Boukadoum calls for multilateralism to reduce effects of Covid-19 pandemic

APS - 29 June 2021

MATERA (Italy) -The international community has no choice but to strengthen the multilateral system if it wants to stop the pandemic and build a safer and better future for all, said Tuesday Head of Algerian diplomacy, Sabri Boukadoum.

The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed unraveled in its path many deficiencies of the international system and its regulatory mechanisms, said Boukadoum during his speech at the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Matera, Italy.

"In doing so, it provides us with the opportunity to reflect collectively on how we can correct the weaknesses and lay down the foundations for a new multilateralism based on concerted and inclusive global governance," he added.

"As many of you have already emphasized, the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly shown us the true meaning of “No one is safe until everyone is safe.” So, let’s be fully mindful of this fact in shaping the after Covid era, which we hope, will leave no one behind," he said.

In this regard, the FM highlight three areas on which international cooperation needs to focus more:

The first area relates to multilateralism underpinned by global solidarity. The Minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has unraveled in its path many deficiencies and weaknesses of the international system, including lack of solidarity which is causing currently inequality and disparity in access to vaccines against the Covid-19.

African countries are directly exposed to this prejudice. Without extensive immunization, African economies will continue to be negatively affected by constraints and restrictions. Consequently, poverty and food insecurity levels in Africa are likely to increase substantially, creating a climate with high potential for instability and conflict, said Boukadoum.

He called, in this regard, on the G20 to play a greater role in ensuring equitable access to vaccines between countries by providing vaccines, sharing knowledge and expertise, and by supporting regional initiatives, such as Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

The second area relates to multilateralism to ensure a global economic growth. The Head of Algerian diplomacy noted the economic impacts of COVID-19 that have been severe worldwide, including in Africa where they threaten to reverse the remarkable economic growth made over the last 15 years.

Despite its far-reaching negative impacts, the current crisis is accelerating trends such as digitization, market consolidation and regional cooperation, creating important new opportunities, said Boukadoum.

We have no choice but to seize every opportunity of those. And the timely contribution of our partners, especially the G20, is extremely important to effectively support Africa's economic recovery from COVID-19, he said.

Our partners in the G20 could provide more support to ongoing efforts at the continental level aiming to harness innovation, promote the development of inclusive and sustainable agro-food and rural industry as well as to reduce the digital gap, he added.

"Africa has greatly contributed to the advancement of multilateralism, through the African Union and other pan-continental initiatives that send a powerful message of cross border awareness and solidarity. The Continental Free Trade Area established recently could be a game-changer for the continent’s economies," said Boukdaoum in this respect.

These initiatives and others have demonstrated not only African dynamism but also re-shaped the wider narrative about the continent, moving from a focus on security concerns to socioeconomic transformation and Africa’s presence and leadership in the world.

"These developments highlight the need for the international organizations to work closely with the regional institutions to support home grown solutions," he concluded.