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21 Apr, 2023

Unipolar or Multipolar World: Russia to hold U.N. debate on ways to dethrone U.S.

United Nations — On 24 April 2023, a landmark debate is to be held at the UN HQ in New York on ways to dethrone the United States and its allies as the global unipolar power and replace it with a multipolar, “equitable and democratic international order.” The debate, called by the Russian Federation in its capacity as President of the UN Security Council for April 2023, is designed to accelerate what Moscow calls “another deep-reaching systemic transformation” in global geopolitics.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, and all UN member states, the Russian Federation said, “It is important to acknowledge that the period of unipolarity and dominance is over.” Without mentioning any names, the letter blamed the use of unilateral sanctions, “selective application of international law and unabashed double standards,” creation of blocs, imposing a “might is right” principle, closed-door decision-making by like-minded countries, and several other geopolitical tactics by the unipolar bloc for a breakdown of trust and a series of downstream conflicts and wars.

Intended to counter the overwhelming diplomatic, economic and communications campaign against Russia and China, the current “bad boys”, the debate will give countries which are frustrated with U.S. dominance a chance to start pushing back. As this transition period in global geopolitics pits the superpowers against each other, continued instability is a certainty over the rest of this decade. That will impact Travel & Tourism in many areas.

The full text of the letter is available by clicking on the image below. This report is designed to simplify its content and make it more understandable.The letter notes that the UN was established in 1946 after the victory over Nazism in World War II to maintain and strengthen international peace based on freedom, sovereign equality, equal rights and self-determination, justice and security and develop friendly relations and cooperation between nations. These principles were enshrined in the UN Charter.

It adds, “After the end of the Cold War (in 1991), when aspirations for peace were unprecedentedly high, the world faced instead the establishment of unipolar world order, which presented a serious challenge to the efficiency and stability of the United Nations system based on the Charter. In a political landscape, a number of checks and balances enshrined therein ceased to work effectively. Today the world is facing another deep-reaching systemic transformation. Namely, natural and rapid decline of unipolar world order and the emergence of a new multipolar system.” These new multipolar centres “are capable of choosing their own path of development” and seek “the freedom to determine their own future and develop harmoniously as they see fit, based on their interests.”

The letter identifies several ways being used to maintain the unipolar world order:

(+) Imposing the “might is right” principle and trying to replace universal norms of international law with a “rules-based order”;

(+) Selective application of international law and unabashed double standards;

(+) Disrespect for or even full defiance of resolutions of the Security Council on different country-specific dossiers;

(+) Hyping up issues up exclusively for political purposes aimed at diverting global attention and resources from more acute crises and critical problems and challenges, including humanitarian ones;

(+) Treating the norms of international law, including the UN Charter, as a “menu” – to pick and choose from;

(+) Pushing decisions proposed under the guise of the concept of “multilateralism” and made in small circles of like-minded States with the intention of carrying the rest along or imposing one’s will through pressure or coercion;

(+) Creating new blocs of States, including the military ones, to label and separate States;

(+) Attempts to change the intergovernmental nature of the UN and other international organizations, artificially bolstering non-governmental actors that often have non-transparent agendas;

(+) Abuse of the international human rights system to achieve clearly political purposes;

(+) Attempts to instrumentalize international judicial bodies for interests that have nothing to do with peaceful settlement of disputes.

All of this, says the letter, “leads to the disruption in functioning of the UN system and UN organs and unprecedented increase in the number of non-consensual decisions and divisive votes.” This, in turn, leads to a steep deterioration in global security which in turn impacts on the multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, and instigates an arms race and open conflict.

Says the letter, “In the past 30 years, we have witnessed a number of crises and invasions – in the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. This undermines norms and principles of international law, as well as important arrangements like the Helsinki accords, leading to erosion of regional and global security.”

The alternative, according to the letter is this: “Establishing a truly effective multilateral system based on generally recognized norms and principles of international law and free from vestiges of colonialism is essential for maintaining the global balance of power and ensuring the conditions for humanity’s steady advance based on a unifying and constructive agenda. This requires all States to reject all neocolonial manifestations, including unilateral sanctions, and to recommit to the goals and principles of the Charter as part of the process to build a multipolar world order, ensure cultural and civilizational diversity, and democratize international relations.”

The letter asks member states to focus on three questions:

1. How can the United Nations contribute to smooth transition to fair and equitable global world order?

2. The Charter and international law provide guidance for Member States amid the transformation period. What could be done to re-establish the culture of dialogue and consensus in the Organization, including its Security Council? What is the best way of demonstrating that the situation with a selective approach to the norms and principles of international law, including the Charter, is unacceptable and cannot continue?

3. How can such initiatives as Our Common Agenda and the New Agenda for Peace contribute to the seamless transformation and lay the ground for more effective multilateralism?