UN Essentials or Reinventing the Wheel: Rising Powers and the Decline of Trilateralism in Middle East Peace-Making

Amid a protracted array of efforts to secure a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian question and the related wider Arab-Israeli conflict, the search for justice still forms a core element of the challenges facing the international community. While the traditional negotiating template centred on United Nations resolutions and international law has been somewhat sidelined since 1967 in favour of peace talks framed by a trilateralist model 'bilateral Arab-Israeli talks, unilaterally overseen by the US,' a series of failed initiatives (notably, the Oslo Accords, and the Quartet's Road Map) to resolve comprehensively one of the longest running and destabilising issues in global affairs, has not only witnessed a growing impatience towards trilateralism among many leading states, but generated an increasing expression of concern questioning the sustainability of the substantial long-term economic aid and development programmes typically underpinning the US-led approaches to Middle East peace-making. This paper explores whether the moment has perhaps produced a consensus for a reassessment of the trilateralist approach with a view to a return to the multilateralist system introduced in UN Charter at the conclusion of the last global catastrophe in 1945. Or alternatively, whether the diplomatic vacuum left by a general wold-wide fatigue and an escalating funding crises posed by new refugees from low-intensity conflicts can be met by rising powers like China, particularly as the customary sources of financial support from the European Union and regional Arab Gulf donors look to be in abeyance.



Author Information
Ian Nelson, The University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2016
Stream: Politics, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness

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