Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the informal meeting of UN General Assembly on “Revitalization of the United Nations in favor of a strengthened multilateral rules-based system”
May I express our gratitude to you personally for organizing this meeting. We welcome all the presidents of previous UN GA meetings who are present here today, we appreciate their contributions to the discussion.
Russia has always stood for serious discussion of prospects to strengthen the role of UN – the most important mechanism to regulate present day international relations. We also agree that our Organization should adapt to today’s challenges, we genuinely and actively support reform processes.
We believe that polycentric multilateral system of international relations is the objective reality. In the aftermath of the Second World War when the United Nations Organization was grounded, the key principles and elements of polycentric world order were defined, and the major norms and principles of international relations were articulated: from sovereign equality and prohibition to interfere in the internal affairs of states to the prohibition of the use of force in international relations which is unauthorized by Security Council or goes beyond self-defense. Compliance with these principles is the cornerstone of global stability.
As for our today’s discussion of optimists and pessimists, we believe there should always be both of them. After all, optimists were the ones to invent airplane, pessimists – to invent parachute. However we have concerns about the reference to some “rules-based system” that has been proposed for today’s discussion. The use of such language might be confusing when it comes to the goals of our joint work.
Russia, being an optimist, has repeatedly expressed concerns that an analogous term – “rules-based order” – is used by some of our Western colleagues to substitute for the rule of international law in global affairs.
The problem is that those “rules” are invented depending on political feasibility and represent a vivid example of double standards. Those “rules” get to be a formal pretext to revise the existing international legal base. Those “rules” are created by small groups of countries, by “special interest clubs” so to speak, and no multilateralism can be possibly built on such a basis. Such groups already feel free to circumvent the UN and its Security Council and to take selective approach to the implementation of their international legal obligations.
We are convinced that “rules-based order” has nothing to do with supporting multilateralism and that revitalization of the UN in favor of multilateralism cannot base on this order. We should focus only on international law. This is a principal issue: much of what is done now in favor of under the guise of rules-based order comes in direct contradiction to the international law.
We hope these considerations will be taken into account during the work on revitalization of the UN.