Faced with global crises, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who were still at odds until recently, are proposing dialogue, the involvement of southern countries, and the same respect for the international rule of law for all.
Qatar, which is hosting the fifth edition of its Doha Forum, pleaded on March 26, 2022 for a more multilateral approach and greater participation of countries presented as “from the deep south” in solving the challenges facing the world today. such as responses to accelerated global warming, Covid-19 and more recently the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“We cannot be isolated from what is happening around us in the world… We must make our contribution, at least on issues of international stability,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Qatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the gas emirate, who recalled that his country had “proven itself in terms of dialogue and diplomacy”.
An opinion which was generally shared by his counterpart in Saudi Arabia, a country with which they nevertheless experienced a diplomatic crisis of more than 3 and a half years, and which ended in January 2021. For Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, it is important that the North and the South of the planet get involved together in the face of global crises, “especially the small and medium powers to (…) respond to the needs of all rather than those of a few -uns (…) in order to work together to define the global agenda. »
In essence, the two leaders of the Gulf countries wanted to convey the message that, while recognizing that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine entails unacceptable humanitarian and economic consequences, it should not be forgotten that other countries among the least developed suffer the consequences. They also mentioned the fact that several countries that are victims of other conflicts or humanitarian disasters are not always the subject of such significant media coverage and mobilization.
These statements recall the situation in part of the African continent, where several governments have to deal with security crises that receive less attention from the international community, except when it is necessary to establish responsibilities or to speak of effects. peripheral such as migration crises. They also recall the low representativeness of African visions on the search for solutions to the dangers of climate change and all other global challenges, such as health crises or the inequity of the international tax system.
The multilateral approach in the resolution of crises with global implications does not seem to be perceived in the same way by all the governments of the world, in particular that of the United States, whose economic leadership is increasingly challenged by China, and whose leadership policy is put to the test with the Ukrainian crisis, the question of climate change or even the disagreement on the Iranian nuclear power.
Republican US Senator Lindsay Graham, who was invited to speak on the subject, acknowledged that his country will have to learn to become a “best friend” to other countries in the world. He also acknowledged that America has failed to restore order in Afghanistan. But on the Ukraine crisis, he argues that there is no better outcome than seeing Vladimir Putin end hostilities and face up to his responsibilities.
“For the US, Russia is the villain and Ukraine the hero… We all want the conflict to end and the suffering to end. But how do we get out of this conflict within the framework of an acceptable scenario? What you watch on television channels like we do constitutes war crimes on an industrial scale. The question is, can this be forgiven and can we have the world we want with Vladimir Putin? The answer for me is no,” he said.
Recall that on the specific conflict of Ukraine, Africa was not totally unanimous about the UN resolution condemning the Russian invasion. 23 countries on the continent including Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Egypt voted in favor, 17 countries including South Africa and Algeria abstained, and Eritrea in particular opposed it. A situation that has however been unanimously condemned on the continent is the double standard applied to African migrants fleeing the war in Ukraine, to countries of the European Union.