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Federation of Nations

Our Current Global System Is Not Working

By March 1, 2022No Comments

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is clearly a violation of the UN charter.  In the words of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres:

“The use of force by one country against another violates the bedrock principles of the United Nations that all states have agreed to in its Charter, ”

“It is against the (U.N.) Charter. It is unacceptable. But it is not irreversible.  I repeat my appeal from last night to President Putin: Stop the military operation; bring the troops back to Russia.”

Democracy is under attack around the world — both literally and metaphorically.

Both the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index and Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index are at all-time lows. The first concluded that just 45.7% of the world’s population lives in a democracy today — down from 49.4% one year ago. The second concluded that just one out of five global citizens can be said to live in a country that is truly “free.” The Economist report said that none of the 10 most populous nations — which includes the United States — can be called a full democracy.

Despite the challenges it has endured since its independence, and particularly in the last decade of upheaval, Ukraine has maintained a modicum of freedom, outpacing nations like Mexico and Indonesia in the Freedom House ranking and getting a high score from the Economist for its electoral processes. But within days, 44 million Ukrainians are likely to see their democracy vanish, swallowed up by the autocratic state to the east.

The international order, despite its best intentions, did little to prevent Russia’s invasion of its neighbor. In the years after the Cold War, the NATO military alliance expanded steadily eastward, even as newly democratic states of the former Soviet bloc backslid into “illiberal democracy.” The European Union faced internal squabbling resulting in the fracture of the United Kingdom’s exit, and chose to appease Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep cheap energy flowing.

As for the United Nations, a venue specifically created to deal with disagreements between nations to prevent war, its structure has rendered it impotent to deal with President Putin. Russia has a unilateral veto over any UN action, so the organization has been an afterthought at best.

The war in Ukraine proves once again that freedom is fragile, and that democracy needs a strong defense. But it also shows how essential it is for the United Nations to be reformed and strengthened, with full funding and support from democratic states and a bolder General Assembly that can stand up to the world’s bullies and tyrants.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.

Peter Orvetti

Author Peter Orvetti

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