Turkish foreign minister on Friday said the absence of international solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the necessity of humanitarian diplomacy.
“Only with a principled and humanitarian diplomacy we can tackle global challenges,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a virtual panel discussion hosted by Ivan Franko National University of Lviv in western Ukraine.
"We need a multi-stakeholder effort to place diplomacy at the center," Cavusoglu said on the panel with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitro Kuleba titled "Diplomacy in the Vanguard of Modern Trends: Creating a New Sense of International Reality."
"Change is a constant reality," he said, emphasizing that the global landscape is changing. "What is different now is that change is much faster."
- Global system fails
The foreign minister noted that the world was easier to understand for international relations students until the beginning of the century, and it was even easier before 1990 when they had firm alliances.
However, the world is now multi-polar and alliances are changing, he said, adding that in addition to traditional threats, they also face new global challenges, like hybrid threats, cyber-attacks, and climate change.
“Despite all the disagreements on various issues, there is consensus on the fact that the global system established after the Second World War cannot respond to that,” he noted.
The minister emphasized the importance of international society grasping this shift and adapting diplomacy accordingly.
Suggesting some policy proposals that will prioritize diplomacy while handling global struggles, he said “diplomacy is a multi-stakeholder environment.”
Even though the states are still primary actors, the role of universities, companies, think tanks, and even individuals are getting bigger, he stressed.
“We need to have an inclusive approach in devising new policies,” the minister noted.
- Modern diplomacy
Modern diplomacy, according to the foreign minister, requires keeping present mechanisms open to new ideas and approaches.
“Only with innovative thinking, can we have pro-active rather than reactive diplomacy,” he said.
The minister noted that while being innovative, countries should uphold their principles.
Underlining that foreign policy must have a moral compass, he said Turkey defines its foreign policy as “enterprising and humanitarian.”
“It is enterprising because it is open to new ideas and takes proactive action, and it is humanitarian because we place humans at the center of our thinking and actions,” he added.