December 15 , 2020

Pascal Lamy speaks at the launch of the Global Young Leaders Dialogue


On December 15, 2020, Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) spoke at the launch of the Global Young Leaders Dialogue (GYLD) Program. The following is an abridged transcript of the speech, which has been edited for length and clarity.


Let me first congratulate my good friends, the Center for China and Globalization for launching this new Global Young Leaders Dialogues (GYLD). At my advanced age, and having been lucky enough, to have many different experiences in the international system. I often aware that the future we need today, cannot be built mainly by old people in old structures. Built, building, it’s probably not be the right word today. The right word today is probably to rebuild a world, a planet, that has been very severely hit by COVID-19 pandemic. In such the situation that we now have to cope with old problems that we have not solved before the pandemic. And some of them, maybe at the origin of the pandemic. And new problems, which the pandemic has made more urgent, more dangerous, in need of more global cooperation at a time where stress, tension, opposition, conflicts, are proliferating on this planet.

Tough time which is why we now need a new generation to engage in not only conversation, not only exchange of ideas, but also these actions. And this is what we are trying to do with the Paris Peace Forum, which is another new form, addressing global problems which have the privilege feature. And I’m very grateful to the Center for China and Globalization, to be a partner of the Paris Peace Forum from the very beginning, my good friend, Henry WANG decided to step into this new initiative. The characteristic of which (Paris Peace Forum) is not that it addresses global problem, lots of organizations, people do that, but we do it in a platform, cooperative way, engaging different stakeholders than usual suspects in the international system, countries, sovereign, diplomats, governments, of course, we need them.

But we also believe, and that’s the specifity of Paris Peace Forum, that we need businesses, we need non-governmental organizations, we need big academic institutions, we need cities, we need young people to step in, In order to address the problems we have, whether it’s peace and security. We know we have serious problems in this era worst environment sustainability, at a time where global cooperation, maybe stronger following the US elections, vain during the mandate of Mr. Trump. Social inclusion, digital rights, all those issues need to be real date after the COVID, hoping that this COVID will be gone as soon as possible. So, my message is very simple to young people like you: please engage, please step in. We need you not only for fresh ideas, and that’s already very important, but also for the energy you can bring into moving things forward, whether with others or with the view you have. Personally, with France, what should be done, there is a short road to global governance, which is you, young people, we need you on board, of the fresh global governance efforts. Thanks for your attention.


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