Based on a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Vladimir Putin made some subtle comments regarding the status of the UN and what the future might hold in store. This is simply speculative interpretation, but did he hint at the possibility of an overhaul of the foundations of global governance? The BRICS association analogy may be a valid comparison to draw at this point.
“…I will have to say a few words about…the fact that the United Nations remains the sole universal international organisation designed to maintain global peace. And in this sense it has no alternative today.”
This is an interesting comment. Of course, everybody knows that the UN is unique, so why mention it here? Is there a plan amongst the developing economies to overhaul the UN, or is the plan to replace it with a less partisan body? His qualification of the comment with the word ‘today’ leads one to believe that tomorrow might be a different story. With Russia being a founding member (since its inception at Yalta after WWII,) and if Russia can convince the other members of the BRICS countries to follow suit, they could withdraw from the UN and create their own body to uphold international law without granting the US veto power over all its decisions. On the 25th of September, Putin met with the other members of the UN’s security council to discuss the situation in Syria, as well as current domestic policy issues. One wonders what these issues might be, but given recent comments by Putin (such as those given at Valdai) as well as those given by Assad (here and here,) not to mention the rift which is developing between Germany and France against the US over NATO’s involvement in the Ukraine and US involvement in Syria indicate that the world’s opinion about the US and its activities in the middle-east and elsewhere are changing (or worsening, depending on your point of view.)
“It is also apparent that it should adapt to the ever-changing world, which we discuss all the time: how it should evolve and at what rate, which components should undergo qualitative changes. Of course, I will have to or rather should use this international platform to explain Russia’s vision of today’s international relations, as well as the future of this organisation and the global community.”
It is very clear, based on these statements that the UN is an ever-evolving entity, but it is also clear, given the prevalence of this comment at the beginning of the interview, that there is a will amongst the participants (not including the US) to reform the role of the UN in the near future.
“…in my opinion, provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter. We have been providing assistance to legitimate government entities only.”
This comment was clearly meant to demonstrate US support for the forces opposing Assad – ISIS/ISIL et al. – and its illegality. Will the international community continue to allow the Western forces’ ‘carte blanche’ towards the middle-east, and will it stand idly by as Syria is turned into Libya v2.0? It would not appear to be the case. China has also decided to support Assad’s forces by sending its navy to the port at Tartus in Syria. Has the BRICS military coalition started?
“There is only one regular army there. That is the army of Syrian President al-Assad.”
And in another quote from a past interview,
“It’s my deep belief that any actions to the contrary in order to destroy the legitimate government [of Syria] will create a situation which you can witness now in the other countries of the region or in other regions, for instance in Libya, where all the state institutions are disintegrated. We see a similar situation in Iraq,” Putin stressed.
“There is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism. But at the same time, urging them to engage in positive dialogue with the rational opposition and conduct reform.”
The Russian leader stressed that US-led coalition partners need to understand that only the Syrian people are entitled “to decide who should govern their country and how.”
With this, Putin is upholding the democratic process by which Assad was elected, and legitimizes his presence in the discussion.
That which the future holds, only time will reveal, but clearly the winds of political change are blowing squarely in the face of the US, its official policies, NATO, and the UN.
*Update* Given what the Kazakh president said at his speech to the UN, there are more massive changes coming to the ‘International Order’ as we know it. Buckle up!