A webinar on “International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace” was hosted by the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, via zoom. The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on December 12, 2018, through resolution A/RES/73/127 and was first observed on April 27, 2019. The event was held to reassert the UN charter and principles which call for peaceful settlement of disputes among different nations using multilateralism and diplomacy. The speakers at the event were several renowned International and national personalities with academic and diplomatic backgrounds. The distinguished speakers included Mr. Qazi Saleem, Director of Human Rights from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan, Ambassador Igor Khalevinskiy, Chairman of Association of Russian Diplomats, Dr. Amna Mahmood, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann, President and Founder of World Security Network Foundation- Codes of Tolerance, from Germany and Dr. Aiysha Safdar, Head of the Department of International Relations, Kinnaird College For Women University, Lahore, Pakistan. The event was moderated by Ms. Farhat Asif, Founder President, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies. Ms. Farhat in her introductory remarks shed light on the significance of the celebration of “International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace” as she briefly explained the genesis of this special day and her institute’s adherence to the diplomatic norms associated with the United Nations.
Mr. Qazi Saleem elaborated the perspective of Pakistan on Multilateralism and Peace. He emphasized that Pakistan has been supporting multilateralism at the United Nations platform and on other platforms as well. Mr. Saleem said, there is need of more to be done for the implementation of the real spirit of multilateralism. Pakistan believes that multilateralism is the only way forward to preserving the prevailing peace in the subsequent years.
Ambassador Igor Khalevinskiy said that multilateralism is the essence of today’s International Politics and Diplomacy for peace is a reliable approach that brings the world to stability. He praised the United Nations for the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on multilateralism. He said that the BRI is of huge importance due to its magnitude and multifaceted approaches as it focuses on multilateralism and peace. One of them is connectivity, which is the essence of diplomacy, connecting people and states through diplomacy.
Dr. Amna Mehmood established the background and importance of multilateralism by tracing its evolution from events of the last hundred and fifty years and its most workable example is United Nations. She emphasized that multilateralism is the only approach in International Politics that can ensure peace and security on this planet as contemporary challenges are beyond the capacity of a single nation to tackle.With reference to diplomacy, Ms. Amna Mehmood said that diplomacy should not be limited to its formal forms rather, informal form of people’s diplomacy should be based on understanding culture and religions. This approach would strengthen multilateralism.
Dr. Aiysha Safdar presented her views on multilateralism and diplomacy for peace from a South Asian perspective, especially in India and Pakistan. She believed that in South Asia, the focus has been on traditional security. Ms. Aiysha Safdar was of the opinion that covid has enabled India and Pakistan to think beyond their rivalry, recently Pakistan has redefined national security by adding the component of providing a conducive environment for health security. She concluded that a multilateral, unified and integrated approach is the need of time for the South Asian region to come out of the setbacks by this pandemic.
Professor Hubertus Hoffmann emphasized that humanity, creativity and efficiency entrenched inside a country bolsters the democracy which influences foreign policy and peace of the world positively. Further, he believed diplomacy without a plan is ineffective. Humanity and human rights are important for peace, without it one goes astray from path to peace instead it leads to confrontation. Larger number of students and attendees from all over the world and Pakistan attended the online virtual seminar.