Frank-Jurgen Richter, Chairman of International Think Tank Horasis highlighted China’s important role in promoting multilateralism and uniting the world, called for a fairer globalization and urged efforts against vaccine nationalism.

“We see that the world is more and more divided, we see a lot of disruption happening and different camps fighting against each other,” Richter said in an interview on the sidelines of the Horasis Global Meeting, which took place on Tuesday under the theme “Fostering Shared Humanity.”

“We also see more and more disruption happening between countries. There is a lot of tit-for-tat and finger pointing,” said Richter, who is also a former director of the World Economic Forum.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed a concept of “building a community with a shared future for mankind” and has reaffirmed China’s commitment to multilateralism and collectively addressing global challenges on various occasions.

“It’s about joining hands and how we can really improve international relations without going for tit-for-tat,” Richter said, stressing that China is putting into practice the concept of fostering a shared humanity.

“China is more and more taking the lead on that and Xi Jinping himself is pleading for open markets, he is favouring globalization, and he is inviting people to participate in dialogue. The Silk Road Initiative (Belt & Road Initiative) is a great example of how China is reaching out to the world,” said Richter.

The annual summit, which usually takes place in the Portuguese coastal city of Cascais, brought together more than 1,000 leading decision makers across the world from business, government and civil society to offer solutions to global challenges.

The meeting came at a crucial time when the world is facing an existential threat from COVID-19 and its emergent variants, an unprecedented global economic downturn, and a dearth of decisive leadership, said Richter.

“I believe that now it is a very important time to refix and to rethink our systems,” he stressed. “We really have to redesign everything. It’s all about fostering a shared humanity and finding a better system how to govern the world.”

The meeting, he said, was an opportunity for delegates to discuss a more equitable distribution of vaccines and to tackle vaccine nationalism.

“The industrialized countries in the West are keeping the vaccines for their own needs and are not sharing. America was very much America first. First us, and then the others,” Richter noted.

“I’m thinking of all the people in Africa, in poorer nations in Latin America and in Asia. I think every rich nation should give at least 40 or 50 percent of vaccines to those countries,” he said.

Author: Martina Fuchs