This line actually puts Kyiv in an uncomfortable position. The transatlantic "war council" format suggested above could provide a useful platform for discussions on possible endgame procedures.
We need an approach to the construction of a new international order
The war in Ukraine may well mark the end of the illusion of the international liberal order. The latter did not prevent the return of war to the most peaceful continent. The war also exposed the distance that has been created between "the West and the rest", as Macron put it at the United Nations. But it should turn out that Ukraine also signals the end of the illusion of the end of the international liberal order. Unless they are mistaken, Western countries will prevail: they have demonstrated that they continue to maintain a position of considerable strength. The "multipolar order", at least as conceived in Moscow - and in Beijing - will have suffered a defeat.
However, an essential point needs to be emphasized: there will be no turning back, no “restoration” of the world of before. The conditions which led Vladimir Putin to believe that he could count on a Western failure will continue to exist: the domestic situations in the United States and certain other democracies remain precarious; the relative decline of Western power will continue; the combined GDPs of the G7 will still represent less than 40% of the world’s GDP. If the West “wins”, it will have been by the skin of its teeth. Resentment in the South will not disappear. The uninhibited middle powers will not fall in line. Moreover, sanctions, the dollar hegemony, and the Western dominance of financial circuits - which have been identified as key positions of strengths of the West - are precisely what many in the South resent the most about the United States and its allies.
In other words, the task of rebuilding a world order - or, more modestly, of avoiding chaos - is ahead of us. It may be necessary to distinguish between collective security and global issues and the regulation of globalization. At the level of collective security, the United States and its allies must not let their guard down. They must be able to deter repetitions of what happened in Ukraine, or variations in the vast field of hybrid warfare. It is also in their interest to restore the credibility of the principle of non-aggression. This will only happen in the long run if they themselves respect the rules they claim to defend - unlike the Americans in Iraq in 2003 - and if they impose limits on their external interventions (as shown by France's current problems in Africa). All of this is in a context where the authority of the UN Security Council seems definitively compromised. It follows that a security dialogue is needed between global and regional powers if we are to ensure the restoration of the principle of non-aggression.
Separately, restoring trust between the North and the South means, first of all, that the North must keep its promises (for example, by providing the funding promised at the Paris and Glasgow climate conferences). We must go much further, however. A cultural revolution is needed on both sides. The countries of the North - which are often conflated with the West in the political sense of the term - are not in a dominant position with regard to global issues and the regulation of globalization: all countries need each other. The North and the Global South share the same imperative to save the planet, meaning interdependencies created through globalization need to be managed in a spirit of mutual understanding. In the absence of a World Order "with a capital O", we can imagine a world in which the states of both the South and the North reappropriate the multilateral mechanisms, including those of the UN family. These alone can make it possible to deal with humanity's common issues. This is undoubtedly a domain in which Europe can regain a leading role. The war in Ukraine will not have been wasted if the "international community" learns the right lessons from it: unilateral force and aggression are not an option, and only North-South solidarity can render it possible to protect humanity's common good.
Copyright: Oleksandr GIMANOV / AFP
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