It is now 80 years, almost to the day, that the leaders of the “Big Three” powers in the coalition against Nazi Germany met in near secrecy. Operation Eureka was nearing its completion. But it would be a mistake to assume that the US and Britain sat around the negotiating table willingly. They were pressurized into changing their political strategy and tactics by the successes of the Red Army at the front and the realization that the Soviet Union was capable of defeating Nazi Germany on its own.
In late November 1943, Joseph Stalin, Soviet Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Franklin Roosevelt, the US President and Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister met in Tehran, to address a number of significant ambitious goals, chief among them the opening of a second front, determining the future of postwar Europe, and securing a lasting peace.
As Valentina Matviyenko, the Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, sees it, the Tehran conference demonstrated the ability of countries with very different outlooks to enter into dialog. That historic meeting proved that neither geopolitical divisions nor fundamental differences in ideology and state structure need prevent countries from adopting joint decisions if the political will is there. And shortly after that historic meeting, it became clear to the world that the West is quite willing to violate agreements if they do not happen to suit its interests. Put simply, it promises peace, but prepares for war.
Today we see something similar happening. The UN, which was established after the end of the Second World War, is now increasingly showing its utter helplessness. Given its inability to stop the bloodshed in Gaza, increasingly we are hearing claims that it is no longer fit for purpose. Just a few days ago, for example, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the WHO, questioned its usefulness: “This organization was created to strengthen peace in our world. If you, as UN member states, are unwilling or unable to stop this bloodshed, then we have to ask: what is the United Nations for?”
It is increasingly clear that the system of collective security is not merely failing to have any real effect (ever since the Yugoslav crisis), but is literally collapsing before our eyes like a house of cards. And this process is quite understandable, because for the last few decades cracks in its structure have been developing little by little. And the war in Ukraine has clearly demonstrated its hypocrisy and its complete lack of any real leverage. It claims to be open to discussions and negotiations. And where are the tangible results? There aren’t any. We see a similar situation with the sanctions against Russia – again the UN system shows its complete helplessness.
And currently it looks as if it has a good chance of suffering the same fate as the League of Nations. Readers may remember the name of this once powerful organization, with 58 member states, which was established after World War I, and ceased to exist just over a quarter of a century later. The idea behind the League of Nations was a good one – to provide collective security and prevent hostilities, and to settle diplomatically international disputes of any kind. But it failed to do this. Just as the UN is failing now.
As most people with any common sense would agree, there is little doubt that the international security system is in need of reform. Today we need a new world order, that serves the interest of the majority, and not of the Western minority. The process has already begun. And the growing strength of such new groupings as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are in a good position to prevent the Western nations from achieving their dream of preserving their dominance.
It is already clear that once the Collective West realizes this it will have to sit down at the negotiating table, as it did in Tehran in 1943. There is one problem here. Among Western leaders, there is a need for figures of the stature of Churchill and Roosevelt, who are not only able to properly assess the geopolitical balance of power, but also have the wisdom and courage to understand and accept the fact that humanity as a whole may well not live on their terms or accept their edicts.
Currently, the situation is rather different. In spite of the failure of all the efforts to isolate Russia, the European Union has not abandoned its attempts to create anti-Russian coalitions. One prime example is the Schuman Forum, whose organizers aim to strengthen existing cooperation and establish new cooperation with potential defense and security partners. The West has promised its partner countries free aid – but in what form? In the form of lethal weapons, via, paradoxical as it may seem, the European Peace Facility. And it is clear as day that when we say “peace,” we actually mean “war.” We are seeing a clear attempt to create a new military bloc.
And, in order to keep up with its friends abroad, the US invited 120 countries to a virtual meeting of the so-called Summit for Democracy. As the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented, the only criterion for selection was loyalty to the US Democratic Party. Was anyone still of the opinion that things could be different? I doubt it. But the “loyal” participants unexpectedly showed that they had views of their own. Half of them decided not to support the final summit document. It looks as if American dominance, and the latest attempt by the European Union to impose a distorted view of the processes taking place in the world on third countries that value independence in their foreign policies, is not only doomed to failure, but has already failed. The transition to a new world order has already begun. There is no stopping it now. And if the current global hegemons do not realize this, and refuse to sit down at the negotiating table in the foreseeable future, there is every chance that they will be left on the sidelines of history.
Yulia Novitskaya, writer, journalist and correspondent for “New Eastern Outlook”.