Coronavirus must provoke global governance reform – Turkish foreign minister

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that the coronavirus pandemic must provoke reform of the international system of governance which is “not working.”

In an article published in the Washington Times, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey’s experience of trying to address the Syrian conflict and humanitarian issues faced by the refugees from the war had led Ankara to believe that the international system was not working. 

“The global system was in tatters even before humanity was struck by the coronavirus,” the minister said. 

Turkey has long been calling for reform of the UN Security Council, which is dominated by its five permanent members, but that other changes were also necessary to repair global governance and tackle the threat from the coronavirus outbreak, he said without calling for any other specific reforms, and went on to praise the international G20 forum in the article published on Thursday.

“G20 is proving again to be the right format in global crisis management,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that a global response to the crisis was required as countries acting alone would not suffice.

“Protection of fragile communities, irregular migrants and refugees, and support to host countries are even more important now. Global supply networks and cargo transfers must run unhindered,” he said.

Çavuşoğlu also said that sanctions as a foreign policy tool – including on Iran – should be reconsidered as they hurt ordinary people, as well as countries neighbouring states under sanctions. The international community should not to leave developing countries behind during the coronavirus, the minister said, and called for an end to all conflict. 

“This generation of leaders are in fact defining the future of the world order by the decisions they take today with regard to the pandemic. The seeds we sow today will soon confront us as full blown realities,” he said.