An Editorial from Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Chairman of the Global Diwan’s advisory board
Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the Chairman of the Global Diwan’s Advisory Board, former General-Secretary of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of France delivers a message in which he asserts his vision of a multipolar world, where yesterday’s geopolitical equilibriums are challenged and where foreign relations between nations need to be renewed.
Witnessing the world reconfiguring itself, Eric Schell, Alexandre Houssard and I had the idea to create a place of meeting and exchange which we called The Global Diwan.
Years of excessive and outrageous globalisation have brought a standardisation of the world often resulting in the negation of cultures, hence causing fragmentation in reaction. Consequently, some countries are tempted by isolationism and withdrawal as illustrated by the action of some leaders, or by some often violent communities’ choices, be they national or not.
As we witness the disengagement of some actors of multilateral rules which regulate the international stage and as we face protectionism and withdrawal of major international treaties which guarantee security and stability, one shall not stand idly by while peace is at stake. The most cynical even imagine a deglobalisation. It is true national egoism has strengthened this impression since the COVID-19 global health crisis. However, I believe the world will remain globalised because of the driving forces of our mutually dependent development and our societies’ well-being. But the world will continue to reshape itself following the evolutions that preceded the crisis. To this end, we ought to define an appropriate model that fits the people of the world’s dignity. Hence the need for different methods of comprehension.
Not only does The Global Diwan wish for it, but it is determined to play its part.
“We must move on from the debate about having to choose between one big international patron against the other. In simple terms, choosing between China and the United States.”
It’s about creating a meeting venue, a place to listen and exchange views on the world as it is, while considering its evolution thanks to a better knowledge and respect of one another’s differences. Let us contemplate the world’s geography with a different perspective. The Western world is no longer the world’s lecturer. Admittedly its civilisation and values have been influential in the past and still are a frame of reference.
Yet today, the world breaths and transforms itself through different sources. The world’s people dive into their own culture to draw their own raison d’être and to express it with their own voice and language. No one can ignore the networks and influences that followed the path of ancient civilisations. To a certain extent, no region is the centre of the world anymore. We must move on from the debate about having to choose between one big international patron against the other. In simple terms, choosing between China and the United States.
This is where The Global Diwan comes into play to provide a new understanding of the world. Indeed, the Middle-East, the Maghreb, the Mashriq and the Gulf countries are at a world crossroad. Historically, it is a region of transmission of knowledge and cultural exchanges. Thus, the idea of the Diwan, a traditional circle of power but one with a global aim.
The Global Diwan will shape opportunities to meet, exchange, to listen and get to know one another. Leaders from business, politics, culture and academic circles of the region will connect with their European counterparts, from France, Great Britain or Germany, meeting the minds of other executives that have their own knowledge and world experience, coming from India and its subcontinent, from Turkey and Iran, from Russia, Central Asia but also from Africa and the Far East.
To understand the world as it is and favour its stable and prosperous course, one has to step out of conventional frames. Let us make an appeal to the history and culture of each of us. Let us adopt a broad view and be open to diversity. This is why we must get to know one another, we shall meet, introduce ourselves and listen to each other. In this way the fatal pitfall of national withdrawal will be prevented, and harmonious and renewed partnerships will be fostered.
This is The Global Diwan’s ambition!