The decision by sixteen nations, including Palestine, to create the group, comes as U.S. President Joe Biden’s new administration pivots towards multilateral engagement and alliance— reversing former President Donald Trump’s unilateral approach, which focused on an “America First” policy.
Whereas China has achieved a greater global influence in a challenge to traditional U.S. hegemony, Biden has also pledged to take on the Asian giant at the United Nations.
China Rejects US Sanctions Against Cuba and Other Countries
An initial note for the “Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations,” seen by Reuters, asserts that multilateralism “is currently under an unprecedented attack, which, in turn, threatens global peace and security.”
Other founding members of the group are Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Eritrea, Laos, Nicaragua, North Korea, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines, Syria, and Venezuela.
The concept note continued by stating that “the world is seeing a growing resort to unilateralism, marked by isolationist and arbitrary actions, including the imposition of unilateral coercive measures or the withdrawal from landmark agreements and multilateral institutions, as well as by attempts to undermine critical efforts to tackle common and global challenges.”
During the Trump administration, the United States carried out plans to quit the World Health Organization, pulled out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, the Paris climate accords, and the Iran nuclear deal.
However, Biden, who took office on January 20, rescinded the WHO's withdrawal, returned the United States to the climate agreement, re-engaged with the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, and may re-enter the Iran nuclear deal.