Building peace and cooperation around the world is what the United Nations represents and the global body's 75th General Assembly highlighted that stance last week, calling for countries to reaffirm their commitment to multilateralism in the time of a global pandemic.
This year virtual speeches made by world leaders grabbed global attention, with South Korean president Moon Jae-in calling for regional cooperation, and an end-of-war declaration between South and North Korea, while others like President Donald Trump encouraged countries to go their own way.
We go over some of the key issues today with John Nilsson-Wright, Korea Foundation Korea Fellow at the Chatham House and Senior Lecturer of Modern Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Thank you for joining us.
We also connect with Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Reader of International Relations at King's College London and Korea Chair of Free University of Brussels.
It's great to see you.
Dr. Nilsson-Wright: In his UNGA speech, President Moon once again called for an end to war on the Korean Peninsula.
But with inter-Korean relations as well as U.S.-North Korea relations at a standstill, how do you think Moon envisions this playing out?
Dr. Pacheco Pardo: What are your views on this?
As South Korea wasn't one of the signatories of the armistice agreement, what would it take to actually end war on the Korean Peninsula?
Dr. Pacheco Pardo: Lawmakers here, in Pres. Moon's party, were aiming to pass a resolution on ending war with North Korea, saying this kind of declaration could promote negotiations on the North's denuclearization, as it can send a positive signal to Pyeongyang. But at this point, would it be of any use or even of value to North Korea?
Dr. Nilsson-Wright: What are your thoughts on this?
Dr. Nilsson-Wright: U.S. President Donald Trump didn't mention North Korea at all. Do you think this was intentional?
Dr. Pacheco Pardo: Moon also proposed launching a Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health, whereby North Korea participates as a member along with South Korea, China, Japan, and Mongolia. How viable do you think this initiative is?
Dr. Nilsson Wright: The theme of this year's GA is restoring multilateralism. Yet, President Trump encouraged nations to pursue exactly the opposite. His exact words were: As president, I have rejected the failed approaches of the past and I am proudly putting America first. Just as you should be putting your countries first.
In recent years, we've seen the UN failing to exercise the authority it used to have under U.S. leadership. Is there any hope for multilateralism, and why is it vital to emerge stronger from this pandemic?
Dr. Pacheco Pardo: What are your thoughts on this? Is the UN on its last legs and is there hope for multilateralism to pull through?
That was Dr. John Nilsson-Wright and Dr. Ramon Pacheco Pardo joining us from Cambridge and London in the UK.
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