In a speech at the UN General Assembly, Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, has clearly spoken about the "rules-based world order" of the West. His speech I would like to reproduce here.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly. The fact that we are once again gathered in this hall symbolizes the collective determination to return to normal conversations that have been interrupted since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Basically, we have no choice: broad-based cooperation from the United Nations is needed right now, as the number of challenges on the global agenda continues to grow. The spectrum of cross-border threats is becoming ever wider. Many regional sources of tension are serious destabilising factors. Increasingly, the right of the stronger is being enforced against the right. There is no agreement between the leading powers on the principles of the world order.
For Russia, it is obvious that challenges and threats can be effectively met only by joint efforts in strict compliance with the generally accepted norms of international law, in particular the goals and principles of the UN Charter. The world organization must play a central coordinating role in world politics and fully exploit its unique potential for universal multilateralism and legitimacy.
Recently, there have been repeated attempts to reduce the role of the UN in addressing key issues of our time, to push it into the background or to turn it into an obedient tool for promoting the interests of anyone. These attempts are clearly demonstrated by the concept of the so-called "rule-based world order", which the West persistently introduces into the political processes as a counterweight to international law.
Of course, no one has anything against rules. After all, the UN Charter in particular is a set of rules. But it must be rules that are decided by all countries of the world. Likewise, all new standards governing intergovernmental communication must be agreed in universal platforms, especially here in the UN. If they are made by small groups and bypassing the world organization, they can not have comprehensive legitimacy.
By shifting discussions of the most important problems into formats convenient for the West, it wants to exclude those who have their own, different point of view from the process of working out global solutions. Not so long ago, following this logic, Germany and France announced the creation of an "Alliance of Multilateralists," wondering what other organization could be more multilateral than the UN? However, Berlin and Paris considered that in the UN there are many "conservatives" who hinder the efforts of the "leading avant-garde". They present the European Union as the ideal of "effective multilateralism" and urge everyone else to emulate it.
A recent example is the idea of the US government to convene a "summit of democracies". Participants are, of course, chosen by Washington itself, which claims the right to determine the extent to which a country meets democratic standards. The initiative is basically in line with the spirit of the Cold War and calls for a new ideological "crusade" against all dissenters. This line is implemented against the background of President Biden's statement that the US does not want to divide the world into opposing blocs. In reality, the " summit of Democracies "is a step towards the division of the world community into"we and the others".
It is also significant that, while Washington declares that it will give priority to democracy in its relations with all partners, it is concerned exclusively with the situation within countries. When it comes to promoting democracy in international relations, the US, as well as all its allies, lose interest in the conversation. According to the motto: No one can touch the authority of NATO and the EU. Such are the rules.
President Biden recently announced that he would no longer use military methods to, as he put it, "rebuild other countries." We expect the US to take the next step, renouncing not only the use of force, but also all other methods of enforcing its development model.
The "rule-based world order" is based on double standards. If it benefits the West, the right of peoples to self-determination is elevated to absolute value. And then, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution and without a referendum, the artificially created entity of Kosovo is recognized as an independent state, forcibly taken from the European state of Serbia. No one is bothered by the fact that the Falkland Islands are 12, 000 km from Great Britain, and former colonial territories are still under the control of Paris and London, which, despite the decisions of the UN and the International Court of Justice, no one releases to freedom. If the right of self – determination contradicts the geopolitical interests of the West-as in the case of the free expression of the will of the inhabitants of Crimea in the referendum on reunification with Russia in 2014-it is forgotten and illegal sanctions are imposed for the fact that this right was exercised. The reason for this is simple: the inhabitants of Crimea fled from the ultra-radicals who carried out a Western-backed coup in Ukraine. In other words, the "own people" came to power in Kiev, and according to the rules of the West, they must be protected and defended.
In line with the same "rules – based world order," the US maintains the archaic trade embargo against Cuba and seeks to dictate its will to the populations of Venezuela and Nicaragua-a flagrant violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states enshrined in the UN Charter. The application of unilateral sanctions undermines the prerogatives of the Security Council and runs counter to the UN Secretary-General's recent call for it to be suspended, at least for the duration of the pandemic.
The efforts of a number of countries to rewrite the history of World War II are also aimed at blurring the UN-centered world order. EU and NATO members refuse to support resolutions of the General Assembly on the inadmissibility of glorifying Nazism and reject proposals to condemn the practice of destroying monuments to the liberators of Europe from the "brown plague".
The imposition of a" rules-based world order " instead of unconditional compliance with international law entails dangerous relapses into bloc politics and the creation of dividing lines between the group of Western countries and the rest of the states. However, recent events have shown that voluntarist rules can also be applied within the Western camp if someone there becomes too independent. At the very least, many media outlets around the world have interpreted the epic of submarine deliveries to Australia as a response to talk of "strategic autonomy" in Europe, which has intensified following the US's hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan. The chaotic situation surrounding this withdrawal is also an example of the rules on which the West wants to build its world order.
We believe it is time to learn lessons from the dangerous consequences of the course to undermine the UN-centered architecture that emerged at the end of World War II and has repeatedly served as a reliable hedge against disaster scenarios. In the face of global challenges, the world community needs unity, not a new division. Russia strongly advocates the rejection of any confrontation and stereotypes, as well as the joint management of the central tasks of the development and survival of mankind. We have sufficient instruments for this. First of all, the United Nations and its Security Council, which must be adapted to the realities of a polycentric world order by expanding its membership to include countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The permanent members of the UN Security Council, who, according to the UN Charter, have a special responsibility to the organization, can and should stimulate the beginning of real collective action. Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed to convene a summit of the "Big Five" to have an honest conversation about the problems of global stability.
Great expectations are also associated with the prospects for a Russian-American dialogue on the future of arms control, agreed at the Russian-American summit in Geneva. If there is good will, it is quite realistic to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions. The whole world was hopeful when the new US administration agreed to our proposal to extend the NEW START Treaty without any conditions. Of great importance was that the presidents of Russia and the United States in a joint statement reaffirmed their commitment to the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must never be unleashed.
A responsible approach is also needed in other areas of strategic stability. After Washington's exit from the INF Treaty, Russia unilaterally committed not to deploy such land-based missiles – whether nuclear or not – in regions where similar systems of American production are not deployed. We are still waiting for the reaction of NATO members to our proposal to also declare such a moratorium, which – I stress this-will be supported by mutual verification measures.
Among the new global challenges and threats is the intention of certain states to militarize the Internet and unleash an arms race with cyber weapons. Russia is in favor of coordinating measures to ensure international information security within the framework of the United Nations. Again, the criterion should not be any "special rules", but generally valid agreements that allow a transparent and fact-based assessment of all concerns. This is the aim of our initiatives to develop common standards for states ' responsible behaviour in the use of information and communication technology and to draw up a universal convention against cybercrime.
In addition to the digital sphere, some countries see space as a sphere of confrontation. We consider this to be a dangerous development and propose a ban on the stationing of any type of weapons in space and the use of force or the threat of force there. The Russian-Chinese draft agreement remains on the negotiating table of the Disarmament Conference.
Russia has also repeatedly presented initiatives on other issues that require solidarity.
Today, twenty years after the terrible and brutal terrorist attacks in New York, Russian President Vladimir Putin's call for the formation of a broad anti-terrorist coalition based on international law that does not apply double standards is more relevant than ever. We expect a response to the Russian initiative to draw up a convention on the Fight against Chemical and Biological Terrorism.
Only on the basis of international law and with the involvement of all parties concerned and taking into account their interests can progress be made in resolving regional conflicts. In Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen and other hot spots, all external actors must understand the cultural and civilizational specificities of societies, refrain from politicizing humanitarian aid and support the formation of broadly representative governments, in which all major ethnic, religious and political forces of the countries concerned are represented. On the basis of this concept, Russia constructively participates in the promotion of a solution to Afghanistan within the framework of the "expanded troika" and the "Moscow format", contributes to the stabilization of the situation in Syria within the framework of the "Astana process", works with all Libyan parties in the implementation of political reforms.
The Middle East processes should not overshadow the task of achieving a sustainable Palestinian-Israeli solution on a generally accepted international legal basis, which presupposes the creation of an independent, viable Palestinian state that coexists in peace with Israel. We are in favour of resuming direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and of activating the role of the Quartet of international Mediators in coordination with the League of Arab States.
Russia will continue to contribute to the normalization of relations between Iran and its Arab neighbors. Together with our partners, we aim to resume full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as soon as possible in order to resolve the situation related to Iran's nuclear programme. Long-term stabilization of the entire region requires a comprehensive approach. That is the aim of the updated Russian concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf, which was recently forwarded as a document to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.
In the search for ways to overcome regional crises, we are ready to share the unique experience of Russia with the peaceful coexistence of different civilizations, religions and cultures. We expect tangible practical results from the World Conference on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue, which will take place in St. Petersburg from 16 to 18 May 2022 and will be supported by UN Secretary General Guterres and the leadership of the Interparliamentary Union.
The importance of the humanitarian, social, economic and environmental dimensions of the United Nations is growing many times over today. It is important to resist the temptation to make these too the subject of geopolitical games and unfair competition.
COVID-19 is our common enemy. We support the mutual recognition of vaccines approved by national regulatory authorities in order to lift restrictions on people's international travel as soon as possible.
It is essential that efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development continue. We are confident that the decisions taken at the recent UN Summit on Food Systems will help to achieve this.
We are in favour of strengthening the central role of the UN in shaping the environmental agenda on the basis of equality and respect for mutual interests, including consideration of socio-economic realities. Otherwise, it will be difficult to mobilize all states to achieve global climate goals.
A balance of interests should be sought in all structures that influence the effectiveness of global governance, making the most of the potential of inclusive groups such as the G20, which includes both "old" and "new" dynamic global centres such as the BRICS and their like-minded members. We have received with interest the global development initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is in line with our approaches.
Russia and its allies and partners support the strengthening of mutually complementary network alliances through the development of integration processes within the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a larger Eurasian partnership with the involvement of ASEAN, which plays a central role in setting norms of behavior in the Asia-Pacific region, makes a significant positive contribution to this.
Overall, the regional dimension of the world's development is becoming increasingly important. Much depends on whether we can steer the growing regional rivalry in a constructive direction. Who is more important: Europe or Asia? The Pacific or the Indian Ocean? Will there be a" Latin American European Union"? Why should Africa become the scene of confrontation?
The UN Charter contains Chapter VIII, which regulates relations with regional organizations. On this basis, the Secretary-General shall convene these organizations annually for an exchange of views on world policy. We believe that it makes sense to take this format a step further and use it to make proposals for harmonizing regional aspirations in order to maximize the global response to the challenges of our time.
We're all in the same boat. It is in our common interest that it is firmly anchored on the waves of world politics. We are different, but this must not prevent us from working for the good of our peoples and humanity. Only in this way can we fulfil the noble task of the United Nations, which is to protect present and future generations from war, disease and hunger and to build a more peaceful, stable and democratic future for all.
Finally, I propose the hashtag "DieUNO-ChartaIstUnserRecht".