Following what turned out to be a literally laughable speech from Trump at the U.N.–which had the usual anti-globalist rhetoric, albeit with soft praise for the U.N. overall–France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, followed right after with an indirect but clear rebuke of nationalism and insularity.
“What will bring a real solution to the situation in Iran and what has already stabilised it? The law of the strongest? Pressure from only one side? No!” exhorted Macron. “We know that Iran was on a nuclear military path but what stopped it? The 2015 Vienna accord,” he said.
While Macron did not name his US counterpart during his address, the focus of his speech – including highlighting the dangers of unilateralism that helped lead to the birth of the UN – centred on international dialogue and cooperation.
Noting that “nationalism always leads to defeat”, Macron urged his fellow world leaders not to “accept our history unraveling”, adding: “Our children are watching.”
It may seem idealistic, but the threats of climate change, nuclear war, and technological disruption–to name but three big examples–can’t be tackled without international cooperation. It is no coincidence that the creation of the U.N.–and the subsequent development of international legal and diplomatic norms–has coincided with an historically significant decline in war.