venezuela) attested that “Democracy is the longest meeting”. In this line, Joel Ruet from the Bridge Tank advocated for a continued discussion with the weavers within all systems.

Isadora Zubillaga, vice foreign Affairs Minister in Guaido’s “Government in charge” from Venezuela, Radmilla Shekerinska, Minister for Defense, North Macedonia, George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece and President of the Socialist International, and Joel Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank.

During the same session, a special conversation with Mircea Geoana gave us the sense that NATO’s Secretariat is quite active at foresight on the risks and threats of the future.

We also discussed the pandemic development through the lens of lifelong learning systems, over three time horizons: so far the reaction against the Covid was a “Defense”, we’ll now need to “Exit” this temporary space and actively prepare to engaging into transformation, e.g. “Enlarging” humanness of systems. On all issues with no boundaries, a care Leadership has to emerge through the right bundle of community, participative democracy, technology, and an Education designed for world and life, not just for jobs. Economics too need to be mobilized: in the eve of automation, how shall robots contribute into revenue, and revenue support a “positive idleness”, that is not a pure ensure but contribution to the society.

It is all the more important to continue this work and not to be blinded by strategic competition, frictions and gaps, but rather recognizing at areas of strategic collaborations: Covid, climate, finance cooperation. The Symposium closed with ground for optimism, noting that in the long course of Energy history, for instance, the world sees the first policy driven energy transformation. It si in a great way also industry-driven and transition has to be Just with a real energy-society integration by policy; this may serves as a case study for a larger renewed Social contract.

Last but not least, Symi was also the occasion to continue exchanging ideas beyond the sessions.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium and now Member of Constitutional Court Erick Derycke, Mrs Dericke, and Joel Ruet

Joel Ruet, Chairman The Bridge Tank

NB: This post is only a personal reflexion on the event and discussions and does not bind in anyway the organizers nor any participant. Quotes are not necessarily attributable to any of the participants, nor to the persons mentioned in this post, but are rather reformulations of some formulas that may have circulated in the forum at some point. 

T20 Web Conference: Policy Recommendations for a Post-COVID-19 World

Joel Ruet presented the views of the Bridge Tank-convened working group on Promoting Southern actors’ direct access to the Green Climate Fund to de-risk projects and raise additional climate finance flows, written by Joël Ruet, Alessia Ameghini, Adel Ben Youssef, Ban Le, Celine Bak, Alexandre Borde, Paolo Giudici, Axel Michaelowa, Kang Rongping, Aman Srivastava, Leena Srivastava, Anbumozhi Venkatachalam.

Both the 2020-horizon USD 100 billion mobilization for climate and 2025 renewed target remain elusive. Climate negotiations are heading for a deadlock. The largest among multi-lateral climate funds, the Green Climate Fund, targets “greater paradigm-shifting mitigation and adaptation impact”. Structuring and scaling up climate financing implies to focus on differentiating between various risk appetites.

To encourage private additional flows, the G20 should support the GCF’s strategy of efficiently accrediting more Southern actors, becoming a facilitator of blended North-South-South public-private finance and an “educated risk-taking” Fund. This would defuse the climate negotiations crisis and accompany structuring climate finance.

Exchanges and proposals on industry with the Chinese Embassy in Paris

On June 11th, Joel Ruet exchanged views on the international situation with the Chinese ambassador in Paris and French personalities including former ministers Hubert Védrine and François Loos, former Elysée diplomatic advisers Maurice Gourdault-Montagne and Jean-David Levitte, experts Emmanuel Dupuy, Barthelemy Courmont and General Jean-Bernard Pinatel.

Several speakers pointed out that the United States has a position on the substance that will be sustainable even if the form would change with the eventual election of Mr. Biden.

François Loos and Joel Ruet jointly mentioned the persistent difficulties in framing a bilateral China-EU investment treaty, as well as the need to re-industrialise. The Bridge Tank stressed the need for a territorial approach for France that is outside the Anglo Saxon framework focused on “all trade” but also goes in the direction of framing practices between the EU and China.

Ruet stressed that industrial discussions remain at the end of the cycle despite optimistic bilateral statements, recalling with other participants that the 17+1 dialogue must also be brought closer to the EU in order to prepare for the China-EU Summit in Leipzig.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
Copyright 2020 - The Bridge Tank