Remarks at the meeting of the UN Security Council, “Maintenance of international peace and security: Upholding multilateralism and the United Nations-centred international system,” held via videoconference, Moscow, May 7, 2021
First of all, let me thank Mr Wang Yi, State Councillor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, for organising today’s debates. Maintaining multilateralism and the UN-centred international system is as topical as ever and demands the UN Security Council’s constant attention.
Today the world finds itself in a critical stage of development. The coronavirus pandemic has posed a grave challenge to everyone without exception. Normal life has been completely upended. It is difficult to predict the long-term or deferred consequences of the crisis, although we can see some positive trends thanks to the massive deployment of coronavirus vaccines.
The pandemic broke out in a world that was already far from perfect. In recent years, we have seen growing international tensions, as well as escalating regional conflicts and cross-border challenges and threats. The entire architecture of global governance created after the Second World War is being tested.
It is clear that the prospects of the international community’s sustainable and predictable development are directly connected with our ability to find effective solutions to common problems and our readiness to exercise collective leadership in order for true multilateralism to prevail.
Russia, like the majority of countries, is convinced that such work must be carried out solely on the basis of universally recognised norms of international law. The United Nations must serve as the key platform for coordinating efforts: it is the backbone of the modern global order, where all independent states are represented. Today, its unique legitimacy and unique capabilities are especially needed.
The core tenets of international law enshrined in the UN Charter have withstood the test of time. Russia calls on all states to unconditionally follow the purposes and principles of the Charter as they chart their foreign policies, respecting the sovereign equality of states, not interfering in their internal affairs, settling disputes by political and diplomatic means, and renouncing the threat or use of force. This is especially important at the current stage in the difficult process of forming an international multipolar system. At a time when new centres of economic growth, financial and political influence are gaining strength, it is necessary to preserve the internationally recognised legal basis for building a stable balance of interests that meets the new realities.
Unfortunately, not all of our partners are driven by the imperative to work in good faith to promote comprehensive multilateral cooperation. Realising that it is impossible to impose their unilateral or bloc priorities on other states within the framework of the UN, the leading Western countries have tried to reverse the process of forming a polycentric world and slow down the course of history.
Toward this end, the concept of the rules-based order is advanced as a substitute for international law. It should be noted that international law already is a body of rules, but rules agreed at universal platforms and reflecting consensus or broad agreement. The West’s goal is to oppose the collective efforts of all members of the world community with other rules developed in closed, non-inclusive formats, and then imposed on everyone else. We only see harm in such actions that bypass the UN and seek to usurp the only decision-making process that can claim global relevance.
The well-known idea to convene a Summit for Democracy proposed by the US Administration is in the same vein. The establishment of a new club based on interests, with a clearly ideological nature, has the potential to further inflame international tensions and deepen dividing lines in a world that needs a unifying agenda more than ever. Of course, the list of democracies to be invited to the summit will be determined by the United States.
Another initiative with the goal of global leadership that bypasses the UN is the French and German idea to create an Alliance for Multilateralism. What could be more natural then discussing the tasks of strengthening multilateralism at the UN? However, Berlin and Paris think differently and issue joint documents declaring that “the European Union is the cornerstone of the multilateral international system” and promote the conclusions of the Council of the European Union under the title “The central role of the European Union and European institutions in promoting multilateralism.” Presumptuous, you might say. The EU does not think so and declares its own exceptionalism despite all its invocations of equality and brotherhood.
By the way, as soon as we suggest discussing the current state of democracy not just within states but on the international stage with our Western colleagues, they lose interest in the conversation.
New ambitious initiatives to create narrow partnerships are emerging all the time within the Alliance for Multilateralism, on issues that are already being discussed at the UN or its specialised agencies, for example, on cyber security (with 65 member countries), respect for the international humanitarian law (43 member countries), the Information and Democracy Partnership (over 30 countries), etc.
This also reveals the West’s true attitude toward multilateralism and the UN, which they do not regard as a universal format for developing solutions acceptable to everyone, but in the context of their claims to superiority over everyone else, who must accept what is required of them.
Another example of the dictatorial methods introduced by the West is the practice of imposing unilateral sanctions without any international and legal grounds, with the sole purpose of punishing “undesirable regimes” or sidelining competitors. During the pandemic, such restrictions have limited the capacity of a whole range of developing countries to counter the spread of the infection. Despite UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s call to suspend such unilateral sanctions during the pandemic, we mostly see them becoming harsher.
We believe such efforts to impose totalitarianism in global affairs to be unacceptable, yet we see it more and more from our Western colleagues, above all the United States, the European Union and other allies, who reject all principles of democracy and multilateralism on the global stage. As if to say, either it’s our way, or there will be repercussions.
It is striking that Western leaders, while openly undermining international law, do not hesitate to argue that the main task of world politics should be to counter the attempts of Russia and China to “change the rules-based order.” Such statements were made the other day following the G7 ministerial meeting in London. In other words, there has already been a substitution of concepts: the West is no longer concerned with the norms of international law and now requires everyone to follow its rules and observe its order. What’s more, US representatives freely admit that the USA and Great Britain have had the biggest hand in shaping these rules.
I am not saying all of this to ratchet up the confrontational rhetoric or advance an accusatory agenda. I am simply stating facts. But if we all support multilateralism in word, let us honestly search for ways to ensure that there is fairness in deed, without attempts to prove one’s superiority or infringe on another’s rights. I hope that this approach to maintaining multilateralism and the UN-centred system will guide the activities of the UN Secretary-General and his team.
I am convinced that the time has come to do away with medieval and colonial habits and recognise the reality of today’s interconnected and interdependent world. Honest and mutually respectful cooperation based on equal partnership between all states, guided by pragmatism and devoid of any ideology or politicisation, is what is needed now. It is the only way to improve the atmosphere in the world and ensure predictability in the advancement of the human race. That is especially true of such global challenges as the threat of terrorism and the proliferation of WMDs, climate change, new infectious diseases, and protecting human rights, starting with the most important one – the right to life.
I agree with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who stressed recently that no country can overcome such global threats to the lives of our citizens alone, not even the United States.
The permanent members of the UN Security Council are called on to play a key role in fostering open and direct dialogue about the most pressing problems of our time. According to the UN Charter, they bear special responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. President of Russia Vladimir Putin proposed convening a summit with the leaders of the five permanent members. We hope to make this idea a reality once the epidemiological situation in the world stabilises.
In conclusion I would like to emphasise that the UN, as the main multilateral platform, must keep pace with changes on the global stage. The organisation must constantly adapt to ever-changing conditions, while continuing to fully respect the division of labour between the main UN Charter bodies and maintaining the support of all the member states. At every stage of change, our actions must be measured by the improvements made to the United Nations’ real-world effectiveness.
Russia stands ready to continue working constructively with all partners who share these approaches in order to bolster the authority and fully unlock the potential of the UN as the true centre of multilateralism.
Thank you for your attention.
The Rules-based Usury Order.
I remember when West prepared for war with I think it was Iran, Saudi’s Salman travelled to Washington and then London to beg them not to start e new war again as the region was already exhausted. Its obvious where the centres are.
This reads beautifully in English. I must say that the Russian Foreign Ministry has some exceptional people.
It needs to be noted that Lavrov’s facts are in rebuttal to the lies previously told the UNSC by Blinken, that it wasn’t a prearranged speech whatsoever, which is one reason why it’s so outstanding. Currently, of the English language Russian media, only TASS has made note of Lavrov’s facts and chose to put these in its headline: “West imposing totalitarianism, rejecting democracy in global affairs.”
Lavrov’s facts are damning and deserve the widest possible dissemination!!
I didn’t appreciate that with my earlier comment. Thank you. That being so, this is doubly impressive.
Such speeches are of course worked on and written in advance, but they undergo updates – to the last moment, including during delivery., such as when a previous speaker says something that needs to be referenced or rebuffed.
The compliment to the quality of the text therefore remains valid – and deserved: it was written well in advance, and FM Lavrov only added a sentence or a word or two.
RE: Outlaw Historian on May 07, 2021 · at 7:14 pm EST/EDT
“Lavrov’s facts are damning and deserve the widest possible dissemination!!”
RE: Emmanuel Goldstein on May 08, 2021 · at 1:50 am EST/EDT
“” At least he tried, very hard, to knock some sense into them”
RE: MagdaTam on May 08, 2021 · at 3:50 am EST/EDT
“What do you assume was Mr. Lavrov’s purpose and upon what is your assumption based?”
“Whom do you assume are the audience that Mr. Lavrov is addressing and upon what is your assumption based?”
We the people hold these truths to be self-evidentness presenting as resort to belief to bridge doubt facilitates “width” and modes of broadcast, the width of audiences being partly a function of the fashion sense of Ms. Psaki and associates.
Not all assign the significance to some others that some others seek to assign to themselves, although some don’t hold these truths to be applicable/evident to self.
Minor historical factoid: It was Stalin that insisted the UN HQ be in the US, not back in Geneva like the League of Nations, so that the US wouldn’t withdraw from Europe again, as after WW-I, leaving Russia again open to attack from any resurgent Fourth Reich. (You can look it up.) He thought the wartime alliance would continue.
Lots of bad aspects of course: The US has been impeding Russian delegates to the UN for some time, delaying visas, etc. Wouldn’t be surprised if sometime Russians delegates are prevented from entering entirely, in some crisis. The US interprets international law as whatever it wants it to be, whatever it can get away with, and Russia has little leverage against this particular offense.
Few are aware that at the beginning of April Russia, China, Iran, Belarus, and other nations launched the Friends of the UN Charter Group aimed at upholding the #1 source of International Law that governs the relations between nations. As ever more nations become members of the group, the insistent demand by the Neoliberal Outlaw US Empire for its own rules based order will eventually be abandoned as the Neoliberal nations are vastly outnumbered by “normal” nations. In all fairness, the meeting was organized by China and it opened the discussion thusly:
“Wang put forward four propositions for all parties to practice true multilateralism:
“Firstly, all parties should pursue win-win cooperation, not zero-sum game. All countries should conduct dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. No country should expect others to lose, but should strive to win together with other countries to achieve universal security and common prosperity.
“Secondly, all parties should seek fairness and justice, not bullying.
“Wang said the core is to promote the democratization of international relations, so that all countries share the responsibility for governance and jointly promote peaceful development, and the key is to promote the rule of law in international relations, abide by universally recognized international laws and mutually agreed international agreements.
“International rules are not the patents and privileges of a few countries, and should be abided by all countries, without exceptionalism and double standards, he added.
“Thirdly, all parties should focus on action, instead of only talking the talk.
“Multilateralism must focus on problems and solve problems, otherwise it will not stand and go far, Wang said, adding that all countries should incorporate their national interests into global interests.
“He said all countries should consider both the present and the long-term interests, and must not undermine the sustained peace of the world and the sustainable development of the world at the cost of short-term need.
“‘In particular, major countries must set an example and take the lead in providing global public goods,’ Wang said.
“Fourthly, all parties should respect diversity, and refrain from pursuing supremacy.
“Each country has its own unique history and culture, and needs to take a development path that suits its own national conditions, Wang said, adding that dividing the world by ideology runs counter to the spirit of multilateralism and represents a retrogression of history.
“‘All countries are happy to see the United States change its practices in the past few years, truly practice multilateralism, and make its contributions to this end,’ Wang said.”
It’s fairly easy to see that Blinken would object to most of these suggestions despite the face saving gesture provided by Wang Yi in the closing sentence above. For example, Blinken can’t agree that the UN and its Charter is THE only valid institution for determining International Law and then say all nations must conform to a rules based order that’s alien to the UN. IMO, it’s clear the Neoliberal order is being boxed in so as to contain its poison while it slowly disintegrates.
Moving UN Headquarters out and away from the “land of imbeciles” and criminal psychopaths will be a good start. Somewhere back into European space, even back to Switzerland. Or perhaps even Moskva – it’s quite central now in global geopolitics, considering the rise of China and India, not to mention ME countries. Better still – set up something entirely new, based on the great UN Charter, but with complete exclusion of not just Israel, but USA and, of course, the little viper’s nest – England. That would be a great solution to actually have this multilateralism and sovereignty. These three can form their own little club, which they can call the “Banking – W**king Order of Global Death Cult”. An additional and a very good move would be for the “global community” to put at last a full stop to using this petrodollar garbage. After that, this evil entity will control nothing.
Switzerland is where the Davos/WEF crowd headquarters. The Davos/WEF crowd is actually worse than the imbeciles in the U.S. because the Davos/WEF are not imbeciles but have the same goals.
Said it before, an artificial island needs to be built in international waters housing a new United Nations. Should also contain universities and places of science where research can be done away from the influence of ideology and corporations to benefit .a kind as a whole. If the West does not want to be part of it then Russia and China should do this together with other friendly nations. Too much talk on both sides. The world needs real changes
I never head of this idea. It should be gven greater visibility.
UNHQ must be moved out of the USA but not to western Europe or Moscow or Beijing. Any and all of the powers will exert whatever undue influence they can on that organization by location…could impose much pressure and restrictions on travel by officials on unfavored countries for eg.
A suitable developing country can be decided upon to move the UNHQ to. at the same time the UN needs to be reorganized on democratic principles. The VETO thing that the Russians/Americans posses, that can over ride any UN vote is no longer useful and valid in international relations and must be ended immediately: One country-one vote!
I’d suggest NZ. It tries to have friendly relations with everyone. It has a successful integration of Māori, Pākehā and newer immigrants. Whilst it is a Five Eyes country, it has a streak of independence, unlike Australia. And it’s bloody beautiful.
I want to vote no to this idea. New Zealand is one of he wokest, sjw states in the world. They would be a platform for this filth.
Somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere might work, as a northern UN and a southern UN would have some symbolic value in bringing the global south to a place where their voices mattered more. Maybe Africa.I bet Mr. Pepe Escobar may support this.
Perhaps no such moving will be required: the US will soon be forced to accept that it is not the world hegemon, and start learning to behave like a powerful country among other powerful countries.
That will happen as it suffers setback after setback in its attempts to bully the world.
The penalty for further arrogant stubbornness was “prophesied” by Martin Luther King (really a logical forecast based on the trend he could observed then, but couched in Protestant clergyman language):
“Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as his divine messianic force, to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. … it seems I can hear God saying to America, “you are too arrogant, and if you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I will place it in the hands of a nation that doesn’t even know my name.” https://libquotes.com/martin-luther-king-jr/quote/lby8h8v
On second thoughts, the more likely outcome is the takeover by the “nation that doesn’t know God’s name.”
(What MLK had in mind was no doubt the “Godless” Soviet Union….)
What an excellent summary. Lavrov is a legend.
A great speech that says much in few words. Multum in parvo. A fine example of modern Russia’s tendency to build on what is good but reject what is bad. The world was long ago despairing that the United Nations had gone the way of the League of Nations and was doing nothing but “help the strong to oppress the weak”. But Lavrov says, No the founding principles of the UN are THE example of ‘rules based order” in international affairs — and should be implemented.
OMFG, what a pounding. One wonders when the light is going to go on and the Western regimes are going to realize that they’re being administered a quite horrible thrashing.
OTOH, I must confess that I find it quite delicious. Let them be stupid a little longer if we can read such brilliant speeches from the Russian FM. What a profound thinker! There is a real and rich humanism that shines through and speaks to the present from the future that we all long for.
I agree with the view expressed that, even in English translation, there is some cogent and most excellent language here. Sergey Viktorovich’s ideas, furthermore, are so far above his imbecilic Western “partners” that he might as well be on another planet.
His talents are certainly wasted on this one.
I share the admiration for Lavrov,but surprised that no one has pointed out that he is Vladimir Putin’s choice.
Look, mate: Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko gave white judges a terrible pounding/thrashing on more than one occasion in courthouses back in Apartheid South Africa. It didn’t stop them getting sent to prison or smashed over the head by racist white policemen.
Ross Perot gave both the Dems and the Republicans are terrible hammering running as an Independent US Presidential candidate, but he still lost.
‘How can you sell the air?’ speech of a Red Man in Seattle destroyed the credibility of a US President, but the march to expropriate Red People’s land continued unabated.
Arguments may be wonderful in the eyes of those with conscience, but until those without conscience take note of them, they have much less effect.
I don’t know if this was translated or Lavrov spoke directly in English, but the nuance and expression of ideas is beautifully articulated. We hear nothing as literate or cogent from the Western ‘partners’. There is an intellectual underpinning and depth to what he says which presents as plain common sense to contrast with the lunatic posturings of London and Washington, two busted economies who seem to think a war will solve their politcal problems. I think history will reward Sergei Viktorovitch for his efforts if we survive that far. At least he tried, very hard, to knock some sense into them…..
RE: Emmanuel Goldstein on May 08, 2021 · at 1:50 am EST/EDT
” At least he tried, very hard, to knock some sense into them”
Whom do you assume are the audience that Mr. Lavrov is addressing and upon what is your assumption based?
What do you assume was Mr. Lavrov’s purpose and upon what is your assumption based?
Lavrov speaks this way even when not delivering a written text.
This can be verified by browsing the recent set of interviews posted on this site.
He is a true professional of diplomacy. Western countries are currently bereft of anyone approaching this level of professionalism. In fact, many of their FM appear to be either naturally unintelligent, with little idea of what their job consists in, or too arrogant to bother applying themselves.
Ah….was looking forward to this…..thanks. Wonder what any western response will be…silence… rejection…file and forget …acknowledgement…we will think about it..thanks for the offer we appreciate your thoughts and considerations..stop your usual bleating we will carry on as usual even more determinatedly so sod off……etc etc
what Lavrov explains is relevant couched in lots of diplomatic toned rhetoric that finds eloquence in this and other literate and upscale settings. But what about where it really matters..in open clear, precise and routine understandable language and solid, tangible leadership of the world at this point..in the developing world in particularly
open opposition to the west is an essential on this day as we can see what’s happening clearly…opposition at and from the top, by a nation that can do it…Russia perhaps. By our understanding of this stage of social evolution, we are also aware that it is a qualitative state we in..in that we either establish international democracy at least in the relations between nations, or human society degrades into some expression of western oligarchic totalitarianism, rather a technologically based and driven social monstrosity intended to protect the oligarchs in perpetuity.
There is no easy getting out of such a reality if it comes to be, no easy way to correct what such a society will do to humanity on all levels especially the biological. Society must not be allowed to degenerate to that level then therefore capitalism/Oligarchism must be defeated now, before society descends into Brave New World
Lavrov speaks truth of course but this is just a simple dollop of what is needed globally…open, full, comprehensive opposition to the west in the routine life, on all routine levels…that the ordinary people of the world can understand, that enhances their participation in their own local processes to help ensure the emergence and election of true nationalists governments of their own, which governments would take the proper, positive decisions at home and in all international forums.
such open opposition based on proper, accurate analysis of the stage and how we got here, what we really face as a result and what we must do positively to ensure human survival would assist a lot of nations who would like to get out from under the western yoke. such nations could be helped by accurate understanding of western strength and their own power to move now. it would also help to make clear the extent to which Russia would go to assist such nations.
it would so help the American people to see their own reality in full relief and help them too to bring about internal American change that may ultimately be decisive at this stage in which humanity is on the cusp of a brilliant future, or a Brave New World, or complete extinction by our own hands
A little off topic but extremely important:
Putin says Lenin was not a statesmen but a revolutionary? Will Lenin’s mummy be removed from town square?
WOW, JUST WOW!
Putin mentioned this briefly in response to a question, and before he did so, gave some history on Lenin’s role in Russia.
But it is serious good news, and all this on Russian state T>V ?
Also this is worthwhile, for various regulars here :
How long before they blame Russia for the Colonial Pipe Line cyber attack? I think that, that is the script.
Russian plenipotentiary deputy led an Arria meeting at U.N.with peoples such as Anna Tuv from Donbass and Rostislav Ishenko telling their stories from the hands of Ukraine eg at Odessa massacre . Video of the meeting included.
“None of the Westerners even tried to enter into a dialogue and ask for details of what is happening in Ukraine from those who know it better than others. While after all it’s for exactly this that we gather in the ‘Arria Formula’ format. In general, it was a fair of hypocrisy, probably it were the Estonians who surpassed everyone, viciously throwing at us all the dirt that they could imagine. It is clear that the Westerners did not earn points for themselves with this performance, but they have no other way out – since they began to lie and distort, to cover up the Maidan power, then they must continue. And there are no illusions about the fact that they will support any actions and statements of Ukrainians, and will rewrite history for them and will forgive them everything.”
That speech was very very good.
Lavrov is one of a kind.
The gloves are definitely off.
Looks like Russia will challenge every statement, every action that seeks to continue the path of US hegemony.
At which point will the US decide that war is the only means it has to maintain its hegemony? That will be the most dangerous moment.
RE : jiri on May 08, 2021 · at 10:35 pm EST/EDT
“At which point will the US decide that war is the only means it has to maintain its hegemony? ”
For at least 5,000 years some have pondered the definitions and purposes of “war” perceived through prisms of their own assumptions, instead of, through reliance on their own assumptions, fully attempting to consider the definitions and purposes of “war” perceived by their opponents, including how their opponents are afforded opportunities by the definitions and purposes of “war” by some.
Such immersion encourages resort to belief to bridge doubt to attain comfort whilst continuing to lieve in fantasy land.
Your quoted sentence above and the practices of the social relations presently self-designated as “The United States of America” are immersed in/saturated by the processes outlined above which renders your further belief/”interpretation”
“That will be the most dangeous moment”
null and void.
In view of Foreign Minister Lavrov’s exceptional diplomacy, if you read some of PCR’s articles about Russia being too “wimpish” – I say to him, he doesn’t have a clue about first rate “diplimacy” both now, and in past history.
Instead, PCR wants the Russians, like Lavrov, to come out swingin’ like some crazy American cowboy. Tell us, where will that get us?
As Americans, caught in a horrible hurricane with America’s societal destruction: the economy, social fragmentation, we’ll side EVERY TIME with the much respected Lavrov.
I don’t know what PCR may want, from his last article here, comments and various, he seems to have blown it. I hope he is able to establish his real worth and dignity once more.
Well….sounds like Czech is gonna use some kind of hijacked version of”international law” to seize compensation for alledged Russian sabotage of the illegally or suspicuously run armaments dumps….?
PRAGUE, May 10. /TASS/. The Czech Republic intends to claim at least 1 bln koruna (approximately €39 mln) from Russia as a compensation of material damages for blasts in depots in Vrbetice village, Ceska Televise TV Channel reports, citing Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alena Schillerova. “The simplest way [to get damages payment from Russia] is the way of receiving compensation using norms of international law. If we follow the path [of claiming compensations], for example, through criminal proceedings, than this [may] last for long, for very long,” the TV Channel says, citing the politician.
Looks like trouble ahead…..is Russia still seeking damages for seizure of diplomatic properties and treatments by USA all that while ago?
RE: JJ on May 10, 2021 · at 6:49 am EST/EDT
“using norms of international law.”
Dramas are multiform methods of communications interacted in various “theatres”, whose audience is a function of “plot” which has potential to “last for long, for very long”, whose longevity like to be actors, directors, dramatists and promoters seek to limit by ideological constructs of “majesties” of laws and theatres which they believe to be “shared” by their interlocutors.
Facility in simultaneous co-ordination of multiforms/multifactors tends to deteriorate in relation to spectra of scope of forms/factors and their interactions, whilst increasing the audience’s opportunities of exploration and perception of spectra of scope of forms/factors and their interactions.
If such processes are initiated, one of the forms to be explored will be “international law” as was the case in respect of Mr. Assange, Mr. Abramovich, Mr. Berezhovsky, Mr. Khodorkovsky, Yukos, Mr. Browder and Hermitage Capital which also took/is taking place in a context where “international law” and attempts of its conflation with “American law” by some was/is being explored in many theatres.
This contributed to the impasse of “what do we do nowness ?”,
the lateral development of the processes including in respect of trajectories,
all with the complicity of the initiators and possible encouragement of the interlocutors,
frustrating the purposes of the initiators,
whilst illustrating that useful fools continue to have utility based on hopes that ” “The simplest way ” can exist in an interactive process.
A useful example of how opponents’ tend to rely on hopes of maybe this time I’ll be lucky, rather than through the implementation of lateral strategies.
Perhaps Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alena Schillerova’s mother did not explain to her possible disadvantages of pulling a woolen loose end and unravelling the sweater ?