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Opinion

October 3, 2018
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A new global order

Opinion

October 3, 2018

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The arrogance that US President Donald Trump demonstrated during the UN General Assembly session last week underscores the need for a new global order where one power isn’t able to dictate to the rest of the world.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has belittled globalism and undermined international institutions that have attempted to stabilise the world, saving it from plunging into a third world war that appeared imminent on countless occasions after World War Two ended.

Not everything is hunky-dory in the UN headquarters. The UN has failed to prevent more than 200 conflicts, wars and civil wars that have claimed over 15 million lives and caused unimaginable destruction in several parts of the world since 1946. The international body was also helpless in reining in powerful states that triggered wars, patronised brutal regimes, and pampered oppressive rulers. The UN has merely turned into a tool used by global powers to impose inhuman sanctions on poor states and selectively apply international law to serve their petty national interests.

This is not the first time that the American ruling elite has disparaged the international body. In the past, George W Bush also tried to turn the UN into a non-entity. Recently, a number of Trump’s administration officials have also hurled various threats at the UN. Washington has undermined the international body by threatening to cut its contribution towards UN agencies.

It seems that the UN is only considered to be a useful entity when it can serve Washington’s interests. When it tries to resist America’s dictation, it is deemed irrelevant. Therefore, the world needs a new global order and drastic structural changes within the UN.

Though a senior Chinese official has already made it clear that Beijing doesn’t want to challenge Washington’s global hegemony, China is the only political entity that can offer a new global order in collaboration with other states that are wary of American exceptionalism and unilateralism. The new order shouldn’t seek to strengthen one power. It should democratise the UN, abolishing veto powers, empowering the general assembly, and shifting the global body’s headquarters from New York to another location.

But before doing so, Russia, China and other states that are willing to reform the UN and introduce a new global order need to prove through their actions that they aren’t seeking the kind of world domination that plunged the world towards destruction twice during the 20th century.

The new order should work towards improving the Human Development Index. It should seek to eliminate poverty, eradicate diseases, put an end to hunger and starvation, and offer a united forum against wars and threats to use force in international affairs. This new system needs to focus on the deteriorating condition of our planet, which has fallen victim to reckless policies that encourage war and mutual annihilation.

If Russia and China truly want to shape the new system, they need to work with other states to denuclearise the world. Creating more lethal arms serves no state’s interests; it only forces countries to live under the shadow of fear. A large number of states don’t have a stake in a world riddled with fears and uncertainties. Japan, South Korea, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and several other states want to see a world that is free from nuclear threats and weapons of mass destruction.

While it is true that Russia and China cannot unilaterally destroy these weapons, they can at least lobby for universal denuclearisation among political entities and various countries, including Japan, South Korea, Canada and the EU states. Both countries should also stop using space for spying and other destructive purposes.

The world only needs around 50 billion euros to repair the damage caused by human activities. On the one hand, we haggle over our share of contributions towards this essential fund and, on the other, we are ready to pump more than $1,700 billion on worthless arms that cannot feed 800 million people, shelter more than 100 million homeless people, and provide adequate housing to over 1.6 billion people. The new system needs to find suitable means to cure cholera, malaria and other diseases that have plagued various African countries. Only $15 billion is needed to put an end to these diseases.

In his speech at the UNGA session, Trump once again alluded to actions that warmongers in Washington’s power corridor may be planning clandestinely against the democratic government of Venezuela. The erratic incumbent of the Oval Office intends to wreak havoc in Iran, Venezuela and other states of the world. This form of megalomania can be countered by not just declaring excessive use of force to be at variance to international law, but also by taking firm action. Any state that resorts to such threats should be boycotted by the international community. Washington has resorted to making such threats over the last seven decades and shouldn’t be allowed to hurl such threats again.

The new system should also devise a mechanism to thwart the unjust use of international sanctions. Interestingly, no such sanctions have ever been imposed on US allies that are wreaking havoc in Yemen, setting the stage for a humanitarian catastrophe. Despite the international condemnation for all the ruthless bombardment directed at one of the poorest countries in the world, they remained unabashed.

No such sanctions were ever imposed on Israel when it illegally occupied Palestinian lands, evicting more than 600,000 people from their native land. The use of such sanctions is also being extended to some powerful countries like China and Russia. The two global powers – one new and another old – should work with European countries that are furious over the decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and put an end to the obnoxious use of sanctions.

The new system should introduce planning in the global economy. What is the point in accumulating millions of industrial, agricultural, military and consumer goods by ruthlessly exploiting land and other resources and then letting them rot?

Only the US can produce enough wheat that is sufficient for 26 states of Mozambique’s size. The US dumped millions of tonnes of wheat in the past. More than 700 million tonnes of steel remain unsold in the world market. Imagine the amount of precious water and other raw materials that may have been squandered in these products. From water to fish, every natural gift is becoming scarce and one of the factors leading to this phenomenon is the reckless exploitation of nature and the sheer extent of production arising out of fierce competition.

If the new system is to save the world, it must introduce planning in the economy before it is too late. The new system shouldn’t be based on competition, which has turned land, seas, skies and even space into battlegrounds. Instead, it should be based on mutual cooperation, respect and coexistence. It shouldn’t advocate nationalism, as Trump suggests, but focus on humanism.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

Email: [email protected]

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