Mesdames et Messieurs les Ambassadeurs,
Messieurs les Ministres Conseillers,
Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du personnel diplomatique des ambassades sises à Paris,
GEOPRAGMA a le plaisir de vous présenter aujourd’hui les premières réponses apportées au Questionnaire sur la « Crise de la Gouvernance mondiale ».
Les lignes géopolitiques du monde en effet n’ont jamais bougé aussi vite. Multilatéralisme, bipolarité, cynisme et moralisme s’entremêlent pour contribuer à une confusion dangereuse où chacun interprète et projette sur les autres, consciemment ou non, ses attentes et ses travers.
Dans ce cadre, GEOPRAGMA a lancé une enquête inédite auprès d’une cinquantaine de pays sur leur perception de la crise de la gouvernance mondiale, sur leur vision et leurs espérances concernant l’avenir des relations internationales, ainsi que sur le rôle que la France pourrait et devrait, selon eux, y jouer, y compris à leurs côtés.
Notre souhait était d’offrir la possibilité à ces États ou à leurs diplomates de haut niveau de s’exprimer sur le sujet sans filtre ni biais d’interprétation. Par conséquent, tout ce qui est publié l’a été avec l’accord exprès des ambassades.
Afin que les entretiens soient conduits de manière la plus homogène possible, un questionnaire servant de base a été élaboré. D’autres questions ont cependant été posées, au gré des discussions.
- Comment analysez-vous l’état actuel des relations internationales à l’échelle mondiale et les modes de coopération ou confrontation entre Etats ou groupes d’Etats ? Comment pensez-vous que cette situation va évoluer à court, moyen et long terme ?
- Comment la politique étrangère de votre nation s’inscrit-elle dans cette réalité ?
Comment vos relations évolueront-elles dans les prochaines années avec les Etats-Unis, la Russie, la Chine, la France, ou encore l’Union Européenne ? Qu’attendez-vous d’eux ?
- Quels sont pour vous les axes d’alliance(s) à venir ? Et quid de vos « adversaires », « concurrents » ou « partenaires » ?
- Quels sont vos principaux enjeux énergétiques, économiques, environnementaux et numériques à court et moyen termes ?
- Peut-on encore parler de « choc des civilisations » ou la mondialisation a-t-elle rendu ce concept obsolète ?
- Quel(s) rôle(s) souhaitez-vous que la France joue au niveau mondial et estimez-vous qu’elle joue ce rôle actuellement ? Sinon à quelles conditions ?
- Verriez-vous votre pays s’associer à la France sur une initiative ou un dossier international d’envergure ? Lequel ? Quel rôle jouerait la France aux côtés de votre pays pour régler ce dossier ou mettre en œuvre cette initiative ?
- Quel(s) rôle(s) souhaitez-vous que l’Union européenne joue au niveau mondial et estimez-vous qu’elle joue ce rôle actuellement ?
- Pensez-vous que la souveraineté soit une notion dépassée ou moderne ? Et celle de peuple ? Quels sont pour vous les conditions de la cohésion nationale et ses facteurs de dilution ?
- Selon vous, quels sont les fondements de l’influence internationale de demain ?
- Que pensez-vous de l’invocation de valeurs et de principes moraux en matière internationale ?
- Sujet libre
À ce jour, sept ambassades se sont prêtées à la totalité de l’exercice qui est aujourd’hui publié.
D’autres entretiens le seront dans les semaines à venir.
Geopragma adresse ses remerciements les plus vifs à l’ensemble des ambassadeurs et des diplomates qui ont accepté de nous répondre. Leur contribution fut à tous égards passionnante.
Les perceptions sur la crise de la gouvernance mondiale étant bien évidemment évolutives, l’idée selon laquelle cet exercice devait devenir permanent s’est imposée à nous.
Certains Etats nous ont indiqué leur souhait d’y participer à terme mais ne pouvaient le faire pour diverses raisons sur cette première publication. Par conséquent, si certaines ambassades souhaitent actualiser leur contribution ou que d’autres souhaitent participer à l’exercice, elles peuvent toujours se rapprocher du secrétariat de Geopragma (firstname.lastname@example.org).
En espérant que ce recueil constituera pour chacun d’entre vous une source d’informations intéressantes pour mieux comprendre la richesse des perceptions et des attentes de ces Etats, et que cela permettra à terme, de contribuer à définir des orientations et des propositions concrètes pour une coexistence plus favorable aux intérêts communs des acteurs du monde, nous vous souhaitons à tous une très bonne lecture.
Vous pouvez retrouver l’intégralité des entretiens sur la Crise de la Gouvernance mondiale en cliquant sur ce lien : Panorama de la Gouvernance mondiale
Le 23 octobre 2019
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan en France
Son Excellence Monsieur l’Ambassadeur Moin ul Haque, Ambassadeur Extraordinaire et Plénipotentiaire auprès de la Républiquefrançaise.
L’ambassade, compte tenu de l’évolution du contexte international depuis l’entretien initial, a souhaité modifier récemment certaines parties de l’entretien et de ses déclarations.
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : Thank you so much for the opportunity to exchange views on issues of global importance. It is a good initiative by your Think Tank to reach out to various Embassies in Paris to seek different perspectives from international actors representing various regions. I hope that this project will help to bridge gaps, bringing people together and promoting better understanding.
Geopragma : How do you analyze the current state of international relations on a global scale and the means of cooperation or confrontation among nations or groups of nations? How do you think this situation will evolve on a short-, mid- and long-term horizon?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : In today’s fast changing world, global politics remain complex and in flux, with shifting centers of power. The predominance of the United States, which enjoyed the role of the sole superpower for a long time due to their wider political influence and military superiority, is now declining. However, they still remain a dominant player because of their strong military, control of international financial institutions, and a very strong technological base. Moreover, the US dollar is still the main currency for the global financial system.
Nevertheless, US influence is declining because of the emergence of other actors such as China, which has already overtaken the US as the world’s largest economy. They are also strongly going into areas which have traditionally been the preserve of the United States, such as innovation, technology, Artificial intelligence, 5G, etc., with massive funding in research and development.
Then there is India, which is emerging as a strong economic player in our region because of its large market. Russia is also reasserting itself under President Putin and is aiming to regain its lost glory. The European Union, despite its own internal problems, is a major center of power as well. And then regional groupings such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), are also becoming important players.
The United States under President Trump have also become more inward looking and protectionist. It is moving away from its international leadership role. Decisions like walking out of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear deal or the Paris Climate Accord could have serious implications for international peace and security.
Geopragma : How does your foreign policy fit within these structures?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : Pakistan’s foreign policy is based on international norms and principles of inter-state relations, respect for sovereignty, non-interference in countries’ domestic affairs, non-aggression, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. In these broad contours, we seek mutually beneficial relations with all countries and all major international powers. We seek a peaceful neighborhood and promote regional integration and interconnectivity through the strengthening of regional groupings such as the South Asian Association of Regional Countries (SAARC) and SCO. Support for multilateralism remains central to the fabric of our foreign policy.
We have always believed that disputes, conflicts, and differences have to be resolved via peaceful and political means. Military means are not the solution. Our policy has been vindicated in Afghanistan, where we have always been advocating dialogue between various stakeholders to find a political solution to the problem. Today, the United States have started a dialogue with the same militant Talibans that they used to target as enemies.
And with India too, we have always called for bilateral talks to resolve our issues. We have many differences with India, the two countries having had armed conflicts and border skirmishes. Both are nuclear armed states facing each other. It is not like during the Cold War when the US and the Soviet Union had thousands of miles separating them. For us it is close and face to face. In such a precarious scenario, there cannot be a vacuum, there must be a mechanism for engagement between the two countries. So, for that reason, we have always promoted dialogue with India.
Geopragma : You have been very reasonable in your recent policies…
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : I think our Prime minister has been reacting very responsibly in this whole situation. Calling for dialogue is the right thing to do. India might have some reservations towards Pakistan, blaming Pakistan for certain terrorist acts inside India without any evidence and investigation. Pakistan would never allow its territory to be used against a third country. We are ourselves a victim of terrorism. It is better to sit together and discuss these issues instead of getting into blame games.
Geopragma : We would like to know your position on the friction between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are Pakistan’s very close partners; we have had traditional and friendly relationships with both of these countries since our independence. We therefore naturally seek to maintain a balance as well as play a role to help them resolve their differences. Our Prime Minister recently visited both Iran and Saudi Arabia. The main objective was to help these two countries come together and have a dialogue. It was a good visit. He received warm receptions in both the countries. We do hope that the tensions between these two countries can be reduced and that they would be able to come together and have direct talks.
Geopragma : What are your main stakes on the issues related to energy, the economy, the environment, and the digital space, again on a short- and mid-term basis?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : For Pakistan, socio-economic development remains a top priority. We have had different periods of economic prosperity but generally our economic growth has been affected for various reasons. For the last four decades, Pakistan has been in the eye of the storm due to regional conflicts especially through the two Afghan wars. These were very devastating wars, not only for Afghanistan, but also for its neighbors. At one point, Pakistan had to host four million refugees. Even today, we have more than two million Afghan refugees on our soil. You can understand the difficulties for a developing country like Pakistan, while a few thousand refugees could become a big issue for advanced European countries.
We have suffered a lot because of these conflicts in our region. The problem of terrorism and extremism also took its toll on our resources and capacities. We were required to secure our borders and provide security to our people, which put a strain on government resources for economic development.
The government has now embarked on a reform agenda for long-term and sustainable growth by addressing structural problems in our economy, especially by strengthening financial institutions and our tax collection system. Providing social security coverage to vulnerable segments of the society is also an important part of this reform agenda.
Energy security is also extremely important for Pakistan. We have unfortunately experienced energy shortages over the past five to six years. Our industry had suffered because of this problem. However, with timely investments in new projects for hydro, thermal, nuclear, solar, clean coal, and wind energy plants, the country’s energy deficit has been met. For our thermal plants, the new generation turbines were manufactured in France. To a large extent, Pakistan is today self-sufficient in energy. This is helping us to set up new industries and thus creating new jobs.
As Pakistan had to grapple with other critical issues of national security and socio-economic development, the environment was not a priority area. However, since Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change, our Prime Minister Imran Khan is now the most vocal world leader on this issue. He has placed the environment and actions against climate change as an important plank of his government policies. For instance, the reforestation project called the « Billion Tree Tsunami Project » has been recognized internationally as one of the most ambitious and successful projects. Under it, millions of new trees are being planted across the country to address the issue of deforestation. Another project launched by the Prime Minister is the “Clean City Initiative”. We are grateful to France’s President Macron for leading this issue as well. Both of our leaders can join hands on this important issue.
Geopragma : Can we still talk about a clash of civilizations? Or do you think globalization has made this concept obsolete?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : Yes, I agree with that. Globalization has had an impact on this notion of clash of civilizations. The Huntington theory somehow promoted the notion of pitching people against each other, one religion against the other. I think it is the wrong way to look at these relationships because it increases conflicts and creates misunderstandings.
I therefore have a difficulty in looking at the world as Islam versus West or Islam versus Christianity. In this context, I also have a very strong objection to the use of terminologies like: Islamic fundamentalism or Islamic terrorism. Terrorism has nothing to do with religion, be it Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. No religion preaches the killing of innocent civilians for the sake of some twisted ideology. Terrorism has no religion. No creed.
The phenomenon of globalization has definitely helped in connecting different societies, people and communities; bringing them closer in order to better understand each other. We need multicultural diversity and tolerant attitudes. We should promote dialogue, constructive engagements, and help foster harmony between cultures and civilizations. It is a multi-faceted world. There is a beauty in its diversity.
Geopragma : Which role(s) would you wish France to play on a global level, and do you think that it plays that role today? If not, on what conditions would you see it fulfill its future role?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : France is a major world player, a founding member of the European Union, and a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It certainly has a special role and responsibility for maintaining international peace and stability. France is a land of freedom and liberty. Since long, it has espoused principles of equality, democracy, fundamental freedoms, and human rights. So, I do hope that France will continue to play its role based on these principles in order to resolve international disputes and conflicts.
Geopragma : Could you see your country partner with France on one major initiative or on one international issue? Which one? What role could France play by your nation’s side to solve this issue or initiate this initiative?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : Why not. For example, we believe France, which enjoys good relations with both India and Pakistan, could play a constructive and balanced role for durable peace in our region. The French South Asian policy should be based on the principles it has espoused for so long as mentioned in the previous question. Secondly, on climate change which is affecting the entire world and Pakistan in particular. We would like Pakistan and France to join hands in tackling this issue.
Geopragma : What role(s) do you wish to see the European Union play on a global scale and do you believe it is playing that role today?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : I was recently invited to the Institut des Sciences Politiquesto talk about the EU and its perception in Pakistan. I mentioned that in Pakistan, we consider the EU as a very unique and special organization – a model of unification and integration. We hope to replicate this model in our own region to bring peace and prosperity.
The European Union project after World War II aimed at peace, regional integration, and economic prosperity in order to avoid conflicts. It has succeeded to a very large extent in that respect. Though today the EU faces a number of challenges and internal problems, it is still an important regional grouping with political influence and financial resources to play its role in international affairs.
Geopragma : Do you think that the notion of sovereignty is obsolete or still relevant? And that of the notion of “the people”? What are, in your opinion, the conditions for national cohesion and/or the factors of its dilution?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : After the Westphalia Treaty in the seventeenth century, one of the founding concepts which ensued was that of sovereignty. For a country like Pakistan, which obtained its independence from a colonial power, the importance of the concept of sovereignty is very important. With Europe as well, while some countries may have had to forego some aspects of their sovereignty to build the EU, they still exercised their sovereign decisions either to join the Euro Bloc or the Schengen Agreement.
Sovereignty is still a very important dimension in international and political relations. It is also the cardinal principle of the United Nations. Equality among nations, whether they are big or small, remains a fundamental concept. And the people remain central to any democracy. It is through the will of the people that democracy is sustained, and sovereignty is exercised. It is a whole ecosystem that contributes to a (more) stable international order.
Geopragma : In your opinion, what are the foundations of international influence in tomorrow’s world?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : The economic strength of a nation will be an important factor in determining the extent of its influence and dominance on the international scene. The countries with sound economies and the financial space to invest in new technologies and innovations, and which can keep pace with the fast-developing digital age, will lead. The other important dimension of future power will be data: Countries that control data – some say it is the next oil – will be the most influential.
Geopragma : What are your thoughts on the conjuration of values and moral principles within the context of international relations?
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : For us in Pakistan, ethics in international relations are extremely important. France is one of the proponents for the principles of freedom, human rights, and equality. If you look at history, for many centuries countries or empires conducted their relations for their own narrow self-interest based on power, greed, and expansionist policies. There were no values, morals, or fair play. That is why we saw so many conflicts and bloodshed. In the last century, humanity suffered because of two horrifying world wars which killed millions of people and caused large scale destruction. The creation of the United Nations after World War II was thus aimed at restoring international order on the basis of certain principles and values, in order to ensure peace, security, and development.
Geopragma : Open-ended question.
Ambassade de la République islamique du Pakistan : Thank you so much. I hope I have been able to answer all of your questions.
To conclude, I would like to talk about our Pakistan-China relations. China has always been a very close partner of Pakistan. We have a very strong strategic relationship with China. It is a country which has always stood by Pakistan and helped us in difficult times. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is a flagship component of the « Belt and Road Initiative ». With investments of over sixty billion dollars, CPEC encompasses multiple projects in the areas of energy, infrastructure, motorways, railways, and industrial development. The development of the Gwadar port is one of the key projects under CPEC.
The next phase of the CPEC includes industrial development, with the creation of special economic zones across our country. The CPEC can help Pakistan meet its essential energy requirements, upgrade necessary infrastructure to fuel our economy, create jobs, and connect the different regions of our country.