The UN is a reflection of modern international relations and the main crises. The situation will not normalise until the new balance of power in the world becomes clear to everyone. The lack of a solid understanding of what such a balance should look like disorients both the apparatus of this organisation and many countries that are members of the UN General Assembly, Valdai Club Programme Director Andrey Sushentsov writes.
The world has entered a period of qualitative changes that will irreversibly reshape the structure of the international system and lead to a fairer balance in international affairs. Over the past 100 years, humanity has learned several important lessons from conflicts and crises. One of them is a general understanding of the value of life on the planet and the notion that humanity wields forces of destruction that are catastrophic in scale. Their careless use can lead to the end of all life. This common interest continues to unite leading countries in their desire to avoid global nuclear war and maintain the general contours of stability in international relations. However, this does not exclude regional and local military crises and conflicts.
The UN and its Security Council still serve the primary purpose for which they were created: to prevent a major nuclear war between the great powers. In this regard, we can say that the UN is still relevant.
This suggests, that the true multilateralism and inclusiveness of this organisation are gradually being eroded away by the West. The UN reflects the civilisational diversity of modern international relations less and less. Due to its significant Western-centricity, it risks becoming an organisation that will be ineffective when compared with what it was just a few decades ago.
At the same time, the UN is a reflection of modern international relations and the main crises. The situation will not normalise until the new balance of power in the world becomes clear to everyone. The lack of a solid understanding of what such a balance should look like disorients both the apparatus of this organisation and many countries that are members of the UN General Assembly. Once the new equilibrium is determined, the key states participating in this system will determine whether there is a need to reorganise the UN, reform it, or create some other organisation that will replace the UN to intelligently regulate relations between countries.
The United States is trying to present the Ukrainian crisis as a global upheaval that will determine the character of the entire 21st century, and is offering countries a Manichaean choice between black and white. Most countries act opportunistically; they look at the opportunities that the crisis opens up for them, and try to sell their support at a higher price. At the same time, they realise that the steps that the United States is taking to punish Russia and China can very easily be applied to themselves – and they make a rational decision to join BRICS.
Unfortunately, this practice and experience is fading as a useful tool in the strategic thinking of many Western states. We hear statements that it is possible, for example, to transfer nuclear weapons to Ukraine. This makes us think about the rationality and competency of Western politicians who directly say that worse is better, without realising that this step could have huge catastrophic consequences for the whole world.
Russia, earlier than other countries, was faced with the need to determine optimal rules for interaction with the West, which would differ from what the West itself offers to all states throughout the world. These principles have been formed by Russian experts for several decades and now they are of interest in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is possible that over time, a broad international consensus will emerge that these ideas are the most reasonable foundation for interaction between states in the 21st century.