Accessibility links

Breaking News

Macron Warns International System Facing 'Unprecedented' Crisis'

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria, left, and U.N officers hold a placard as part of a move to promote gender equality at the Paris Peace Forum, Nov. 12, 2019.

French President Emmanuel Macron has described the international system as facing an unprecedented crisis, as he opened a two-day peace forum today/Tuesday in Paris. The event aims to highlight threats to world peace ranging from climate change to terrorism.

Macron’s warning came after his controversial assessment last week that the NATO alliance was, as he put it, ‘brain dead.’

Opening the international peace forum in northeastern Paris, he strongly defended multilateralism.

A day after world leaders commemorated the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, marking the agreement to end World War I, Macron said the international system faces an unprecedented crisis. He pointed to the destructive forces of nationalism and non-cooperation.

Analysts suggest these remarks were directed at the Trump administration, which did not send a representative to the forum.

Like Macron, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also stressed the importance of multilateralism.

Guterres cited key threats to peace, including technological and economic gaps dividing people, and the climate change crisis.

This second edition of the peace forum is drawing top politicians, activists and entrepreneurs.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi is among several African leaders attending. He said while Africa may be the continent most hit by war and terrorism, it can also offer solutions for peace. Tshisekedi cited the Congo Basin’s potential to help fight climate change as one example. Right now, however, it is threatened by deforestation.

The two-day forum is also showcasing a raft of peace-building initiatives, focusing on the environment, gender empowerment and social justice.