“In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”
—Strobe Talbot, Former Deputy Secretary of State (As quoted in Time, July 20th, l992)
When a Nato commander warns that the West is on course for an armed conflict with Russia, and China announces that if the United States “stirs up any conflict,” it is ready for a “replay” of the Korea and Vietnam wars, if war in Europe and naval conflict in Asian waters are closer than they have been for decades, then it simply means that the existing security arrangements are not working and it would be perilous to let them be straitjackets on a future they appear to be putting at risk. Given all these circumstances, one thing must be very clear: the world urgently needs a new security architecture, or more rightly, a new world order. <br>
Contemporary, post-cold-war world unfortunately is full of conflicts of both domestic and international character. All of us hoped that with the end of cold war, we will enter an era where the world will be peaceful, cooperative and stable. However, all the hopes dashed and today’s is a perilous world with countless conflicts and long, unending wars. Unfortunately, in the second decade of 21st century, no one feels that he or she is living in a fully stable and harmonious world.
During the cold war period, the heightened tone of conflicts affected every aspect of international relations and global politics. In the post-cold-war world, we have less international wars but we have more domestic conflicts, more religious and ethnic conflicts. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the end of cold war created also extraordinary opportunities for solving many problems resulting from the cold war rivalry. The feeling of “fear and hope” that dominated the cold war period has been replaced by the feeling of “hope and fear.” However, some challenges and sources of instability still exist and some of them are being discussed hereunder.
Nationalism seems to be growing rather than waning. The cold winds of intolerance, authoritarianism and nationalism are blowing across America and Europe. Multinational institutions like the European Union and multilateral trade treaties are being challenged because they are seen by some as not being in the ‘national interest’. The unexpected rise of Donald Trump, the Brexit, the formidable refugee crisis, growing populism in political cultures offer a proof to this fact, if any was needed. The nationalist governments of Russia and China also are challenging the existing world order.
At present, instead of one “global village,” we have multitudes of global villages on the globe. They are familiar with one another and they all demonstrate their mutual prejudices, thus increasing the risk of conflicts. Territorial claims keep reappearing in various places. Centrifugal tendencies are taking on a renewed importance in multiethnic and multi-religious states.
The international trade in narcotics and terrorism are thriving; AIDS, SARS and possible other epidemics, hitherto unknown to mankind, are spreading. The world is destabilized by growing number of ecological threats such as ozone layer destruction, greenhouse effect, acid rain, air and maritime pollution, forest depletion, agricultural land erosion, etc. The exhaustion of non-renewable raw materials intensifies the rivalry for access for those resources between their principal consumers.
Then, there is a growing threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, of fissile materials falling into the wrong hands, and weapons of mass destruction becoming available not only to a larger number of countries but also to terrorist groups. More and more countries are capable of launching missiles farther and farther away, on longer and longer distance.
State borders are becoming increasingly permeable, which in combination with instability or absence of economic prospects in poor countries gives an impetus to migration processes. They, in turn, are a source of fear, prejudices and ethnic conflicts in other countries.
Various types of religious fundamentalism, fanaticism, dissent and bias are on the rise and are becoming the source of domestic and international conflict. These conflict-generating occurrences are accompanied by growing contradictions in world economy and international trade.
The gap between rich and poor countries is widening, protectionism is flourishing, debt is mounting, and economic dependencies are deepening. None of these factors contribute to political stability.
These are the conflict-generating occurrences and processes that are rife in an international environment that is marked with a growing diffusion of power between states and transfer of power from national to transnational institutions and multinational corporations.
The diagnosis presented in the above paragraphs although seems overly pessimistic because after all, both the international community and individual states are not idle and they try to counter those threats.
Now we come back to the main point that why we need to create a new world order.
First of all, it needs to be understood that the term “new world order” has, in today’s modern world, two basic meanings: First, it is an empirical description of the emerging world situation, and secondly it’s a normative vision of the possibility of shaping the international community after the end of Cold War and creating peaceful and prosperous world.
1. United Nations’ Role
An important role in the new global order should be played by the United Nations — reformed and adopted to the new world balance of power and to new challenges and threats. The UN must also be equipped with an effective instrument in the form of an international military force that must constitute a reliable deterrent to any potential aggressor.
The empowered United Nations must treat world stability as a desired long-term goal. In a shorter period, it must concentrate on constructing organizational mechanisms and tools meant to prevent aggressions. If a global security system cannot be established, then regional security systems should be establishing. At present, we have only one effective Euro-Atlantic security system based on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato). But that system does not even cover all of Europe. Regions such as Asia, Africa and Latin America, which are less stable than Europe, have not established security structures. The establishment of regional security and cooperation systems seems to be a desirable and feasible midterm objective.
2. Conflict Resolution
The new world order also means a higher role for diplomacy and diplomatic techniques of international conflict resolution. It means shifting of emphasis from military to diplomatic methods. Arms reduction will continue to be an important component of the new world order agenda.
3. Multipolar World
The new world order should not be the creation of one superpower regardless of how strong it is at a given moment in history. Under democratic principles that formally govern international relations the task should be assumed by all players on the world political stage, even if it is obvious that the qualitative weight of individual states differs greatly.
4. Visionary Leadership
There is a growing impression that contemporary politicians are so busy with day-to-day affairs that they have forgotten about future generations. The ambitious task of formulating a new order for the future is awaiting a person, country or group of countries that it will be able to raise it in intellectual and political terms and give it an international dimension. The issue is live and urgent.
Models for the New World Order
Some politicians in the past like Deng Xiaoping, George H.W. Bush senior, Mikhail Gorbachev spoke of the necessity to create new world order. But they never put on the table operational proposal how to create such world order.
The most concrete and comprehensive concept of new world order are products of Chinese thinking and Chinese-Russian diplomacy. For example, the Russian-Chinese Joint Declaration on the Multipolar World and the Formation of a New International Order (23 April 1997).
Another document was Beijing Declaration that was adopted on July 20th, 2012, at the end of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) calling for an improvement of the international system and order.
China–Russia Joint Statement on 21st Century World Order
The most ambitious and, perhaps the most detailed, document concerning new world order is China-Russia Joint Statement on 21st Century World Order which was signed on July 01, 2005 by President Hu Jintao and President Vladimir Putin.
This document outlines basic principles on which the 21st century world order should be based. The core of this document is that such an order should be based on universally-recognized principles and norms of international law and “fair and regional world order”.
The document ends with an appeal in which the “two sides call on countries in the world to engage in extensive dialogue on the issue of the international order of the 21st century.
Regretfully this important document about building harmonious world was never subject of effective negotiations on international forum.
The world has changed faster and more profoundly during the last two decades than in the entire period from 1945 to 1989. Today we know that the old world order has broken down and is disappearing, and that a new world order is only beginning to emerge. But it is emerging very slowly, too slowly. Time will not work in favour of the new order if it is not accompanied by a harmonized international effort. Today, it is not enough to think and to dream about a better, more predictable and more secure world. Today we must act. Act locally, but think globally.
China-Russia Joint Statement on 21st Century World Order
- UN reforms should be aimed at strengthening the world body’s leading role in international affairs, improving its efficiency and increasing its potential for dealing with new challenges and threats.
- The United Nations should play a leading role in global affairs and be the core for establishing and executing basic norms of international law.
- Resolutions of the UN Security Council must be strictly abided by. Cooperation between the UN, on the one hand, and regional and sub-regional organizations, on the other, should be developed.
- Countries must be allowed to decide autonomously, on their, internal affairs while international issues should be solved through dialogue and consultations on the basis of multilateralism.
- The international community should completely renounce the mentality of confrontation and alliance; there should be no pursuit of monopoly or domination of world affairs; and countries of the world should not be divided into a leading camp and a subordinate camp.
- Every country must be assured of the right to choose its own path of development that fits its national realities, the right to participate in international affairs as an equal, and the right to development on an equal footing.
- Differences and disputes must be solved through peaceful means rather than through unilateralism or coercion. There should be no use or threatened use of force.
- Only on the basis of universally-recognized tenets and norms of international law, and under an impartial and rational world order, can problems facing mankind be solved.
- All countries should strictly observe the principles of mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
- The international community should establish a new security framework on the basis of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation.
- Diversity in cultures and civilizations should not be the source of conflict, but rather resources from which all countries can learn.
- Different historic backgrounds, cultures, social and political systems, values and modes of development should not be used as pretext for interference in other countries’ internal affairs.