United Kingdom
Ambassador Laure Beaufils highlights the UK's vision for revitalised multilateralism, fostering shared success and global cooperation. Trey Musk/Pexels

In a profound statement delivered from the British Embassy in Manila, Ambassador Laurae Beaufils underscored the United Kingdom's commitment to reinvigorating the multilateral system.

Stressing the significance of creating stronger, more prosperous relationships and ensuring shared success, Ambassador Beaufils highlighted the critical role of multilateral institutions in addressing humanity's most fundamental challenges.

Addressing a wide range of global issues, Ambassador Beaufils emphasised that multilateral institutions have played a pivotal role in forging global consensus on matters such as pandemics, universal human rights, nuclear non-proliferation and climate change. These achievements, she described as remarkable, have made the world collectively stronger through collective action.

The British Ambassador pointed out that the multilateral system is comprised of key institutions that allow countries to collaborate on finding solutions to global problems. Among these institutions are the United Nations, NATO, the Asian Development Bank, climate finance institutions, the World Health Organisation, international development organisations, international trade bodies and regional organisations like ASEAN.

While acknowledging that the system is imperfect, Ambassador Beaufils lauded its enduring nature and its ability to provide a voice to every country in the world.

Ambassador Beaufils emphasised the need to protect and reform the multilateral system to ensure its inclusivity and responsiveness. While the continued success of multilateralism is essential, she warned that it is not inevitable, given the ever-changing global landscape and emerging challenges. To preserve the system's effectiveness, the UK must prioritise reform, ensuring that the voices of all countries are heard and taken into account.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley recently outlined five transnational priorities for multilateral reform in a significant speech at Chatham House. The first priority is reforming the United Nations Security Council, with the UK advocating for permanent African representation and extending membership to India, Brazil, Germany and Japan. The second priority is reforming International Financial Institutions to make finance, particularly climate finance, more accessible and to encourage increased investment.

The third and fourth priorities aim to ensure stable and just tax revenues for developing and middle-income countries and reform the World Trade Organisation to adapt to the digital economy. The UK believes that better enforcement of international tax rules will empower governments to collect due taxes, supporting their own development.

Additionally, the World Trade Organisation must establish new rules that reflect the realities of today's digital age, with a fair and functioning dispute settlement mechanism for all countries, regardless of size.

The fifth and final priority for the UK is championing a multilateral approach to tech regulation. As global architecture adapts to the digital age, the UK seeks to harness the benefits of rapidly developing technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), while mitigating potential risks. As a step towards this goal, the UK's Foreign Secretary chaired the first-ever UN Security Council discussion on AI and is planning to host a Global Summit on AI regulation in the UK next year.

Ambassador Beaufils emphasised that the UK occupies a privileged place in many multilateral institutions and has a responsibility to improve the system's effectiveness. Acknowledging that reform can only be achieved through collaboration, the Ambassador urged working multilaterally, compromising and ensuring that different perspectives inform decisions. As the UK's ambassador to the Philippines, one of her essential tasks is to listen and find shared ground for the common benefit.

Rejecting the notion that multilateralism is at odds with national sovereignty and democracy, Ambassador Beaufils asserted that its purpose is to protect and reinforce these essential principles.

In an interconnected world, she highlighted that peace, prosperity and development depend on respecting fundamental laws and institutions, underscoring the significance of reinforcing a dynamic and open international order where all nations can thrive.

In concluding her statement, Ambassador Beaufils called on nations to work together in reinforcing a multilateral system that addresses global challenges effectively. Emphasising the importance of getting reform right, she outlined the potential price of a safer, fairer, healthier and more prosperous world within grasp.

As custodians of the future, she stressed the obligation to future generations to achieve these goals and create a brighter world for all.