Unilateral force vs. global democracy

An excerpt of a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin:

The universal, indivisible character of security can be expressed as the basic principle that "security for one is security for all". As Franklin D Roosevelt said at the onset of the second world war: "When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries is in danger."

These words remain relevant today. Only two decades ago the world was ideologically and economically divided and it was the huge strategic potential of two superpowers that ensured global security.

What then is a unipolar world? …It describes a scenario in which there is one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And this is pernicious, not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. And this, certainly, has nothing in common with democracy.

Today we are witnessing an almost unrestrained hyper-use of force - military force - in international relations, a force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. … We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. One country, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations.

Another important theme that directly affects global security is the struggle against poverty. On the one hand, financial resources are allocated for programmes to help the world's poorest countries - sometimes substantial financial resources (which tend to be linked with the development of that same donor country's companies). And on the other hand, developed countries simultaneously retain their agricultural subsidies while limiting some countries' access to hi-tech products.

And let's say things as they are - one hand distributes charitable help and the other hand not only preserves economic backwardness, but also reaps the profits thereof. The increasing social tension in depressed regions inevitably results in the growth of radicalism, extremism, feeds terrorism and local conflicts. And if all this happens in, say, a region such as the Middle East, where there is increasingly the sense that the world at large is unfair, then there is the risk of global destabilization.·

[Edited extract from a speech delivered by the Russian president at the 43rd Munich conference on security policy.]

No comments: