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This is an important press conference as Mr Guterres completely supported the concepts of International Law (instead of some rules based international order) and Multilateralism with the UN as the international body upholding the principles of the UN Charter.  This  has been the consistent message of Russia and China.

Following is a short summary of the recent speeches by Mr. Lavrov and Mr. H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of The People’s Republic of China at the UN Security Council High-Level Meeting titled “Maintenance of international peace and security: Upholding multilateralism and the United Nations-centred international system,” held via videoconference, Moscow, May 7, 2021.

When first writing this summary, I ended with ” …. the gauntlet has been thrown down professionally and formally and the challenge is out in the open.”  Mr Guterres confirmed this and dare I say, made his choice in no uncertain terms.

Mr. Lavrov spoke about multilateralism and universally recognized norms of international law with the United Nations as a key platform for coordinating efforts as it is the backbone of the modern global order, where all independent states are represented.

Mr Wang Yi spoke about, you guessed it .. “The United Nations is the banner of multilateralism. To pursue multilateralism, we must follow the basic norms governing international relations built around the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the authority and stature of the UN, and ensure its central role in international affairs. That is what it means to practice multilateralism, an intrinsic nature that is absolutely incompatible with unilateralism.” and “The key is to promote law-based international relations, observe universally recognized international laws and norms, and honor international agreements adopted by all parties. International rules must be based on international law, and must be written by all. They are not a patent or a privilege of a few. They must be applicable to all countries, and there should be no room for exceptionalism or double standards.”

In comparison, these two speeches set out the resistance (Zone B) to a ‘rules-based international order’, (Zone A) which is simply another attempt at single polar hegemony and also called ‘a new concert’ of international relations and I would argue, not very far off from the much-maligned green new deals and (not so great) resets.

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