The operation to rescue the 12 boys and their coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave was an extraordinary event which drew global attention.
The details of this multi-nation mission are both highly impressive and instructive.
We are told that 4,559 persons from 271 agencies and organisations were involved in the search and rescue operation. They included more than 100 volunteers.
What is really remarkable is that, in addition to Thai personnel, experts and volunteers from 27 countries took part in this unprecedented rescue. The full list is remarkable: The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, Philippines, New Zealand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Chile and Russia.
That all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council sent rescuers is a promising sign for the future of multilateral cooperation during our irreversible era of globalisation. It illustrates the validity of the principle that states have the duty to cooperate with one another, irrespective of the differences in their political, economic and social systems, in the various spheres of international relations. The will to fulfil that duty is crucial. The results of multilateral cooperation might seem, in this case, to be magical. Magic is often described as the art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.
During the current temporary crisis of multilateralism, it is appropriate to recall the words of Goethe: “Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
Authentic wisdom is timeless.