Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC debate "Maintenance of international peace and security: New orientation for reformed multilateralism"
We would like to thank India for the choice of topic for this debate.
The world is living through a complicated stage of history. While crisis phenomena expand, the international security keeps deteriorating. A group of Western states holds a course for preserving their monopoly and privilege, which is why trust in international institutions as bodies for consolidation of interests is declining, as well as trust in the international law embodied in the UN Charter, and UN-centric model as such. This did not start in February 2022.
The future world order is being decided today. It is going to be either a world order with a single hegemon and the rules that only this hegemon finds beneficial, or this is going to be a democratic, equitable, multipolar, and UN-centric world free of blackmail, dominance, neocolonialism, and intimidation of the unwanted.
Apparently, main beneficiaries of this system which is receding into the past do not welcome this. While trying to revive the unipolar model under the slogans of the "rules-based order”, the West draws the dividing lines and seeks to expand its influence onto more regions of the globe.
The Ukrainian crisis, which the collective West tries to reduce to our special military operation that started on 24 February is only one of the elements of a more global and complex crisis that the world had been approaching for a long time. This is a systemic crisis, the prerequisites for which had taken 2-3 decades to form. Having absolutized NATO’s right to expansion at the cost of the principle of indivisible security, Western states put the European continent on the verge of a confrontation that may set the whole world “ablaze”. What’s more, NATO has global ambition. The West had not been willing to embark on a meaningful dialogue before the crisis started, and so it remains today.
The West is not being too scrupulous when choosing its methods and means to achieve the set goals. Their stakes are on the exhaustion and strategic defeat of Russia. Whoever thinks this has been the case only since February 2022 is wrong. Read the report by Rand Corporation entitled “Extending Russia Competing from Advantageous Ground”. Though released in 2019, it gives a full account of the tools that the West uses against Russia today. And not only Russia, for that matter. Pressure and unilateral sanctions that serve as an instrument for coercion of the unwanted and the dissenting have become the signature style (and basically the only method) of Western policy in the recent years. We are not only having a crisis of global security, but also of international commercial, economic, and financial relations. Just look at what is happening to the World Trade Organization. And financial institutions reform is something that pretty much everyone talks about today.
We have long been saying that dissemination of the confrontational “rules-based order” (which was mentioned repeatedly in this meeting as well) is an integral part of the foreign political strategy of the collective West. In practical terms, promotion of this concept is some sort of a framework for opposing the key trends of global development – democratization of international relations and evolvement of a multilateral world order. While seeking to recover their position of dominance and single-handed management of global processes, the United States and its satellites put stakes on creating a broad coalition against both existing and emerging centers of influence.
By its very essence, the “rules-based order” provides a distorted picture of the world, which narrows down complicated international processes to a primitive opposition of democracies and authoritarian regimes. The West takes pains to involve as many states as possible in this “crusade on autocracies”.
“Rules-based order” is not tantamount to the international law. Under this order, action is taken in circumvention of universal structures and conventional mechanisms to create exclusive opportunistic partnerships, alliances of multilateralists, summits for democracy and what not – all under Western control. This is done, among other things, to move the discussion of key problems on the global agenda to such formats where no unwanted states are represented. In such closed formats, they first “rehearse” those notorious “rules”, and then try to pass them off as something universal. All these negative trends are clearly manifested here at the United Nations in a concentrated form.
Much is being said today about the Security Council’s reform and its alleged ineffectiveness. This idea was first articulated in the early days of the United Nations, and has remained in the air since then.
By all means, both the Security Council and the UN in general need to be adapted to the present-day reality. Otherwise there can hardly be any true representation, multilateralism, and equality in relations among member states. Security Council can be democratized only – and I emphasize it – through increasing the representation of African, Asian, and Latin American states.
Now the United Nations needs protection of responsible member states more than it ever has. We need to free the Organization from everything confrontational and recover its reputation as a platform for frank discussions and search for mutually acceptable and respectful solutions, have everyone unambiguously recommit to the goals and principles of the UN Charter.
With this objective in mind, a Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations was created in July 2021. Russia was a co-founder of this Group, which now brings together about twenty member states. Its goal is to ensure that universal norms of the international law be fully observed as opposed to the detrimental unilateral approaches. We call on everyone who shares this approach to join the GoF.
There is no alternative to the task of building a truly multilateral world order. However this is very hard to achieve when states and nations are disconnected from one another, when there is a crisis of trust, and when confrontation potential in global affairs is growing. Humanity must learn from its mistakes. It is unacceptable that history’s “indolent pupils” that Indira Ghandi talked about, may arrogantly try to impose on everyone the solutions that are suitable only for themselves.
We must realize our shared responsibility for creating conditions for a safe and harmonious development of the generations to come. We need to have a clear understanding that evolvement of a truly inclusive multilateralism, as well as becoming of a polycentric world order and shifts in the United Nations are the inter-connected processes. We must only reject our phobias, stereotypes, geopolitical games; hear and respect each other’s interests and “red lines” when the “bells are ringing”, and not when the situation has escalated into conflict. Russia has been and remains ready for it. We expect others to follow suit.