The 171st Bergedorf Round Table

Defending Multilateralism: What It Takes to Uphold the Rules-Based International System

Hamburg, 20 - 22 June 2019

The rules-based international order is under increasing pressure. Nationalism, protectionism and escalating great-power rivalries threaten to shake the multilateral system to its core. At the same time, the global community is faced with a multitude of urgent challenges, including migration, climate change, digital disruption and the danger of rearmament, all of which can only be dealt with concertedly.

The 171st Bergedorf Round Table sought to explore the question of what it takes to strengthen and adapt the rules-based international system. What interests and goals do different actors associate with the concept of “multilateralism”? Is there a risk of a conceptual overstretch of the term? How can the objective to strengthen multilateral structures be implemented and translated into policies? Will it be possible to adapt the current international system to the global power balance of the 21st century, given the often opposing views of established and rising powers?

During the 171st Bergedorf Round Table in Hamburg, a group of 35 high-ranking politicians, government officials, and representatives from think tanks, academia and the media discussed these and further questions.

List of participants

  • Knut Fleckenstein, Akiko Fukushima, Eric Gujer, Tina Hassel    
  • Carl Bildt    
  • Annette Tabbara    
  • Wang Huiyao, Almut Wieland-Karimi, Bruno Scholl    
  • Almut Wieland-Karimi, Niels Annen, Thomas Paulsen, Susanne Baumann    
  • Yu Jie, Nora Müller, Helen Clark    
  • Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Wolfgang Schmidt    
  • Neelam Deo, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Tina Hassel, Christoph Heusgen, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff    
  • Carl Bildt, Amrita Narlikar    
  • Nora Müller, Amrita Narlikar, Andreas Cichowicz, Thomas Paulsen, Ronja Scheler, Wolfgang Schmidt, Bruno Stagno Ugarte    
  • Christoph Heusgen    
  • Yu Jie, Neelam Deo    
  • Anton Tsvetov, Justin Vaïsse    
  • Lloyd Axworthy    
  • Susanne Baumann    
  • Neelam Deo, Steven Erlanger    
  • Helen Clark    
  • Mo Ibrahim, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Wolfgang Schmidt    
  • Thomas Paulsen    
  • Senate reception on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Körber-Stiftung; panelists: Christoph Heusgen, Helen Clark, Carl Bildt, Christopher Clark    
  • Photos: Marc Darchinger