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What is a multilateral system?

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Answered 2006-08-13 17:51:43

Multilateralism is an international relations term that refers to multiple countries working in concert. Most international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, are multilateral in nature. The main proponents of multilateralism have traditionally been the middle powers such as Canada and the Nordic countries. Larger states often act unilaterally, while the smaller ones may have little direct power at all in international affairs aside from participation in the United Nations (by consolidating their U.N. vote in a voting bloc with other nations, for example). The converse of multilateralism is unilateralism in terms of political philosophy.

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