The U.S. supports “meaningful and effective multilateralism” to bring about widespread security, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has said.

But what is that? How does it work?

Multilateralism is an organized relationship among three or more countries. It becomes meaningful when those countries come together to support freedom and individual rights. Effective means their interaction produces tangible outcomes.

Too often, multilateralism has resulted in “talkfests,” Pompeo says. Going forward, the U.S. will focus on “outcomes, not gestures.”

He reinforced this at United Against Nuclear Iran’s 2019 Iran Summit. There, he pointed to recent discussions with Middle Eastern countries that focused on tangible actions the countries will take against Iran. The secretary called this “multilateralism based in reality and facts, and with clarity of purpose.”

Recent examples of meaningful and effective multilateralism in the Middle East include:

  • The Warsaw Process, in which more than 80 countries are addressing regional peace and security.
  • Continued U.S. work with 80 coalition partners to defeat ISIS and help affected countries recover from the terrorist group’s presence.
  • The Peace to Prosperity plan to empower the Palestinian people to build a prosperous and vibrant society.

“What the world needs is new and creative solutions,” Pompeo told the press following the U.N. Security Council meeting. “We support meaningful multilateralism that gets results and reflects our values.”