In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the third Paris Peace Forum took place digitally from 11 to 13 November 2020. Embracing the challenge of rebuilding international cooperation in times of crisis, 12.000 participants and 441 speakers from 151 countries came together to improve the collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reinvent multilateralism. Alongside 178 panel discussions and project pitches on the topics of peace and security, environment, development, culture and education, new technologies, and inclusive economy, the Forum’s event platform hosted several events with the objective of “bouncing back to a better planet”.
The Official Ceremony featured video messages from over 50 Heads of States and Government and International Organisations, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, sharing their visions for a post-COVID world. Upon occasion of the Paris Peace Forum, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Senegalese President Macky Sall, IMF Director General Kristalina Georgieva, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council, at the Élysée Palace – German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attended the meeting virtually. Together, they discussed the main principles that should guide multilateral responses to challenges in the fields of climate, health, inequalities, and the defense of fundamental rights in the digital age.
For the first time, the Paris Peace Forum brought together public development banks from around the world at the Finance in Common Summit. This new coalition of actors aims at coordinating the economic recovery and global public investments. During the Summit, UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the international community to mobilize the necessary financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
A ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism launched the „One Health“ High-Level Expert Council in the presence of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. In order to improve the global governance of health, the Council will gather and disseminate reliable information on the links between human, animal and environmental health.
A coalition of state and non-state actors pledged more than €400 million to the WHO-led ACT-Accelerator to facilitate the global availability of COVID tests, treatments, and vaccines.
As an active Founding Member of the Paris Peace Forum, Körber-Stiftung hosted a debate titled ”Like a Phoenix from the Ashes? Multilateralism in a (Post-)COVID World“. The session addressed options to turn the current crisis into an opportunity for more effective multilateral cooperation, and discussed the implications of the outcome of the US presidential elections for the future of multilateralism. Nora Müller, Executive Director International Affairs with Körber-Stiftung, and Vice President of the Association Forum de Paris sur la Paix moderated the discussion.
- Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission,
- Oby Ezekwesili, former Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa division and Senior Economic Advisor at the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative,
- Clément Beaune, State Secretary for Europe and Foreign Affairs at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and
- Natalie Samarasinghe, Chief of Strategy for the Commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.
Under the title “UN75 and the future of multilateralism”, Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary, and Jeb Bell, Vice President Global Strategy at the Pew Research Center, discussed public support for international cooperation and international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Together with Nora Müller, Executive Director International Affairs with Körber-Stiftung, they explored new approaches for a more inclusive world order.
As in previous years, 100 project leaders presented their innovative solutions for strengthening global governance at the Paris Peace Forum, of which 46 focus on immediate responses to the current health, social and economic crisis. More than 850 applications from all continents were sent in, the highest participation rate since the Forum’s inception. The 10 projects selected by the Scale-up Committee will benefit from a one-year support for their advocacy, communication or organizational development activities.