Industrialised Nations Becoming Too Inward-looking, Not Doing Enough to Help Developing Countries: Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (AFP)
New Delhi: Asserting that multilateralism is important in tackling crises affecting the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday rued that industrialised nations have become too inward-looking and are not doing enough to help developing countries. "This is the hour of multilateralism… The question of who receives vaccinations around the world will create a new narrative," she said in a special address at the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda Summit.
Merkel, however, said humankind is capable of great scientific feats and that shows the way out of the coronavirus pandemic. "The pandemic has left deep imprints on our societies and our economies and it will determine how we live over the next few years. But we all live in one planet. In such an existential crisis, shutting yourself off from others fails," she said.
Merkel said the vaccine shows we can find a way out of this pandemic but it will be much harder than what everyone thinks. "This is going to be a very arduous road, much of an uphill battle," she said. On climate change and the Paris Agreement, she said Europe could be the first climate-neutral continent and listed ways through which it could achieve a 55 per cent reduction in emissions.
But she said industrialised nations have become too inward-looking and we are not doing enough to help developing countries. "Shutting ourselves off against others will not help either tackle the climate crisis or the COVID-19 climate," Merkel said.
She called for greater transparency and said it's a "very good message" that the US under President Joe Biden wants to be involved in the work of the World Health Organization. On world trade, she said the World Trade Organization is of the essence if we want to be sincere about multilateralism.
If we want to have multilateral agreements, common standards have to be put down as regards conditions of work and the environment. We have to be very fast at finding new answers to digitalisation, she added.