That's the new planetary buzz word, launched by the new general secretary of the UNO, Ban Ki-Moon. It can be defined as the opposite of unilateral political actions. In the spirit of multilateral thinking, no world-shaking act—such as attacking Iraq with the hope of discovering weapons of mass destruction, for example, or attacking Iran with the hope of finding concealed nuclear weapons—should be carried out in a unilateral fashion, merely because a single world power has decided to do so. Multilateralism means that major operations of this nature must first be envisaged within a multi-nation context, so that they eventuate, if necessary, as the outcome of a broad significant consensus.
Yesterday in New York, French president Nicolas Sarkozy preached the multilateral message before the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization. And his discourse created a mild surprise by borrowing famous terminology invented by a certain Franklin Delano Roosevelt [1882-1945], greatly respected in France:
"I wish to say, in the name of France, solemnly and gravely, that there is so much injustice in the world that we cannot hope to live in peace. I want to speak to the consciences of all those who are responsible for the conduct of the world's affairs. The world is in need of a new state of mind. A genuine New Deal at a planetary level is required: an ecological and economic New Deal. In the name of France, I call upon all nations to unite in order to found a new 21st-century world order based upon the powerful idea that the commonly-held possessions of Humanity must be placed under the responsibility of Humanity as a whole." Personifying France in the style of de Gaulle, Sarkozy concluded: "France believes that we can wait no more. France demands action. France encourages action. France will be present at a rendezvous for action in the service of peace in the world."