By Radwan Jakeem
While U.S. President Donald Trump has availed of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations to continue China-bashing, for example, holding “China accountable for their actions” such as for unleashing “this plague” (COVID-1), and emitting “more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world”, Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred to focus on the role of the world body in maintaining international peace and security.
Trump believes that China is dumping “millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans,” overfishing other countries’ waters, destroying “vast swaths of cor.al reef”.
Putin, on the other hand, told the virtual high-level debate that the current state of global affairs is having an effect on “the principal organ of the United Nations, the Security Council”. Russia wants the Council to be more inclusive of the interests of all countries, as well as the diversity of their positions, and it must base its work on the principle of the broadest possible consensus.
But at the same time, it must continue to be the cornerstone of global governance and this, he argued, can only be achieved if the five permanent members (including the U.S., China, Britain and France), retain their veto power. For Mr. Putin, the law of the five nuclear powers, the winners of World War II, “remains indicative of the current military and political balance to this day.”
The Council, he stated, “helps to prevent unilateral actions that could lead to a direct military confrontation” between the main states, and provides an opportunity to seek a compromise or at least avoid solutions that would be totally unacceptable to others and” act within the framework of international law, rather than in a grey area of arbitrariness and illegitimacy.
Forgetting the lessons of history was “extremely irresponsible,” he said, akin to attempts to arbitrarily interpret the reasons, course and results of World War II, to alter the decisions of the Allied conferences and the Nuremberg Tribunal.
“This is a direct, destructive blow to the very foundations of the post-war world order, which is especially dangerous in conditions when global stability is undergoing serious tests […], the threats posed by terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking are exacerbated.”
He called on the international community to strengthen cooperation on a range of pressing issues and praised the UN’s successes, particularly through adherence to the world body’s Charter, in ensuring the post-war peace.
President Putin further called for reflection on the intangible principles of the Charter: the sovereign equality of States, non-interference in their internal affairs, the right of peoples to determine their own future, the non-use of force or the threat of strength and peaceful settlement of disputes.
Taking stock of the past 75 years, Mr. Putin said that, despite all the difficulties and geopolitical changes that have occurred, the UN has “competently fulfilled its mission” to protect peace and promote sustainable development.
He saw in “this enormous potential and this expertise of the United Nations” a solid basis for moving forward. At the same time, he said that the Organization should “not stiffen” but evolve in accordance with the dynamics of the 21st century and adapt to the reality of a modern world that is increasingly complicated, multipolar and multidimensional.