Address by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session

January 17, 2022

Forge Ahead with Confidence and Fortitude to Jointly Create a Better Post-COVID World

Special Address by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

At the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session

17 January 2022

Professor Klaus Schwab,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Greetings to you all! It is my pleasure to attend this virtual session of the World Economic Forum.

In two weeks’ time, China will celebrate the advent of spring in the lunar new year, the Year of the Tiger. In Chinese culture, tiger symbolizes bravery and strength, as the Chinese people often refer to spirited dragon and dynamic tiger, or soaring dragon and leaping tiger. To meet the severe challenges facing humanity, we must “add wings to the tiger” and act with the courage and strength of the tiger to overcome all obstacles on our way forward. We must do everything necessary to clear the shadow of the pandemic and boost economic and social recovery and development, so that the sunshine of hope may light up the future of humanity.

The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. These changes, not limited to a particular moment, event, country or region, represent the profound and sweeping changes of our times. As changes of the times combine with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation. How to beat the pandemic and how to build the post-COVID world? These are major issues of common concern to people around the world. They are also major, urgent questions we must give answers to.

China Xinhua News

As a Chinese saying goes, “The momentum of the world either flourishes or declines; the state of the world either progresses or regresses.” The world is always developing through the movement of contradictions; without contradiction, nothing would exist. The history of humanity is a history of achieving growth by meeting various tests and of developing by overcoming various crises. We need to move forward by following the logic of historical progress, and develop by riding the tide of development of our times.

Notwithstanding all vicissitudes, humanity will move on. We need to learn from comparing long history cycles, and see the change in things through the subtle and minute. We need to foster new opportunities amidst crises, open up new horizons on a shifting landscape, and pool great strength to go through difficulties and challenges.

First, we need to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic. Confronted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, which will affect the future of humanity, the international community has fought a tenacious battle. Facts have shown once again that amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats, but are rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges. Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, major progress has been made in the global fight against the pandemic. That said, the pandemic is proving a protracted one, resurging with more variants and spreading faster than before. It poses a serious threat to people’s safety and health, and exerts a profound impact on the global economy.

Strong confidence and cooperation represent the only right way to defeat the pandemic. Holding each other back or shifting blame would only cause needless delay in response and distract us from the overall objective. Countries need to strengthen international cooperation against COVID-19, carry out active cooperation on research and development of medicines, jointly build multiple lines of defense against the coronavirus, and speed up efforts to build a global community of health for all. Of particular importance is to fully leverage vaccines as a powerful weapon, ensure their equitable distribution, quicken vaccination and close the global immunization gap, so as to truly safeguard people’s lives, health and livelihoods.

China is a country that delivers on its promises. China has already sent over two billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. Still, China will provide another one billion doses to African countries, including 600 million doses as donation, and will also donate 150 million doses to ASEAN countries.

China Xinhua News

Economic globalization is the trend of the times. Though countercurrents are sure to exist in a river, none could stop it from flowing to the sea. Driving forces bolster the river’s momentum, and resistance may yet enhance its flow. Despite the countercurrents and dangerous shoals along the way, economic globalization has never and will not veer off course. Countries around the world should uphold true multilateralism. We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to build an open world economy. We should guide reforms of the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its center. We should make generally acceptable and effective rules for artificial intelligence and digital economy on the basis of full consultation, and create an open, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological innovation. This is the way to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, and to fully unleash the vitality of the world economy.

A common understanding among us is that to turn the world economy from crisis to recovery, it is imperative to strengthen macro-policy coordination. Major economies should see the world as one community, think in a more systematic way, increase policy transparency and information sharing, and coordinate the objectives, intensity and pace of fiscal and monetary policies, so as to prevent the world economy from plummeting again. Major developed countries should adopt responsible economic policies, manage policy spillovers, and avoid severe impacts on developing countries. International economic and financial institutions should play their constructive role to pool global consensus, enhance policy synergy and prevent systemic risks.

Third, we need to bridge the development divide and revitalize global development. The process of global development is suffering from severe disruption, entailing more outstanding problems like a widening North-South gap, divergent recovery trajectories, development fault-lines and a technological divide. The Human Development Index has declined for the first time in 30 years. The world’s poor population has increased by more than 100 million. Nearly 800 million people live in hunger. Difficulties are mounting in food security, education, employment, medicine, health and other areas important to people’s livelihoods. Some developing countries have fallen back into poverty and instability due to the pandemic. Many in developed countries are also living through a hard time.

No matter what difficulties may come our way, we must adhere to a people-centered philosophy of development, place development and livelihoods front and center in global macro-policies, realize the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build greater synergy among existing mechanisms of development cooperation to promote balanced development worldwide. We need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, promote international cooperation on climate change in the context of development, and implement the outcomes of COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developed economies should take the lead in honoring their emissions reduction responsibilities, deliver on their commitment of financial and technological support, and create the necessary conditions for developing countries to address climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Last year, I put forward a Global Development Initiative at the UN General Assembly to draw international attention to the pressing challenges faced by developing countries. The Initiative is a public good open to the whole world, which aims to form synergy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and boost common development across the world. China stands ready to work with all partners to jointly translate the Initiative into concrete actions and make sure that no country is left behind in this process.

China Xinhua News

Fourth, we need to discard Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes. Our world today is far from being tranquil; rhetorics that stoke hatred and prejudice abound. Acts of containment, suppression or confrontation arising thereof do all harm, not the least good, to world peace and security. History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems; it only invites catastrophic consequences. Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one; they ultimately hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history. Naturally, countries have divergences and disagreements between them. Yet a zero-sum approach that enlarges one’s own gain at the expense of others will not help. Acts of single-mindedly building “exclusive yards with high walls” or “parallel systems”, of enthusiastically putting together exclusive small circles or blocs that polarize the world, of overstretching the concept of national security to hold back economic and technological advances of other countries, and of fanning ideological antagonism and politicizing or weaponizing economic, scientific and technological issues, will gravely undercut international efforts to tackle common challenges.

The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation. Different countries and civilizations may prosper together on the basis of respect for each other, and seek common ground and win-win outcomes by setting aside differences.

We should follow the trend of history, work for a stable international order, advocate common values of humanity, and build a community with a shared future for mankind. We should choose dialogue over confrontation, inclusiveness over exclusion, and stand against all forms of unilateralism, protectionism, hegemony or power politics.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Last year, the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Through a century of tenacious struggle, the CPC has rallied and led the Chinese people in accomplishing remarkable achievements in the advancement of the nation and betterment of people’s lives. We have realized a moderately prosperous society in all respects and won the battle against poverty, both according to plan, and found a historic solution to ending absolute poverty. Now, China is marching on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects.

— China will stay committed to pursuing high-quality development. The Chinese economy enjoys a good momentum overall. Last year, our GDP grew by around eight percent, achieving the dual target of fairly high growth and relatively low inflation. Shifts in the domestic and international economic environment have brought tremendous pressure, but the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, characterized by strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability, remain unchanged. We have every confidence in the future of China’s economy.

“The wealth of a country is measured by the abundance of its people.” Thanks to considerable economic growth, the Chinese people are living much better lives. Nonetheless, we are soberly aware that to meet people’s aspiration for an even better life, we still have much hard work to do in the long run. China has made it clear that we strive for more visible and substantive progress in the well-rounded development of individuals and the common prosperity of the entire population. We are working hard on all fronts to deliver this goal. The common prosperity we desire is not egalitarianism. To use an analogy, we will first make the pie bigger, and then divide it properly through reasonable institutional arrangements. As a rising tide lifts all boats, everyone will get a fair share from development, and development gains will benefit all our people in a more substantial and equitable way.

— China will stay committed to reform and opening-up. For China, reform and opening-up is always a work in process. Whatever change in the international landscape, China will always hold high the banner of reform and opening-up. China will continue to let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation, and see to it that the government better plays its role. We will be steadfast in consolidating and developing the public sector, just as we are steadfast in encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sector. We will build a unified, open, competitive and orderly market system, where all businesses enjoy equal status before the law and have equal opportunities in the marketplace. All types of capital are welcome to operate in China in compliance with laws and regulations, and play a positive role for the development of the country. China will continue to expand high-standard opening-up, steadily advance institutional opening-up that covers rules, management and standards, deliver national treatment for foreign businesses, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. With the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) on 1 January this year, China will faithfully fulfill its obligations and deepen economic and trade ties with other RCEP parties. China will also continue to work for the joining of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), with a view to further integrating into the regional and global economy and achieving mutual benefit and win-win results.

— China will stay committed to promoting ecological conservation. As I have said many times, we should never grow the economy at the cost of resource depletion and environmental degradation, which is like draining a pond to get fish; nor should we sacrifice growth to protect the environment, which is like climbing a tree to catch fish. Guided by our philosophy that clean waters and green mountains are just as valuable as gold and silver, China has carried out holistic conservation and systematic governance of its mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts. We do everything we can to conserve the ecological system, intensify pollution prevention and control, and improve the living and working environment for our people. China is now putting in place the world’s largest national parks system. Last year, we successfully hosted COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, contributing China’s share to a clean and beautiful world.

Achieving carbon peak and carbon neutrality are the intrinsic requirements of China’s own high-quality development and a solemn pledge to the international community. China will honor its word and keep working toward its goal. We have unveiled an Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030, to be followed by implementation plans for specific sectors such as energy, industry and construction. China now has the world’s biggest carbon market and biggest clean power generation system: the installed capacity of renewable energy has exceeded one billion kilowatts, and the construction of wind and photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of 100 million kilowatts is well under way. Carbon peak and carbon neutrality cannot be realized overnight. Through solid and steady steps, China will pursue an orderly phase-down of traditional energy in the course of finding reliable substitution in new energy. This approach, which combines phasing out the old and bringing in the new, will ensure steady economic and social development. China will also actively engage in international cooperation on climate and jointly work for a complete transition to a greener economy and society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Davos is known as a heaven for winter sports. The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will open soon. We are confident that China will present a streamlined, safe and splendid Games to the world. The official motto for Beijing 2022 is “Together for a Shared Future”. Indeed, let us join hands with full confidence, and work together for a shared future.

Thank you.

Lavrov gives press conference after OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm

December 02, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov holds a press conference after the 28th OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm on Thursday, December 2. The annual OSCE Ministerial Council, chaired by Sweden, takes place on December 2-3. The ministers are expected to discuss security issues in the OSCE area and review the organisation’s activities.

Please forward the video.

Jordan-UAE-“Israel” Deal Proves ‘2-State Solution’ Dead For Arab Reactionary Regimes

1 Dec 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

This agreement constitutes, not only a move against a two-State solution that Jordan claims to achieve but also an act of Arab collaboration with a usurper entity that seeks to impoverish and erase the native Palestinian inhabitants of the land.

Stirring tensions between the Jordanian public and its rulers, Amman signed its biggest ever cooperation deal with Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi. As protesters opposing the deal took to the streets, facing arrests and beatings, Jordanian King Abdullah II continued to ignore the violations carried out against not only Palestinians but Jordanians, in East Jerusalem by “Israel”.

Whilst “Israel” continues to violate the sanctity of the Third Holiest site in Islam, the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is supposed to be under the special custodianship of the Hashemite ruler of Jordan, the King completely ignores the site and instead signs a historic energy-water swap deal. 

In recent years, a legacy of tension between former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and King Abdullah II of Jordan, had come to a boiling point after speculation caused the King to believe Saudi Arabia may take over his nation’s custodianship of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. Yet since the current Israeli PM, Naftali Bennett, had organized a secret meeting this July, the Israeli-Jordanian relationship seems to have been restored, after a three-year period of no high-level contact.

To add insult to injury, “Israel” has been raising one of the oldest Islamic-Palestinian burial sites, the Al-Yusofiya Cemetery, in recent months and had unearthed the remains of Jordanian soldiers in the process. The desecration of graves in the area comes so that “Israel” can build Jewish sites for settlers on top of it. Not only has the Jordanian King refused to act to prevent further unearthing of graves at the site, but has continued to ignore the house demolitions, settler home takeovers, and settler raids into the al-Aqsa Mosque, all taking place in East Jerusalem.

On November 22, a deal between Jordan-UAE-“Israel” was signed, which would see an Emirati firm, called Masdar, construct a massive solar panel farm on Jordanian territory. The Solar Farm will be designed to generate energy for “Israel”, not Jordan, creating roughly 180 million dollars in revenue each year, half of which will be made by Amman and the other half belonging to Masdar. “Israel” in return has agreed to provide Jordan with 200 million cubic meters of water, which the Israelis will desalinate and draw from the Mediterranean sea.

Although the deal only serves the UAE, Jordan, and “Israel”, the plan was actually first presented by an NGO, called ‘EcoPeace Middle East’, that the Palestinian Authority (PA) be involved in some meaningful way, yet this has not come to fruition as of yet. The West Bank currently has a major water crisis for Palestinians who are prevented from accessing their water from the Basin below them. In Gaza, “Israel” purposely destroyed Gaza’s primary aquifer and has allowed seawater intrusion, making it irreparable. Gaza’s water is currently 97% undrinkable, essentially making it so that Palestinians are forced to bathe in and drink contaminated water, causing rampant illness. Therefore, this agreement constitutes, not only a move against a two-State solution that Jordan claims to achieve but also an act of Arab collaboration with a usurper entity which seeks to impoverish and erase the native Palestinian inhabitants of the land.

The joke of the century is that “Israel”, which exploits the resources of the West Bank and the Leviathan gas fields off the occupied Palestinian coast, is working on this project with the joint aim of combating climate change. According to the Brookings Institute – a think-tank based in Washington DC – this is a good move as it utilizes clean energy and represents a push by “Israel”, the UAE, and Jordan towards a climate-wise future. It is ironic that “Israel”, which constantly drops thousands of tons of explosives all over the Middle East and has created an environment in the Gaza Strip – that it illegally besieges – which according to experts at the UN has been uninhabitable for human beings since the start of 2020, is now viewed as a progressive State on climate. The mainstream dialogue on Climate Change, between Western powers and their Arab reactionary allies, is not only a farce, it’s an attempt to brainwash their populations into believing that they are led by responsible leaderships. You can’t drop millions of tons of toxic explosives and then turn around claiming to care about the impact of the emissions let off by conventional energy consumption.

In reaction to this move by the Jordanian regime, students of the Hashemite University of Jordan gathered in protest of the move, singing a popular Arab Nationalist song ‘Mawtini’. Another demonstration was organized at the University of Jordan, calling on their authorities to release protesters who have been arrested for voicing opposition to the deal and urging them to abandon the agreement, which implicates Jordan in the Trump-era normalization deals. The Jordanian public overwhelmingly reject Arab normalization with “Israel” and regard the ‘peace treaty’ signed between “Israel” and Jordan in 1994 as a betrayal.

Jordan’s Minister of Water, Mohammed Al-Najjar, says that “Jordan is not building its water strategy on this declaration, if it is turned into an agreement, it will be presented to the parliament for approval.” Whilst Al-Najjar says it is not connected to the normalization deals, this is clearly not seen as being the case by fellow Jordanian officials who have come out strongly against the move. For many Jordanians, the fact that “Israel” had historically benefited from the diversion of the Jordan River leaves a bad taste in their mouth and so now relying on “Israel” for their water supply is not only a matter of pride, but also puts the nation in a very weak position.

But the Amman-Tel Aviv cooperation doesn’t end there. The Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is facing an economic crisis in the West Bank, amidst an environment descending into outright rejectionism of its altruistic self-rule. Palestinians in Nablus, Jenin, Al-Khalil, and elsewhere are taking it upon themselves to form armed groups to resist “Israel’s” occupation, which the PA fears will turn on its own security forces. “Israel” has pursued all avenues necessary, including giving the PA a 155 Million dollar loan in August, as well as calling on foreign powers like the EU to increase their funding. Taking this further, “Israel’s” ‘Minister of Economy’ Orna Barbivai and Jordan’s ‘Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply’ Yousef Al-Shamali, met earlier this month and secured a deal on West Bank export to the PA from Jordan. The deal secured is speculated to boost West Bank bound exports from Jordan annually, meaning that the 150 million dollars of exports will increase to as much as 700 million dollars worth.

Although Jordan claims to care for a “Two-State Solution”, the Hashemite ruler continues to demonstrate that he couldn’t care less. It’s a matter of words over reality, King Abdullah II doesn’t have a sense of pride on the matters of Jerusalem or the Palestinian people, it’s simply an act and his cooperation with the occupation shows this clearly.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

China, Russia and India: Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

November 27, 2021

Joint Communique of the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China

November 26, 2021

1. The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China was held in the digital video-conference format on 26 November 2021. The meeting took place in the backdrop of negative impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic, on-going economic recovery as well as continuing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, trans-national organized crime, natural and man-made disasters, food security and climate change.

2. The Ministers exchanged views on further strengthening the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral cooperation and also discussed various regional and international issues of importance. The Ministers recalled their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020 as well as the RIC Leaders’ Informal Summit in Osaka (Japan) in June 2019 and noted the need for regular high level meetings to foster closer cooperation among the RIC countries.

3. Expressing their solidarity with those who were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers underlined the importance of a timely, transparent, effective and non-discriminatory international response to global health challenges including pandemics, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies. They reiterated the need for continued cooperation in this fight inter-alia through sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities, promotion of supply chains for medical products. In this context, they noted the ongoing discussions in the WTO on COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.

4. Emphasizing the need for collective cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers noted the measures being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic. In this context, the Ministers called for strengthening the policy responses of WHO in the fight against Covid-19 and other global health challenges. They also called for making Covid-19 vaccination a global public good.

5. The Ministers agreed that cooperation among the RIC countries will contribute not only to their own growth but also to global peace, security, stability and development. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening of an open, transparent, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system based on respect for international law and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and central coordinating role of the United Nations in the international system.

6. The Ministers reiterated that a multi-polar and rebalanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and reflecting contemporary realities requires strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The Ministers acknowledged that the current interconnected international challenges should be addressed through reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, especially of the UN and its principal organs, and other multilateral institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), with a view to enhancing its capacity to effectively address the diverse challenges of our time and to adapt them to 21st century realities. The Ministers recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed the need for comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.Foreign Ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021.

7. Underlining the significance they attach to the intra-BRICS cooperation, the Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 13th BRICS Summit held under India’s chairmanship on 9 September 2021. They agreed to work actively to implement the decisions of the successive BRICS Summits, deepen BRICS strategic partnership, strengthen cooperation in its three pillars namely political and security cooperation; economic and finance; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Russia and India extend full support to China for its BRICS Chairship in 2022 and hosting the XIV BRICS Summit.

8. In the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the Ministers underlined that the SCO as an influential and responsible member of the modern system of international relations plays a constructive role in securing peace and sustainable development, advancing regional cooperation and consolidating ties of good-neighbourliness and mutual trust. In this context, they emphasized the importance of further strengthening the Organization’s multifaceted potential with a view to promote multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people exchanges cooperation. The Ministers intend to pay special attention to ensuring stability in the SCO space, including to step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organized crime under the framework of SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. They appreciated the Ministerial meeting in the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan format held on 14th July 2021 in Dushanbe.

9. The Ministers supported the G-20’s leading role in global economic governance and international economic cooperation. They expressed their readiness to enhance communication and cooperation including through G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other means, through consultations and mutual support in areas of respective interest.

10. The Ministers stand for maintaining and strengthening of ASEAN Centrality and the role of ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture, including through fostering ties between ASEAN and other regional organizations such as the SCO, IORA, BIMSTEC. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the need for closer cooperation and consultations in various regional fora and organizations, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), to jointly contribute to regional peace, security and stability.

11. The Ministers consider it important to utilize the potential of the countries of the region, international organizations and multilateral associations in order to create a space in Eurasia for broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction in accordance with international law and taking into account national interests. In that regard, they noted the idea of establishing a Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the SCO countries, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other interested States and multilateral associations.

12. The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle “extradite or prosecute” and relevant international and bilateral obligations and in compliance with applicable domestic legislation.

13. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant legal instruments which form the edifice of the drug control system. They reiterated their firm resolve to address the world drug problem, on a basis of common and shared responsibility. The Ministers expressed their determination to counter the spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond, which poses a serious threat to regional security and stability and provides funding for terrorist organizations.

14. The Ministers reiterated the need for a holistic approach to development and security of ICTs, including technical progress, business development, safeguarding the security of States and public interests, and respecting the right to privacy of individuals. The Ministers noted that technology should be used responsibly in a human-centric manner. They underscored the leading role of the United Nations in promoting a dialogue to forge common understandings on the security of and in the use of ICTs and development of universally agreed norms, rules and principles for responsible behaviour of States in the area of ICTs and recognized the importance of strengthening its international cooperation. The Ministers recalled that the development of ICT capabilities for military purposes and the malicious use of ICTs by State and non-State actors including terrorists and criminal groups is a disturbing trend. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to principles of preventing conflicts stemming from the use of ICTs, as well as ensuring use of these technologies for peaceful purposes. In this context, they welcomed the work of recently concluded UN-mandated groups namely Open Ended Working Group on the developments in the fields of Information and Telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) and the Sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security and their consensual final reports. The Ministers supported the OEWG on the security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025.

15. The Ministers, while emphasizing the important role of the ICTs for growth and development, acknowledged the potential misuse of ICTs for criminal activities and threats. The Ministers expressed concern over the increasing level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs as well as the absence of a UN-led framework to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. Noting that new challenges and threats in this respect require international cooperation, the Ministers appreciated the launch of the UN Open-Ended Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes under the auspices of the United Nations, pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/247.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, they emphasized the importance of constant efforts to reform the international financial architecture. They expressed concern that enhancing the voice and participation of EMDCs in the Bretton Woods institutions remains far from realization.

17. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for a transparent, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. In this context, they reiterated their support for the necessary reform which would preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO while taking into account the interests of all members, especially developing countries and Least Developing Countries (LDCs). They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members. The post-pandemic world requires diversified global value chains that are based on resilience and reliability.

18. The Ministers agreed that the imposition of unilateral sanctions beyond those adopted by the UNSC as well as “long-arm jurisdiction” were inconsistent with the principles of international law, have reduced the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UNSC sanction regime, and had a negative impact on third States and international economic and trade relations. They called for a further consolidation and strengthening of the working methods of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency.

19. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner – and reiterated that the Sustainable Development Goals are integrated and indivisible and must be achieved ‘leaving no one behind’. The Ministers called upon the international community to foster a more equitable and balanced global development partnership to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to accelerate the implementation of 2030 Agenda while giving special attention to the difficulties and needs of the developing countries. The Ministers urged developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, including the commitment to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology to developing countries together with additional development resources, in line with national policy objectives of the recipients.

20. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to Climate action by implementation of Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principle of Equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, the criticality of adequate finance and technology flows, judicious use of resources and the need for sustainable lifestyles. They recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. They stressed the importance of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that addresses the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in a balanced way. They welcomed the outcomes of the 26th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-26) and the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15).

21. The Ministers underlined the imperative of dialogue to strengthen international peace and security through political and diplomatic means. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to ensure prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization, through the adoption of a relevant multilateral legally binding instrument. In this regard, they noted the relevance of the draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects. They emphasized that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral negotiating forum on this subject, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement, or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. They expressed concern over the possibility of outer space turning into an arena of military confrontation. They stressed that practical transparency and confidence building measures, such as the No First Placement initiative may also contribute towards the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for enhancing international cooperation in outer space in accordance with international law, based on the Outer Space Treaty. They recognized, in that regard, the leading role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). They agreed to stand together for enhancing the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and safety of space operations through deliberations under UNCOPUOS.

22. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) as a key pillar of the global disarmament and security architecture. They highlighted the need for BTWC States Parties to comply with BTWC, and actively consult one another on addressing issues through cooperation in relation to the implementation of the Convention and strengthening it, including by negotiating a legally binding Protocol for the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. The BTWC functions should not be duplicated by other mechanisms. They also reaffirmed support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and called upon the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to uphold the Convention and the integrity of the CWC and engage in a constructive dialogue with a view to restoring the spirit of consensus in the OPCW.

23. The Ministers showed deep concern about the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of terrorist groups, including the use of chemicals and biological agents for terrorist purposes. To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, they emphasized the need to launch multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament. They urged all States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

24. The Ministers noted rising concerns regarding dramatic change of the situation in Afghanistan. They reaffirmed their support for basic principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and called for formation of a truly inclusive government that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country. The Ministers advocated a peaceful, secure, united, sovereign, stable and prosperous inclusive Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbors. They called on the Taliban to take actions in accordance with the results of all the recently held international and regional formats of interaction on Afghanistan, including the UN Resolutions on Afghanistan. Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan.

25. They stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. The Ministers acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace. They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.

26. The Ministers reiterated the importance of full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UNSC Resolution 2231 and expressed their support to the relevant efforts to ensure the earliest reinvigoration of the JCPOA which is a landmark achievement for multilateral diplomacy and the nuclear non-proliferation.

27. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar. They expressed support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) aimed at implementation of its Five-Point Consensus in cooperation with Myanmar. They called on all sides to refrain from violence.

28. The Ministers underlined the importance of lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. They expressed their support for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to resolve all issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula.

29. The Ministers welcomed the announcement of the Gaza ceasefire beginning 21 May 2021 and stressed the importance of the restoration of general stabilization. They recognized the efforts made by the UN and regional countries to prevent the hostilities from escalating. They mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence, called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and urged the international community’s immediate attention to providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza. They supported in this regard the Secretary General’s call for the international community to work with the United Nations, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift and sustainable reconstruction and recovery as well as for appropriate use of such aid. The Ministers reiterated their support for a two-State solution guided by the international legal framework previously in place, resulting in creating an independent and viable Palestinian State and based on the vision of a region where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

30. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They expressed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They also reaffirmed their support to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in full compliance with UNSC Resolution 2254. They welcomed in this context the importance of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, launched with the decisive participation of the countries-guarantors of the Astana Process and other states engaged in efforts to address the conflict through political means, and expressed their support to the efforts of Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, to ensure the sustainable and effective work of the Committee. They reiterated their conviction that in order to reach general agreement, members of the Constitutional Committee should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines. They emphasized the fundamental importance of allowing unhindered humanitarian aid to all Syrians in accordance with the UN humanitarian principles and the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria that would contribute to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin thus paving the way to achieving long-term stability and security in Syria and the region in general.

31. The Ministers expressed grave concern over the ongoing conflict in Yemen which affects the security and stability not only of Yemen, but also of the entire region, and has caused what is being called by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis currently in the world. They called for a complete cessation of hostilities and the establishment of an inclusive, Yemeni-led negotiation process mediated by the UN. They also stressed the importance of providing urgent humanitarian access and assistance to all Yemenis.

32. The Ministers welcomed the formation of the new transitional Presidency Council and Government of National Unity in Libya as a positive development and hoped that it would promote reconciliation among all political parties and Libyan society, work towards restoration of peace and stability and conduct elections on 24 December 2021 to hand over power to the new government as per the wishes of the Libyan people. They also noted the important role of UN in this regard.

33. The Ministers noted that some of the planned activities under the RIC format could not take place in the physical format due to the global Covid-19 pandemic situation. They welcomed the outcomes of the 18th RIC Trilateral Academic Conference organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi (ICWA) in the video-conference format on 22-23 April 2021. In this context, they also commended the contribution of the Institute of Chinese Studies (New Delhi), Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and China Institute of International Studies (Beijing) in establishing the RIC Academic Conference as the premier annual analytical forum for deepening RIC cooperation in diverse fields.

34. The Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

35. Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation thanked the External Affairs Minister of India for successful organization of the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting. External Affairs Minister of India passed on the chairmanship in the RIC format to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. The date and venue of the next RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting will be agreed upon through the diplomatic channels.

حلف «أوكوس» وأبعاده الإستراتيجيّة…

الجمعة 19 تشرين الثاني 2021

كاتب وباحث سياسي في العديد من المنافذ الإخبارية العربية ، ومنها جريدة الأخبار ، وقناة الميادين الإخبارية الفضائية ، وعربي 21 ، وراي اليوم ،.

عمرو علان

أعلنت كلٌّ من أميركا وبريطانيا وأستراليا في 15 أيلول 2021 عن إقامتها لحلفٍ أمنيٍ باسم «أوكوس»، ودارت عقب هذا الإعلان نقاشات موسّعة حول مدى ما يمثل هذا الحلف من تحول في «الجغرافيا السياسية»، ودارت تباعاً لذلك نقاشات حول قيمة هذه الخطوة من الناحية الإستراتيجية. وقد تَشكَّل شبه إجماع على كون هذه الخطوة تُعد بمثابة تبدلٍ رئيسٍ في «الجغرافيا السياسية» العالمية، فهي تمثل تحولاً عملياً في أولوية السياسة الخارجية الأميركية نحو منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك»، التي تُعد المجال الحيوي للصين، ناهيك عن كونها خطوةً أميركية ملموسة ضمن محاولاتها لعرقلة تقدم الصين في المجالات الاقتصادية والتقنية والتنموية عموماً. تطرّقت عدة مقالات بارزة إلى أهمية هذا الحلف وإلى ما يمثله في «الجغرافيا السياسية»، فمثلاً أكد أستاذ العلاقات الدولية البروفيسور «ستيفن والت» على أن سبب نشوء هذا الحلف وطريقة تشكيله يكشفان عما يتجه إليه العالم في قابل الأيام، وقالت مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست» في غير مقال بأن إقامة هذا الحلف تحاكي محطات تاريخية من قبيل زيارة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق نيكسون إلى الصين في سبعينيات القرن الماضي، وبأن حلف «أوكوس» يعيد تشكيل المشهد الإستراتيجي في منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك» برمّته.

لكن، رغم إجماع الآراء على أهمية ما يمثله هذا التحالف الأمني الثلاثي في السياسة الدولية، يبقى النقاش مفتوحاً حول ثقل هذا الحلف في الميزان الإستراتيجي، وإذا ما كان يُعد تبدلاً حقيقياً في ميزان القوى في مواجهة الصين في منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك». كان أبرز ما تمخّض عن حلف «أوكوس» توقيع أستراليا على عقد شراء ثماني غواصات حربية أميركية الصنع تعمل بالدفع النووي، وذلك عوضاً عن اثنتي عشرة غواصة حربية تعمل بالوقود التقليدي، كانت أستراليا قد تعاقدت على شرائها من فرنسا سابقاً، قبل إلغاء العَقْد لمصلحة عَقْد «أوكوس» الأميركي.

وتتميز الغواصات النووية الدفع عن نظيراتها التقليدية بأنها أسرع بنحو خمسة أضعافٍ، أي بنحو عشرين عُقدة بحرية للغواصات النووية الدفع في مقابل أربع عُقَد بحرية للغواصات التقليدية الدفع، وكذلك تتميز الغواصات النووية بأنها ذات قدرة عالية على الإبحار لمسافاتٍ بعيدةٍ، ومددٍ زمنيةٍ طويلةٍ، دون الحاجة إلى التزوُّد بالوقود، فمن الممكن القول بأن الغواصات النووية قادرةٌ عملياً على مواصلة العمل طالما توفّر لطاقمها الغذاء، ما يجعل من هذه الغواصات أداةً مثاليةً في عمليات فرض الحصار البحري على الدول، علماً بأن كلاً من مخزون الغذاء على متن الغواصة، وعدد الأيام التي يستطيع الطاقم قضاءها قبل أن يعتريهم الإرهاق، هما أمران ثابتان بمعزل عن نوع الوقود الذي تستخدمه الغواصة.

وتُعد الغواصات النووية أداةً فعالةً في عمليات الرصد والتجسّس أيضاً، وذلك بسبب قدرتها على الإبحار بصمت، ما يُصعِّب عملية اكتشافها وتعقبها من قبل الخصم. لكن في المقابل، وبناءً على معايير «برنامج ترايدنت النووي» البريطاني، تحتاج القوات البحرية إلى ثلاث غواصاتٍ بالحد الأدنى لضمان وجود غواصةٍ واحدةٍ في عمق البحر، وهذا يخفض القدرة العملانية للبحرية الأسترالية من ثلاث إلى أربع غواصات ، كانت لتحققها الصفقة الفرنسية، لتصير غواصتين أو ثلاثاً في أفضل الحالات حسب ما تُؤمِّنه صفقة «أوكوس» الأميركية، ونستذكر هنا جملة الأدميرال «هوراشيو نيلسون» حينما قال: الكثرة فقط هي التي تُبيد. ويجادل البروفيسور هيو وايت، أستاذ الدراسات الإستراتيجية في الجامعة الوطنية الأسترالية، في مقال عن صفقة غواصات «أوكوس» النووية، بالقول إذا ما كان هدف أستراليا الانضمام إلى أميركا في حرب عسكرية ضد الصين، فعندها يكون خيار الغواصات النووية منطقياً، ويتابع، لكن أستراليا ليست قادرة على خوض حرب ضد جيش التحرير الشعبي الصيني وحيدةً، وبدون تواجد أميركي عسكري في منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك»، أما في حال وجود أميركا في المنطقة، فلا فرق عندها بين إذا ما كانت الغواصات الأسترالية نووية أم تقليدية، ويُفهم من حديثه بأنه في هكذا حرب ضد دولة نووية كبرى كالصين، يقع العبء الأكبر على عاتق أميركا، فهل من شأن غواصتين – أو ثلاث في أحسن الحالات – قلب موازين القوى بشكل جوهري في بحر الصين الجنوبي؟

وزيادةً على ذلك، كان يفترض أن تتسلّم أستراليا الغواصات الفرنسية بحلول عام 2030، بينما تحتاج الغواصات النووية الأميركية حتى عام 2040 على أقل تقدير لتكون جاهزة، وحتى ذاك الحين، على الأرجح أن تكون الصين قد حسمت لمصلحتها قضية تايوان، التي تعدها أميركا أمراً رئيساً في مشروع مناهضتها للصين، ناهيك عن أنها ستكون قد عزّزت تواجدها بشكل واسع بالفعل ضمن مجالها الحيوي.

أما إذا كان الحديث عن حلف «أوكوس» الأمني بصفته الشق العسكري من إستراتيجية أميركية أوسع لمناهضة الصين، فهكذا إستراتيجية يلزمها بالضرورة أولاً جانب اقتصادي، ولا سيما كون المنافسة الأميركية مع الصين تتركز على صعود هذه الأخيرة كعملاق اقتصادي عالمي، وثانياً، يلزمها تحالفات أميركية صلبة ذات مغزى وفعالية. ونجد بأن أول تداعيات حلف «أوكوس» كان إغضاب فرنسا، أحد حلفاء أميركا في «الناتو»، ووصف وزير الخارجية الفرنسي سياسة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن بالسياسة «الترامبية»، لكن بدون «تويتر»، وعدَّها «طعنة في الظهر» ممن يفترض كونهم حلفاء لفرنسا، ووصل الأمر إلى استدعاء فرنسا لسفيرَيها في أميركا وأستراليا للتشاور. وكانت ردة فعل الفرنسيين مفهومة، سيما أن صفقة الغواصات التي خسرتها كانت تُقدر بأكثر من 65 مليار دولار أميركي.

وأثار إقامة حلف «أوكوس» تساؤلاتٍ جدية لدى أعضاء حلف شمال الأطلسي عن موقع «الناتو» في الإستراتيجية الأميركية في مرحلة مناهضة الصين، حيث أقام الأميركيون هذا الحلف الثلاثي من وراء ظهر الأوروبيين، ذلك خلا بريطانيا التي كانت شريكة أميركا في تحالفها الجديد، ولا سيما أن الإعلان عن تحالف «أوكوس» جاء مباشرةً عقب الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، الذي لم تنسّق فيه أميركا مع شركائها لا من أوروبيين ولا من غيرهم.

وأما في الجانب الاقتصادي، فكان معبِّراً ما كتبته مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست»، حيث عنونت: وأخيراً أميركا تُبدي جديةً في مناهضة الصين في آسيا، لكنّ تقوية التحالفات العسكرية ليست وحدها أمراً كافياً، لتمضي بالقول إن علاقة أميركا بالصين يلزمها أكثر من مجرد استعراضٍ للقوة، وإنه ينبغي على أميركا تضمين إستراتيجيتها جوانب أخرى، من قبيل التعاون مع الصين حول التغيّر المناخي ضمن قواعد للتنافس الاقتصادي، وهنا فالسياسة الأميركية لا تزال تعاني. وقد كان لافتًا قيام الصين بتقديم طلب انضمامٍ إلى «اتفاق الشراكة الشاملة والتقدمية عبر المحيط الهادئ» بعد يوم واحد فقط على إعلان إقامة حلف «أوكوس»، هذا الاتفاق التجاري الذي يمثل المنطقة التجارية الحرة الكبرى في العالم، والذي انسحبت منه إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في عام 2017، ما أشار إلى عقليةٍ أميركيةٍ تجاريةٍ انعزاليةٍ، ولا يبدو أن أياً في أميركا يخطط إلى العودة إلى هذا الاتفاق بما في ذلك إدارة الديمقراطيين الراهنة، رغم تصريحات جو بايدن الانتخابية عن «تصحيح» ما قامت به إدارة دونالد ترامب، وعن نيته إعادة تقوية الشراكات الأميركية مع دول العالم. ويُعد تقديم الصين لطلب الانضمام هذا تعبيراً عن توجهاتها الاقتصادية، ويمكن إدراجه في سياق مناكفة أميركا، رغم الشكوك حول إمكانية قبول طلب الصين في هذه المرحلة من قبل الدول الأعضاء في «الشراكة عبر المحيط الهادئ».

إذاً، بنظرةٍ شاملةٍ لحلف «أوكوس» من جميع زواياه، نجد أنه يمثل تبدلاً عميقاً في «الجغرافيا السياسية»، كونه يعبر عن احتلال مناهضة الصين لرأس أولويات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية لسنوات قادمة، لكنه يظل خطوة عسكرية منقوصة «نصف إستراتيجية» كما وصفته مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست»، فعزّزت أميركا بهذه الخطوة العسكرية التحالف القائم أصلًا مع أستراليا، التي تُعد قزماً إذا ما قورنت بالصين سواءً أكان بعدد السكان أم بالقوة العسكرية، ناهيك عن كون أستراليا تعتمد بشكلٍ رئيسٍ على الصين في الجانب التجاري.

مما لا شك فيه أن أميركا قد حقّقت ربحاً تجارياً من بيع الغواصات النووية الباهظة الثمن، لكنه يبدو قصير الأمد في مقابل تعثرٍ إستراتيجيٍّ طويل الأمد، نتيجة إثارتها مجدداً للشكوك حول مصداقيتها، وعن مراعاتها لمصالح حلفائها، سواءً أكانوا من «الناتو» أم من الدول الأخرى. فهل كانت إذاً أستراليا «بقرةً حلوباً» أخرى تم ابتزازها في حلف «أوكوس»؟ حيث استبدلت أستراليا صفقة فرنسية بأخرى أميركية تفوقها مرة ونصف مرة في القيمة، من أجل حيازة عتادٍ عسكريٍ مشكوك في حاجتها إليه، حسب ما خلص إليه البروفيسور «هيو وايت» بالقول: عند الأخذ في الحسبان مجموع العوامل المرافقة لتشغيل الغواصات النووية، تفوز الغواصات تقليدية الدفع بكل تأكيد، فيا ليت أدارت أستراليا تعاقداتها بقليل من المنطق.

وهل خضعت حكومة «موريسون» إلى تهديد البروفيسور الأميركي المعروف وأستاذ العلوم السياسية «جون ميرشايمر»، حيث كان قد خاطب نخبة من الإستراتيجيين الأستراليين خلال ندوة بعنوان «هل تستطيع الصين النهوض بسلام»، أقيمت في عام 2019 في أستراليا، قائلاً: يرى البعض أنه يوجد هناك بديل، السير مع الصين عوضاً عن أميركا، وفي هذا الخيار أقول – إذا قرّرتم السير مع الصين فعليكم فهم أنكم ستغدون أعداء لنا، وبأنكم تختارون العداء مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، فالحديث هنا يخصّ منافسةً أمنيةً حادةً، فإما أن تكونوا معنا وإما أن تكونوا ضدّنا، فإذا اخترتم الصداقة مع الصين، فهذا لن يجعلنا سعداء، وعليكم عدم الاستهانة بغضبنا حينما لا نكون سعداء، وما عليكم إلا سؤال فيديل كاسترو عن ذلك.


صعود الصين، عودة روسيا ونهاية فكرة تصدير الديمقراطية الأمريكية – البروفيسور جون ميرشايمر

مقالات سابقة


Bill Gates Should Know Better: How the Israeli Occupation Ravages the Environment in Palestine 

NOVEMBER 12, 2021

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

Photograph Source: Billionaires Success, OnInnovation – CC BY 2.0

Those who are not familiar with how Israel, particularly the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, is actively and irreversibly damaging the environment might reach the erroneous conclusion that Tel Aviv is at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. The reality is the exact opposite.

In his speech at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Israel’s rightwing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pushed the Israeli brand of “innovation and ingenuity” to “promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases”.

Israel uses this particular brand to sell everything, whether to promote itself as the savior of Africa, to help governments intercept fleeing refugees, to push deadly weapons in the global market or, as Bennett has done in Scotland, supposedly save the environment.

Just before we hastily dismiss Bennett’s rhetoric as empty words, we must remember that some are actually buying into this Israeli propaganda, one of whom is the American billionaire, Bill Gates.

The day following Bennett’s speech, Gates met with the Israeli Prime Minister on the sidelines of COP26 to discuss the establishment of a “working group” to study potential cooperation “between the State of Israel and the Gates Foundation in the area of climate change innovation,” the Times of Israel newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, Gates, who had asserted in his meeting with Bennett that only innovation can solve the problem of climate change, said, “That’s really what Israel is known for”.

Gates’ obsession with ‘innovation’, however, might have blinded him from addressing other issues that Israel is also ‘known for’ – namely, being the world’s leading human rights violator, whose horrific track record of racial apartheid and violence is known to every member of the United Nations.

However, there is something else that Gates might also not be aware of – the systematic and purposeful destruction of the Palestinian environment, resulting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Tel Aviv’s insatiable appetite for military superiority, thus constant ‘innovation’.

Every act that is carried out to entrench the military occupation consolidates Israel’s colonial control and expanding illegal Jewish settlements directly impacts the Palestinian environment.

Not a single day passes without a Palestinian tree or an orchard being set ablaze or cut down. ‘Clearing’ the Palestinian environment is, and has always been, the prerequisite of constructing or expanding Jewish settlements. For these colonies to be built, countless trees have to be ‘removed’, along with the Palestinians who have planted them.

Over the years, millions of Palestinian olive and fruit-bearing trees were uprooted in Israel’s constant hunger for more land. The soil erosion in many parts of occupied Palestine speaks volumes of this horrendous ecocide.

But it does not end here, of course. For hundreds of illegal Jewish settlements – hosting a population of more than 600,000 settlers – to survive, a heavy price is being exacted from the Palestinian environment on a daily basis. According to the thorough research of Ahmed Abofou, an independent Legal Researcher with Al-Haq rights group, illegal Israeli settlements “generate around 145,000 tons of domestic waste daily.” Abofou reported that “in 2016 alone, around 83 million cubic meters of wastewater were pumped throughout the West Bank.”

Moreover, Israel has near-total control of Palestinian water resources. It relies on the occupied West Bank’s aquifers to supplant its need for water, while denying Palestinians access to their own water.

According to Amnesty International, the average Israeli receives 300 liters of water per day, while a Palestinian receives a much smaller share of 73 liters. The problem is accentuated when the water usage of illegal Jewish settlers is taken into account. The average settler consumes as much as 800 liters per day, while entire Palestinian communities could be denied a drop of water for days and weeks, often as a form of collective punishment.

The issue with the water is not just that of outright theft, denial of access or unequal distribution of water resources. It is also that of the lack of clean and safe drinkable water, an issue that has been highlighted by international human rights groups for many years.

The result of these unfair policies has forced many Palestinians “to purchase water brought in by trucks” at prices “ranging from 4 to 10 USD per cubic meter,” Amnesty International found, highlighting that, for the poorest Palestinian communities, “water expenses can, at times, make up half of a family’s monthly income.”

As bad as the situation may sound, the plight of besieged Gaza is much worse than that of the occupied West Bank. The tiny and overcrowded Strip is the perfect example of Israeli cruelty. Two million Palestinians live there, while being denied the most basic human rights, let alone freedom of movement.

Since the Israeli military blockade on Gaza in 2007, the environment of the coastal region has been in constant deterioration. With little electricity and with bombed-out sewage plants, Palestinians have been forced to dump their unprocessed sewage into the sea. Gaza’s underground water is now polluted to the extent that 97 percent of the available water is now undrinkable, according to United Nations reports.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. From the destruction of Palestinian wells to the poisoning of trees, to the demolishing of entire ecosystems to make space for Israel’s apartheid wall, to the use of depleted uranium in its various wars against Gaza, Israel has been on an unrelenting mission to ruin Palestine’s environment in all of its manifestations.

In truth, Mr. Gates, this is what Israel is ‘known for’ to anyone who cares to pay attention. Allowing Bennett to present his country as a potential savior of humanity, while validating Israel with massive investments in ‘innovation’, mischaracterizes – in fact, invalidates – the entire global campaign to truly understand the nature of the problem at hand.

Those who are hurting the planet have no right to claim the role of being its saviors. Israel, in its current violent state, is the enemy of the environment, and this is what it truly should be ‘known for’.

East Asia Summit: President Putin

OCTOBER 27, 2021

East Asia Summit: President Putin

East Asia Summit

The President addressed, via videoconference, the 16th East Asia Summit.

The 2021 East Asia Summit was held under the chairmanship of Brunei Darussalam. The participants discussed the economic recovery of the Asia-Pacific Region and overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the end of the session, the participants approved a package of documents.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Majesty, colleagues,

I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to His Majesty Sultan of Brunei Darussalam for organising this event.

The East Asia Summits provide a good opportunity to discuss the situation in the Asia-Pacific Region, map out possible solutions to the most challenging problems and coordinate measures to maintain peace and stability and to strengthen mutually beneficial multilateral cooperation.

Our common region has indeed become one of the most dynamic global centres of political, business and investment activity. At the same time, it is facing serious challenges and threats in terms of security, and economic and social development, which have been augmented by the coronavirus during the past two years.

Therefore, it is quite logical that this summit is focusing on the struggle against the pandemic and efforts to overcome its consequences, as well as the implementation of the joint Statement on Strengthening Collective Capacity in Epidemics Prevention and Response, which was adopted at Russia’s initiative. In this context, we are certainly ready to exchange experience with interested countries on the practical aspects of combatting infectious diseases.

We could also expand the training programme for epidemiologists from ASEAN states at the Vladivostok Research Centre of Biosecurity in the Asia-Pacific region. In November and December, we will hold a new series of relevant advanced training courses on that platform, which representatives of the regional countries are welcome to attend.

I would like to note that Russia is seeking to make a real contribution to efforts aimed at ensuring free and non-discriminatory access to vaccines against COVID-19 for citizens of all states. We are in favour of developing a procedure involving reciprocal recognition of vaccination certificates, without which it is practically impossible to support the unrestricted movement of citizens of our countries across the region.

The use of Russian vaccines, primarily Sputnik V, has been approved by 70 countries, and they are supplied to more than 50. We are grateful to many partners in the Asia-Pacific Region for our joint work to localise the production of vaccines. We will continue to provide Russian test kits and reagents needed for diagnosing COVID-19, including free of charge.

Protecting mental health and rendering psychological support is of particular importance against the background of the pandemic and related tough restrictions, including the need to stay at home or go into self-isolation. For this reason, we certainly support the initiative of the Brunei chairmanship to approve a separate thematic statement following today’s meeting.

In general, we suggest that a regional mechanism for anti-pandemic collaboration be established under the aegis of the East Asia Summits, and we will shortly submit specific considerations on this score via the expert channels.

Colleagues,

We believe it is quite important for the states in this region to engage in the further strengthening of trade and economic ties, the more so that business activity is gradually recovering. Russia, for one, has managed to reach the pre-crisis level, with GDP growth amounting to 3.7 percent on August 2020.

During the first eight months of 2021, Russia’s trade with countries participating in the East Asia Summits grew by more than 34 percent to $162 billion. The states present here account for $18.5 billion in direct accumulated investment into the Russian economy, which is more than a twofold increase over five years.

We should support the incipient economic recovery by taking additional measures to stimulate the backbone industries of our economies and by seeking further coordination of efforts in this area.

We believe that tourism deserves special attention. It is one of the sectors that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Meanwhile, for some countries that are taking part in this summit, tourism is the main provider of jobs: before the pandemic, it generated about 10 or more percent of their incomes.

In view of this, Russia has suggested adopting a joint statement in support of the tourist industry, following today’s discussion. There is also a specific initiative – to organise a meeting of the heads of relevant departments as early as next January, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Tourist Forum in Cambodia, and then to make such contacts regular.

No less urgent are the tasks of stepping up growth in other branches of the economy, including industry, power engineering and finances. With these goals in view, we would consider it useful to prepare and submit for approval by the leaders next year a roadmap of cooperation between the participants in East Asia Summits on the entire range of economic issues.

We also support a proposal on adopting a statement on sustainable recovery, based on the outcome of our summit. The priorities mentioned in it, such as efforts to counter climate change, encourage innovation in decarbonisation and develop technology and sectors with low emission levels, require smooth, concerted cooperation from all of us.

And, of course, we are interested in the closest cooperation on digitisation with the participants in the East Asia Summits. Digital technology is very helpful in resolving the comprehensive goal of strengthening coherence in the region, developing its infrastructure and trade, and creating transport-and-logistics corridors.

We hope for positive results from the project on innovation for the smart and sustainable cities of Russia and ASEAN. We are launching it as part of our partnership dialogue with the association. Our capital, Moscow, which is among the world’s top seven smart cities, will play a most active role in this project.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that along with the need to overcome all of the above pressing challenges in healthcare as well as on the social track and in the economy in general, it is important not to relax our joint efforts to maintain regional stability and security. This is all the more relevant given the fact that the number of challenges and threats in the Asia-Pacific region is not decreasing, but growing with old conflicts being exacerbated and new ones emerging.

In particular, we have repeatedly noted that with the termination of the INF Treaty, the region is facing the possibility of assault weapons being deployed in its vast territory, and accordingly, the prospect for a new round of the arms race.

Realising the danger of such a turn of events, Russia, as you are aware, has announced a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of intermediate and short-range missiles in the APR and other regions and called for a serious discussion on this subject with all stakeholders. Russia’s proposal remains in force and has even become more relevant.

To reiterate, Russia has consistently advocated forming a system of equal and indivisible security in the APR and strengthening the atmosphere of constructive cooperation based on international law, including respect for the sovereignty, equality and consideration of each other’s interests.

We believe this is the only way to cut short existing and emerging threats and to address pressing issues facing our region and the international community, as well as to effectively interact in the interests of sustainable development and improving people’s well-being.

Russia will continue to contribute to this joint work.

Thank you.

Here Comes China: Xi Jinping’s speech, Major geo-political events, Joint naval patrol, Shangri-La was a novel

October 25, 2021

Here Comes China:  Xi Jinping’s speech, Major geo-political events, Joint naval patrol, Shangri-La was a novel

by Amarynth for the Saker Blog

There has been a slight pause in these sitreps. This writing became overshadowed with current events, fully covered in the Saker Blog by other writers.  Because of length, we will upgrade this one today from sitrep to guest analysis.

A shortlisting of four major events since the Sitrep paused:

1.Meng Wanzhou’s triumphant return to China and a win against the Long Arm of the Law.  Meng is back at work this morning.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237211.shtml

2.The failed visit (yes another failed diplomatic visit) which resulted in this comical and humorous tweet from Escobar

@RealPepeEscobar

US-CHINA IN 30 SECONDS

  • Jake Sullivan – “We wanna talk about Uyghurs, Hong Kong, Taiwan, human rights.”
  • Yang Jiechi – “No.”
  • Sullivan – “Climate change.”
  • Yang Jiechi – “Maybe. If you listen.”
  • Sullivan – “So we’re coming after you big time.”
  • Yang Jiechi – “Bring it on.”

Uhm, how did that climate change maybe thing work out? Well it turns out not so well. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are among several world leaders who will not be attending the big climate summit COP26 scheduled to begin this week in Britain. The two leaders will not even give it a pretense of legitimacy. Now, that is how to give a perfect diplomatic snub!  Or is it only a diplomatic snub?  I think both China and Russia are expressing that any attempt to do productive work with a naked insane emperor is now futile.  We will probably see light speed changes from now on into multipolarity to hopefully gain a world that is now insisting on decent human values and most of all, peaceful resolution of differences.     

3.The other big event was the forming of Aukus, obviously in an attempt to create a mini-NATO against first China and Russia.

4.At the height of all of these were and are still the Taiwan issues and we will take a look at Xi Jinping’s speech a little later in this writing.

One soon finds that it becomes almost impossible to approach China from a generalist perspective. But, we have help. On the economics side, we have Michael Hudson. On the historical side, we have writers such as Godfree Roberts, Jeff J Browne and many others. On the anti-China propaganda side, we have me and a number of reliable commentators on the Saker Blog and on the social, community, and humanity side, we have a host of excellent bloggers, documentary makers, and distributors of information as if one is walking in the streets and in the countryside with your own feet. And of course, China is now taking its rightful place in the world as a leader and has improved markedly in information dissemination; they are taking their place on the world stage as wolf warriors, (Uhm, no, I did not mean to write that, of course, I meant to write ..) diplomats.

Sidebar: China is a massive country and in landmass second only to Russia. But even in this simple measurement, the west tries quibbling techniques. Read it and weep. China is only second but Canada is bigger if we measure waterways. And really, China is really smaller than the US. Take a look at the quibble: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/largest-countries-in-the-world

In this year, the year of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, we experience an almost complete restatement and refinement of China’s goals in our world. We see internal nomenclature such as national rejuvenation, a modern socialist country, and continual reformation with comprehensive plans and strategy, and a peaceful and united domestic environment. Toward the world, we see phrases such as maintaining a revolutionary spirit, the courage to carry out a great struggle with contemporary features, courage, and skill, safeguard sovereignty, and protect security and development interests. We hear that China intends to assume a greater role in and for the world.  Aggression and hegemony are not in the blood of the Chinese people and they will strive for a human community with a shared future. There are specific goals set out. China will:

  • endeavor to improve the global governance system
  • engender peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom
  • work to strengthen solidarity of people of all other countries
  • engage in all efforts to oppose hegemony and power politics

What is the difference between Putin’s Optimistic Reasonable Conservatism and Xi’s Human Community with a Shared Future and moderately prosperous society?  I cannot see too big of a difference as the qualitative values expressed are similar although the civilizational socialization is different.  As Putin expressed his non-acceptance of woke ‘values’ in his Valdai speech, so China in the last few months took real action.  They threw the feminine men out of their television programs.  The feminine men is an inheritance from Japan to a lesser degree and Korea, to a larger degree.  China does not want girly men to become role models for their children.    They pulled the rug out from underneath expensive additional schools, acting as funnels to expensive university programs, and tutoring that basically burdened the Chinese children.  They have strengthened the Chinese schools to offer all additional education necessary, in order to have consistent educational standards.  They simply stopped computer games for younger children and limited this to no more than 3 hours per week.  They increased physical programs and education to get the kids out and about with healthy activities.  And in stark contrast to the western sphere who wants to control the kids, China just put the responsibility by law, properly and correctly in the parents’ hands.  “On Saturday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee adopted a new law stating that China’s parents are responsible for family education.”

On Taiwan, we see Xi Jinping expressing the following: “The Taiwan question arose from weakness and chaos and will be resolved with national reunification, the one-China principle, and 1992 resolution”.

Regarding military action; we see even Putin expressing that Xi Jinping does not need to take military action.  The verbose threats come from the US and Australia.

There are three aspects that Putin and Xi Jinping express as in one voice.

  • We are in a time of momentous changes in the world.
  • Both Russia and China are prepared and can ride the waves of change in a manner that is helpful, peaceful, and supportive in and for the world. 
  • The UN (and it has been said a number of times that it needs to be updated) is still the only venue where world problems can be discussed.  From Russia, our Law is the UN Charter and this is expressed by China as well.  The rules-based concept does not feature whatsoever.

These concepts are fully supported by Putin’s speech at Valdai, and Xi Jinping’s speech at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of China’s formal joining of the United Nations.

During the years since the cold war, another momentous alliance grew almost from a grassroots level. This is the Russia / China treaty of Good Neighborliness. Here, with subtitles is what the Chinese office of foreign affairs thinks of this treaty at its 20th anniversary. China and Russia are not allies, but closer than allies:

In this atmosphere of global chaos, Xi Jinping delivered a speech this morning at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of restoration of People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the UN:

(Translation)

Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

At the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration Of the Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China

In the United Nations

25 October 2021

Your Excellency Secretary-General António Guterres,

Your Excellencies Diplomatic Envoys and Representatives of International Organizations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

Fifty years ago today, the 26th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted, with an overwhelming majority, Resolution 2758, and the decision was made to restore all rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. It was a victory for the Chinese people and a victory for people of the world.

Today, on this special date, we are here to review the past history and look to the future, and that makes our gathering all the more significant.

The restoration of New China’s lawful seat in the United Nations was a momentous event for the world and the United Nations. It came as the result of joint efforts of all peace-loving countries that stood up for justice in the world. It marked the return of the Chinese people, or one-fourth of the world’s population, back to the UN stage. The importance was significant and far-reaching for both China and the wider world.

On this occasion, I wish to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, heartfelt gratitude to all countries that co-sponsored and supported UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, and to pay high tribute to all countries and people that stand on the side of justice.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

The past five decades since New China restored its lawful seat in the United Nations have witnessed China’s peaceful development and its commitment and dedication to the welfare of all humanity.

— For these 50 years, the Chinese people have demonstrated an untiring spirit and kept to the right direction of China’s developmentamidst changing circumstances, thus writing an epic chapter in the development of China and humanity. Building on achievements in national construction and development since the founding of New China, the Chinese people have started the new historical era of reform and opening-up, and successfully initiated and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics. We have continued to unleash and develop productivity and raise living standards, and achieved a historic breakthrough of leaping from a country with relatively low productivity to the second largest economy in the world. Through much hard work, the Chinese people have attained the goal of fully building a moderately prosperous society on the vast land of China, and won the battle against poverty, thus securing a historic success in eradicating absolute poverty. We have now embarked on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and opened up bright prospects for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

For these 50 years, the Chinese people have stood in solidarity and cooperation withpeople around the world and upheld international equity and justice,contributing significantly to world peace and developmentThe Chinese people are peace-loving people and know well the value of peace and stability. We have unswervingly followed an independent foreign policy of peace, stood firm for fairness and justice, and resolutely opposed hegemony and power politics. The Chinese people are a strong supporter of other developing countries in their just struggle to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese people are committed to achieving common development. From the Tazara Railway to the Belt and Road Initiative, we have done what we could to help other developing countries, and have offered the world new opportunities through our own development. During the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has been active in sharing COVID response experience with the world, and has sent large quantities of supplies, vaccines and medicines to other countries, and deeply engaged in science-based cooperation on COVID-19 origins tracing, all in a sincere and proactive effort to contribute to humanity’s final victory over the pandemic.

For these 50 years, the Chinese people have upheld the authority and sanctity of the United Nations and practiced multilateralism,and China’s cooperation with the United Nations hasdeepened steadily.China has faithfully fulfilled its responsibility and mission as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, stayed true to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and upheld the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. China has stood actively for political settlement of disputes through peaceful means. It has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations, and is now the second largest financial contributor to both the United Nations and UN peacekeeping operations. China has been among the first of countries to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. It has taken the lead in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, accounting for over 70 percent of global poverty reduction. China has acted by the spirit of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and earnestly applied the universality of human rights in the Chinese context. It has blazed a path of human rights development that is consistent with the trend of the times and carries distinct Chinese features, thus making major contribution to human rights progress in China and the international human rights cause.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

The trend of the world, vast and mighty, prospers those who follow it and perishes those who go against it. Over the last 50 years, for all the vicissitudes in the international landscape, the world has remained stable as a whole, thanks to the concerted efforts of people of all countries. The world economy has grown rapidly, and innovation in science and technology has kept breaking new ground. A large number of developing countries have grown stronger, over a billion people have walked out of poverty, and a population of several billion are moving toward modernization.

In the world today, changes unseen in a century are accelerating, and the force for peace, development and progress has continued to grow. It falls upon us to follow the prevailing trend of history, and choose cooperation over confrontation, openness over seclusion, and mutual benefit over zero-sum games. We shall be firm in opposing all forms of hegemony and power politics, as well as all forms of unilateralism and protectionism.

— We should vigorously advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and work together to provide the right guiding philosophy for building a better world. Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit. The world we live in is diverse and colorful. Diversity makes human civilization what it is, and provides a constant source of vitality and driving force for world development. As a Chinese saying goes, “Without achieving the good of one hundred various schools, the uniqueness of one individual cannot be achieved.” No civilization in the world is superior to others; every civilization is special and unique to its own region. Civilizations can achieve harmony only through communication, and can make progress only through harmonization. Whether a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions; whether it follows the development trend of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better livelihoods and social stability; whether it has the people’s endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progressive cause of humanity.

— We should jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. The human race is an integral community and Earth is our common homeland. No person or country can thrive in isolation. Humanity should overcome difficulties in solidarity and pursue common development in harmony. We should keep moving toward a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly create a better future. To build a community with a shared future for mankind is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, cultures and levels of development coming together for shared interests, shared rights and shared responsibilities in global affairs, and creating the greatest synergy for building a better world.

— We should stay committed to mutual benefit and win-win results, and work together to promote economic and social development for the greater benefit of our people. As ancient Chinese observed, “The essence of governance is livelihood; and the essence of livelihood is adequacy. Development and happy lives are the common aspirations of people in all countries. Development is meaningful only when it is for the people’s interest, and can sustain only when it is motivated by the people. Countries should put their people front and center, and strive to realize development with a higher level of quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security. It is important to resolve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, and make development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. It is also important to strengthen the people’s capacity for development, foster a development environment where everyone takes part and has a share, and create a development paradigm where its outcome benefits every person in every country more directly and fairly. Not long ago, at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, I proposed a Global Development Initiative with the hope that countries will work together to overcome impacts of COVID-19 on global development, accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build a global community of development with a shared future.

We should step up cooperation, and work together to address the various challenges and global issues facing humanity. The international community is confronted by regional disputes as well as global issues such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. Only with more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation, can these issues be addressed effectively. Climate change is Nature’s alarm bell to humanity. Countries need to take concrete actions to protect Mother Nature. We need to encourage green recovery, green production and green consumption, promote a civilized and healthy lifestyle, foster harmony between man and Nature, and let a sound ecology and environment be the inexhaustible source of sustainable development.

We should resolutely uphold the authority and standing of the United Nations, and work together to practice true multilateralism. Building a community with a shared future for mankind requires a strong United Nations and reform and development of the global governance system. Countries should uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and not decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. International rules should be observed by the 193 UN Member States, and there is and should be no exception. Countries should respect the United Nations, take good care of the UN family, refrain from exploiting the Organization, still less abandoning it at one’s will, and make sure that the United Nations plays an even more positive role in advancing humanity’s noble cause of peace and development. China will be happy to work with all countries under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to explore new ideas and new models of cooperation and keep enriching the practice of multilateralism under new circumstances.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

A review of the past can light the way forward. Standing at a new historical starting point, China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development and always be a builder of world peace. China will stay committed to the path of reform and opening-up and always be a contributor to global development. China will stay committed to the path of multilateralism and always be a defender of the international order.

As an ancient Chinese poem reads, “Green hills immerse in the same cloud and rain. The same moon lights up towns however far away.” Let us join hands, stand on the right side of history and the side of human progress, and work tirelessly for the lasting and peaceful development of the world and for building a community with a shared future for mankind!

Thank you.

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-10/25/c_1310267311.htm

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To my great surprise, Xi Jinping did not say one word about Taiwan, but sketched out the past as a harbinger of the future while cementing the legal status of China, which is not the legal status of Taiwan.  I guess he feels that the contretemps with Taiwan is not important enough.

On the speeches, we may say that those are lofty ideals. But we also see practical and real interaction between China and Russia. The two countries just completed a first joint naval patrol in waters of the West Pacific,  between October 17th to the 23rd, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The patrol was held right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan from October 14th to 17th.

5 Chinese vessels and 5 Russian destroyers and frigates accompanied by six carrier-based helicopters made passage through the Tsugaru Strait (which caused Japan to run for the Prozac). Yet this Strait is not territorial waters, and warships from any country have the right to transit, which means the transit of the Chinese and Russian vessels was in line with international law. The Tsugaru Strait is narrow, only 12 miles wide at its narrowest point from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean.  This RT link has the photography and videos:  https://www.rt.com/news/538265-russia-china-pacific-patrol/

What is also very interesting is that it is said that the sea lane between these two islands is specifically maintained for quick access of US submarines to the Pacific Ocean.  A Chinese expert opined as follows:

Encircling Japan, particularly sailing to the east side of Japan, is of significance because many key military installations are located on that side, including the US Navy base in Yokosuka, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times.

Many US military provocations on China in places like the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea were launched from these bases, the expert said, noting that the joint patrol by Chinese and Russian vessels could be seen as a warning to the US and Japan, which have been rallying up to confront China and Russia, serves the goals of US hegemony, and undermines regional peace and stability.

“The joint maritime patrol is aimed at further developing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era, elevating the joint action capabilities of both nations and jointly maintaining international and regional strategic stability. It’s a part of the annual cooperation plan between the two nations …”

In bold are the most important words, and this is not a lofty ideal, but a very hard challenge to the western power and of course Japan. Also, if one looks at that area with a strategic eye, it breaks up the supposed ‘ring of fire’ to keep China contained. In addition, it is also a warning for Japan, which has been dragging its feet to come to an agreement with Russia on islands further North in the island chain.

So, we have to ask, was this a threat? No, not at all on the surface of it, but it was a stark reminder that the so-called freedom of navigation game that has been constant in the South China Sea and the Straight of Taiwan can be played by more than one player.

It is also notable that from 2019, air forces from China and Russia have conducted annual joint strategic air patrols over the East China Sea and Sea of Japan. We are now seeing very visibly one of the aspects of the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era.

Did you see that? Did you see the evolution of the Russia / China treaty of Good Neighborliness to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership?

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/chinese-russian-warships-still-circling-japan-counterweight-us-destabilization-region

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237083.shtml

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As is usual, we look at a few of the China data points and I want to remind that you the Chinese governance is always refining, always testing, and prototyping new methods and systems across the spectrum of modern life, and always this is done on a grassroots level.

China is in trouble, clapped-out economically, and is going to bring the west down with it, is the message that we see with monotonous regularity.  The reality is different.   Chinese GDP expanded a whopping 9.8% in the first three quarters of 2021, and major indicators are within a reasonable range.

Evergrande – caused by poor management and that is all and the Chinese government will both let them burn, and also make them take responsibility to Chinese people first.  There will be no monopolies or other behemoth-type business structures in China that can challenge the state.  The Chinese people come first.   https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3152530/china-evergrande-crisis-caused-poor-management-exception?utm_source=rss_feed

(Evergrande has no option but to resume work and they did so today on 10 projects.  There is no quick bankruptcy for them, and certainly no bail-out).

Chinese banks have foreign-currency deposits of $1 trillion for the first time, an opportunity for Beijing to liberalize the country’s capital account. A resilient economy and strengthening currency have attracted record foreign purchases of bonds and stocks while surging demand for goods meant exporters brought back more dollars. The pace of the influx has tested the authorities’ tolerance for a strengthening yuan, with the currency now near a five-year high against a basket of its peers.

Exports grew 20% in September, up from 15.7% in August. September’s gain was higher than the median estimate of 13.3% in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Growth in imports slowed to 11% in September from 23.1% in the previous month.

China-Korea semiconductor industrial complex starts construction amid Beijing’s push for tech self-reliance. The municipal government of Wuxi and memory chip giant SK Hynix have teamed up to develop the China-Korea Integrated Circuit Industrial Park. The city is expected to become home to 19 new semiconductor-related projects with a combined investment of US$4.7 billion.

A Chinese herbal formula for coronavirus patients is undergoing clinical trials in the US for possible approval for people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of the disease. Qingfei Paidu, most commonly called QFPD, is a 21-herb formula whose name literally means lung cleansing and detoxification.

China, which pioneered controlling Covid-19 with lockdown orders and tight border rules, will  “wait and see” about adjusting its zero-tolerance policy. “We are discussing about the new strategy in China … everything is dynamic. We are ready for any possible reassessment”.  (Please do not consider this comment and the previous as an open sesame to start discussing Covid on the Saker Blog.  You all know the blog policy).

Between 1985 – 2019, the average height of a 19-year-old Chinese increased 3.5 inches, or 9 cm, supporting President Xi Jinping’s declaration in July that the country had achieved its goal of establishing a “moderately prosperous society” in time for the Party’s centenary.  This is a result of a relentless project to bring the Chinese people out of abject poverty.

An important question in auto showrooms: Can I sing karaoke in this car? The only acceptable answer is yes, as Nio and XPeng know well. Western rivals are scrambling, “We’ve identified this as a challenge,” said BMW’s Christoph Grote, “Chinese consumers are the most demanding when it comes to digital technology in the car.”

The dreaded Social Credit System which is abhorred in the West by most that do not have an idea what it is about: China’s social credit system is more of a bureaucratic interface for existing legal and regulatory systems than the widespread Western perception of a dystopian algorithm that uses “big-data collection and analysis to monitor, shape, and rate individual’s behavior”. Social credit includes new enforcement mechanisms but is an extension of the law rather than an independent rule-making authority, and all data collection and penalties require a legal basis.

This was mentioned before but as a reminder. When the Chinese students started being hunted and haunted specifically in the US, all the major universities opened campuses in China (they could not afford to lose the Chinese money). For Harvard, it did not take too long to become part of the propaganda war on China and they are moving their Chinese language program from Beijing to National Taiwan University, replacing a partnership with Beijing Language and Culture University. Harvard’s Jennifer Liu said the decision was made because of a perceived lack of friendliness from the host institution, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).

This gives a taste of what is happening in China and now we need to give the regular shout-out to Godfree Roberts’ Here Comes China newsletter that supplies these data points. Subscribe here – it is worth it!: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

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In the next few China Sitreps, I will post a selection of documentaries and information on those aspects of China’s history that remain western talking points, whether correct or not. This is Tibet, Tiananmen, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the border skirmishes with India as a shortlist. Today we start with Tibet.

Tibet – if you have the romantic western mindset about Tibet, let’s revise that. Your knowledge most certainly comes from a book, movies, and a whole Shangri-La industry spawned in the wake.

Tibet was a dramatically brutal theocratic serfdom and never-ending debt peonage. Under the Dalai Lama in Tibet before China’s takeover:

  • 98% of the population were serfs or slaves or kept in debt peonage.
  • Disobedient serfs endured torture
  • The 14th Dalai Lama’s family owned 6,000 serfs
  • 95% of the population were illiterate
  • In 2015: 0.52% were illiterate
  • And in 2020: extreme poverty was eliminated in Tibet

From this documentary, you will learn that Tibetan Buddhism was not the sweet, and romantic Buddhist religion based on peace and high ideals and spinning colorful prayer wheels and praying in monasteries. It was based on the Indian Caste System where an extreme minority controlled the vast majority and kept them in abject poverty.

You will also learn why, on the death of a Dalai Lama (meaning God on earth), the successor, the soul boy was always found and appointed from a very poor family, in order to avoid any power struggles between the very few rich families.  The connection with the Roman Catholic Pope will astound you. And then you will see brutal sights of religious and shamanic powers whipped into inhumane forces. You will learn that Dalai Lamas regularly fled Tibet, sometimes to flee British Forces.

Tibet was the first lever that was used by at that time British forces, and this lever was seamlessly taken over by the rest of the west, to break up China, even after some territory had to be given to Japan and some even to Korea. You will learn how the Brits just simply carved out pieces of Chinese land from the Indian side. This effort to break up China is still in full swing today, by the current hegemon in its frenzied dying attempts to own the whole world using weapons, war, lawfare, internal destabilization, the appointment of external presidents, propaganda, kidnapping of high officials, outright assassinations, drugs, biological substances, and poison. Of course from the 1950s, CIA involvement around Tibet is well documented even to training ethnic Tibetans in Colorado for a planned Tibetan revolution.

You will also see one of the reasons why China will not let itself be hegemonized today, specifically with its history of never fighting a war of conquest in its 4,000 years of existence. The population stands firm and resolute. Never aired footage in the west will have you take part in the joy when religions serfdom and debt peonage was abolished in 1959 and the Tibetan Religious Serfs could burn their debt peonage documents.

If your stance in life is ‘Free Tibet’, which mine was, once upon a time before I did my homework, consider if you were romanticized by the CIA and a novel called Lost Horizon (1933) by English writer James Hilton. Two movies followed (Frank Capra directing one), a Broadway play, and the world’s first mass-produced paperback, all called Lost Horizon, set in a fictional utopian lamasery called Shangri-La, high in the mountains of Tibet. ‘Free Tibet’ for you may just be based on the fiction of Shangri-La.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and faculty

September 02, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and faculty

Ed: This is a wide ranging discussion of international affairs

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and faculty on the occasion of the beginning of a new academic year, Moscow, September 1, 2021

Friends,

As always, I am delighted to be here on September 1, and not only on this day, of course, since we hold events here at other times of the year as well. But September 1 has special importance, since this is Knowledge Day. First-year students get to feel the university spirit, and meetings like this help us streamline this experience and are sure to benefit students in their studies.

I am certain that you will not regret choosing this university. MGIMO graduates find work in a wide variety of spheres, from public service and research to business and journalism. We are proud that our alma mater has such a great reputation. MGIMO Rector, Anatoly Torkunov, has just shared some enrolment statistics. They are impressive. He said that the minister keeps a close eye on everything going on in this school. But you cannot keep track of everything, and I mean this in a good way. MGIMO University constantly improves its programmes and activity and expands its partnership networks. Today, MGIMO University will sign yet another cooperation agreement, this time with Ivannikov Institute for System Programming. This shows that we always need to be in step with the times. This is the right way to go. The quality of the education that graduates receive at this university is recognised both in Russia and around the world.

I am glad MGIMO University continues to attract international students. This is an important channel for maintaining humanitarian, educational and people-to-people ties. In today’s world these ties have special importance, since at the intergovernmental level our Western colleagues have little appetite for talking to us on equal terms. As you probably know, and I am certain that you have a keen interest in foreign policy, they persist with their demands that we change the way we behave and act the way they view as being correct. This is a dead end. We are open to a frank, constructive, mutually beneficial dialogue, taking into account each other’s interests. It is along these lines that we maintain dialogue and promote cooperation and partnerships with the overwhelming majority of countries around the world. This includes our closest allies and strategic partners – members of the CSTO, CIS, EAEU, SCO and BRICS. We have many reliable friends, almost in all continents interested in promoting mutually beneficial projects that benefit all the participants.

To counter this trend toward a multipolar world, which reflects the cultural and civilisational diversity on this planet, our Western partners seek to maintain their dominant standing in international affairs. They are acting in quite a brash manner making no secret out of the fact that their main objective is to contain their competitors, primarily Russia and China. The documents adopted at the NATO, EU, and US-EU summits over the past months are designed to consolidate the “collective West” in their efforts to counter the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.

The Indo-Pacific strategies that are openly pursuing the goal (as it has been proclaimed) of containing China have gained currency in the Asia-Pacific region. They are trying to implicate another of our strategic partners, India, in these games. Everyone can see it and everyone understands what it is all about. But those who gave up their sovereignty and joined the ranks of the countries led by the United States and other Western countries are not in a position to utter a word of disagreement.

Truth be told, following the tragic events in Afghanistan and after the United States and its NATO allies had hurriedly left that country, a chorus of voices began to be heard in Europe advocating self-reliance in foreign affairs, especially in matters involving the deployment of armed forces, rather than reliance on directives issued by Washington that it can change in an instant. These are glimpses of something new in the position of the West, in this case, the Europeans.

The second notable aspect highlighted by US President Joe Biden and President of France Emmanuel Macron is as follows: both announced within one or two days of one another that it was time to give up on interfering in other countries’ internal affairs in order to impose Western-style democracy on them.

We welcome such statements. We have long been urging our Western colleagues to learn from the reckless ventures that they have got themselves into in recent decades in Iraq and Libya, and they tried to do the same in Syria. I hope (if the above statements are a true reflection of their hard-won understanding of the matter) that our planet will be a safer place in the future. But all the same, we have to “clear out the rubble” of the past policies. Hundreds of thousands of people, civilians, were impacted or killed during the invasion of Iraq and the attack on Libya. There are lots of problems stemming from the revived international terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa and huge numbers of illegal migrants. The illegal arms trade, drug smuggling and much more are on the rise. All this needs to be “cleared up” by the international community, because it affects almost everyone.

Now that the NATO troops have pulled out from Afghanistan, the most important thing for us is to ensure the security of our allies in Central Asia. First, they are our comrades, including comrades-in-arms, and second, the security of Russia’s southern borders directly depends on this.

I hope that if we act together, we will be able to agree on these external steps that will help create an environment within Afghanistan for forming a truly national leadership. We are working energetically to this end.

We are witnessing two trends in the international arena. On the one hand, it is about the formation of a multipolar and polycentric world. This trend reflects the position of most states around the world. On the other hand, efforts are being made to hold back this objective historical process and to artificially preserve control over everything that is happening in the international arena, including with the use of unscrupulous methods such as unilateral illegal sanctions, competition that is occasionally reminiscent of ultimatums, or changing the rules in the midst of an ongoing project.

The West tends to mention less often (if at all) the term “international law” and calls on everyone to maintain a “rules-based world order.” We have nothing against the rules. After all, the UN Charter is also a set of rules, but they were agreed with all states without exception. They are supported by every country that is a member of this one-of-a-kind organisation with incredible and unmatched legitimacy. The West has different rules in mind. They are creating formats of their own. For example, the US has announced that it will convene a Democracy Summit to create an Alliance of Democracies. Clearly, Washington will be the one to determine who will be invited and who is considered a democracy. By the same token, France and Germany announced an initiative to create an Alliance for Multilateralism, i.e. “multilateralists.” When asked why these issues cannot be discussed at the UN, where multilateralism is at its finest in the modern world, the answer is that the UN is home to “retrogrades” and they want to create an Alliance for Multilateralism based on “advanced” ideas. And the “leaders,” above all the EU, will set the rules for multilateralism, and the rest will have to look up to them. This is a crude description, but it conveys the essence of what they are trying to tell us in so many words.

There are initiatives to create partnerships, including in the areas that were supposed to be discussed at universal platforms long ago. Numerous initiatives appearing in the developing world are also being used for the same purpose. There are attempts to channel them to meet Western interests.

The policy of undermining international law and universal principles sealed in the UN Charter is reflected, to a certain extent, in the efforts to call into doubt the results of World War II. They are aimed at trying to equate the winners in this bloodiest war in human history with those who unleashed it and proclaimed the destruction of whole nations as their goal. These attempts are aimed at undermining our positions in the world. Similar attacks are being made on China’s positions. We cannot give up and remain indifferent on this issue.

Every year, we put forward major initiatives at the UN on the inadmissibility of glorifying Nazism, waging a war against monuments and fuelling any forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia.

The overwhelming majority of states not only support these initiatives but also become their co-authors. In most cases, our Western colleagues bashfully abstain from this. They explain that the appeal to prevent certain trends runs counter to democracy and freedom of speech. In other words, for them the neo-Nazi trends that are obvious in Europe, in part, in the Baltic states and Ukraine, do not amount to a gross violation of the Nuremberg trials verdict but merely reflect a commitment to tolerance and freedom of speech.

I do not think it is necessary to explain in detail the harmful and pernicious nature of such attempts to rewrite history and give the green light to those who want to reproduce misanthropic attitudes in the world arena. I do not believe it is necessary to speak in detail about the need to counter these attitudes with resolve and consistency.

We have a foreign policy course endorsed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Its main goal is to ensure the most favourable conditions for national development, security, economic growth and the improvement of the living standards of our citizens. We will consistently translate this course into reality.

We have never striven for confrontation, not to mention isolation. We are open to cooperation with the Western countries if they change their approach and stop acting like teachers who “know everything” and are “above reproach,” treating Russia like a pupil that must do its homework.  It is inappropriate to talk to anyone in this manner, let alone Russia.

Our plans enjoy firm support of our people for the course towards strengthening the sovereignty of the Russian Federation and promoting good, friendly relations with our neighbours and all those who are willing to do this honestly, on an equitable basis.

Question: The question has to do with the changes in modern diplomacy under the influence of new technology. Digital diplomacy is a widespread term today. Technological development adds a fundamentally new dimension to a diplomats’ work, and also leads to a qualitative transformation of the system of international relations. How do you think new technologies will affect energy policy in particular and diplomacy in general?

Sergey Lavrov: I am asked this question every time I speak at Knowledge Day here. Apparently, this reflects the thinking of each new generation of students, about how technology will generally affect the processes concerning state-level problem solving and international relations.

Indeed, digital technologies are rapidly penetrating our lives, even faster in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Many events, including international events, have transitioned to the online format. There is an upside to this. To a certain extent, it helps to save time, which is becoming a more sparse resource every day, given the aggravating international challenges and problems that our foreign policy tries to resolve.

When it comes to holding official meetings such as the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly with a pre-agreed agenda where each country wants to express its point of view, such statements are prepared in advance through the efforts of a large number of specialists. The result is a policy document on a specific matter on the international agenda, which then goes through debates in one format or another. I see no problem with participating in this kind of discussion online using digital technology.

There are other international meetings, when something needs to be agreed upon as soon as possible; these meetings can also be held remotely. At least this way is better than a phone call because you can see the other person’s face, and this is very important.

But the most serious issues cannot be resolved online. All my colleagues agree with this. Maybe in the future, humanity will invent a way to convey the feeling of personal contact. But I doubt this will be possible. No machine is capable of replacing a person.

I am confident that conventional diplomacy will retain its importance as the main tool in international affairs. As soon as a serious problem arises, it is imperative to meet and try to negotiate.

Question: Will the autumn 2021 elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation impact Russia’s foreign policy in the international arena?

Sergey Lavrov: A good question. Elections in our country actually begin in a little more than a fortnight. Even now Western colleagues make it clear that they are set to cast discredit on them. Various political scientists are publishing articles and making speeches aimed at preparing public opinion in the direction of the narrative that the elections results will be rigged.

We regularly invite international observers to our national elections. This year, around 200 observers will come to us as well, including those from international organisations. The only one of them who arrogantly declined the invitation was the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). We told them they could send a group of 60 observers. This is the largest group we invite from abroad. They said they wanted 500. When you are being invited to visit someone, you do not demand gifts for yourself instead of showing respect towards the hosts. OSCE does not have a rule under which ODIHR must dictate election monitoring provisions. All the countries have only one obligation there – to invite international observers to elections. It is not even written down that they should be from OSCE. They may be from anywhere you like. We do it regularly and meet our obligations in full. This is an example of how international law (and this principle is prescribed at OSCE, I mean that all issues must be solved by consensus) is being replaced by “rules.” This Office itself made up a rule, along the same lines the West operates, by demanding that its own “rules” must be obeyed.

However important international observers might be, we will also have our own observers. Their number is immense. The voting will be streamed live in full. Our Central Electoral Board provides detailed coverage of this and other innovations being introduced. We are taking steps to ensure maximum transparency of voting at our embassies and general consulates. As always, we are making arrangements so that it is possible for our citizens abroad to cast their vote and fulfil their election right.

With all the importance of international observers, it is ultimately our citizens who will take a decision on how we will live on and with which members our parliament will draft new laws. Those who are going to objectively figure out developments in the Russia Federation are always welcome. As to those who have already passed a judgement, let them bear the shame.

Question: I know that poetry and art are among your hobbies. How can we make Russian literature and cinema more effective as a soft power tool abroad?

Sergey Lavrov: There is only one way, and that is to promote these works in other countries’ markets. This policy was vigorously pursued in the Soviet Union. That was a useful experience for the international film and literary community as well. I believe we are renewing these traditions now. I do not know about literary exhibitions, I just do not think I have seen a lot of information on this, but many film festivals recognise the work of our directors, actors and producers. A number of Russian films are highly valued in Cannes and in Karlovy Vary. We must continue to do this.

Question: Does Russia have effective and proportionate methods of fighting manifestations of Russophobia, oppression of Russians, persecution against the Russian language and the Russian world in certain countries?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a difficult question, given the recent manifestations of inappropriate attitudes towards ethnic Russians in a number of countries, including some of our neighbours. This topic has several dimensions to it. The most important point is that the government of a country where our citizens are subjected to some kind of discriminatory influence must firmly oppose such manifestations and take steps to prevent them. This is important, not only because they attack Russians or our other compatriots, but also because it’s required by international conventions, the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many other documents that are universal and approved by everyone.

In Russia, too, we have seen situations recently where some migrant labourers were at odds with other labour migrants. This is also a problem because Russia needs migrant labourers. We are trying to make immigration as clear, transparent and legitimate as possible. We negotiate with the countries they come from for long-term employment (mostly the Central Asian countries) and agree on special courses for potential migrants that make sure they speak minimal Russian and are familiar with Russian customs, our laws, and that they are planning to behave in a way that is appropriate for being hired in the Russian Federation. This is important for our economy. Without migrant labourers, many Russian industries are now experiencing a significant shortage of personnel.

It is also important to keep in mind that these countries are our allies. We, as allies, must support each other; one way to do so is to ensure an appropriate environment for citizens who represent a different ethnic group.

We have a huge number of ethnic groups living in Russia. Russia is a record holder in multi-ethnicity. All this cultural and religious diversity has always made our country strong, providing the solid foundation on which we stand. We have never tried to destroy the traditions, cultures or languages ​​of any peoples that have lived here since the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation. We have always supported their languages, cultures, and customs.

Another factor that must be taken into account is the basic quality of life for each and every citizen. We pursue a most open policy. We will make every effort to ensure that our neighbours or other countries where our compatriots live or work fully comply with their international obligations. The fight against discrimination must use political methods based on respect for international commitments.

Question: Do conditions exist for economic and investment cooperation with Japan on the Kuril Islands?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, they do, of course. It is even more than that. We made a relevant proposal to our Japanese colleagues a long time ago. When, several years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Shinzo Abe, we came up with an initiative to engage in joint economic activity on these islands. Our Japanese neighbours agreed to this proposal after a while, but decided to confine our cooperation to relatively unsophisticated areas, like aquaculture and waste treatment. These things are important but they are of no strategic significance. We offered them cooperation in any industry of their choice on the southern Kuril Islands and this has been stated repeatedly in the correspondence with our Japanese colleagues. However, the Japanese are seeking to secure a deal with us that would allow them to engage in economic activity and invest money [in the area], not in compliance with Russian law, but rather on the basis of an agreement that provides for another jurisdiction – not that of the Russian Federation. Under this jurisdiction, Russian and Japanese representatives in a certain administrative body would enjoy equal rights, meaning that some hybrid laws would be introduced. This cannot be done under our Constitution.

Regretfully, our Japanese friends are missing out on the opportunity to invest money with us for our mutual benefit. Nonetheless, we have good plans. Soon, new privileges will be announced for our foreign partners who agree to work with us in this part of the Russian Federation. I believe there will be practical interest in this.

Question: In one of your interviews you said (and I fully agree) that modern Western-style liberal democracies have run their course. How will nation states evolve going forward? What forms of state organisation hold the most promise? What should we be striving for?

The UN is plagued by many problems, ranging from Greta Thunberg to agreements that are not being acted upon, such as, for instance, the Paris Agreement. What can be done to turn this deplorable trend around? What laws need to be adopted? What kind of organisations must be created? What does Russia think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: I briefly touched on this matter in my opening remarks. I believe each state should be structured around its customs and traditions and be comfortable for its residents who will have children, grandchildren, etc. It appears that they have promised to stop trying to impose democracy on other countries. At least, President Biden and President Macron said this almost simultaneously. We’ll see how they deliver on their promises.

Each country should take care of its own affairs independently. Everyone now agrees that imposing a Western system on Afghanistan was a grave mistake. Afghanistan has always been a fairly decentralised country where clan-based and other bonds, as well as relations between different ethnic groups, have always played a major role. And Kabul usually balanced out these relations. Saying that tomorrow you will have elections and everyone should go and cast their vote to elect a president who will have certain powers – it was not the Afghans who came up with this idea. It was imposed on them and the ones who did it hurt themselves badly. I hope the promises not to impose democracy on anyone else will be kept.

With regard to environmental protection, the Paris Agreement can hardly be described as a treaty that is not being acted upon. It was based on the fundamental principle that included the need to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, but each country was supposed to assume commitments of its own. Preparations for another conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in Glasgow this autumn, are underway.

As part of this process, the most important thing is to agree on variables that will meet the interests of each participant. The proposal of several Western countries to stop using coal-fired power generation starting literally today cannot be complied with by many countries, including several Western countries, simply because this would undermine their energy security. The same applies to large developing countries, including China and India. They are reluctant to stop their growth. They are making it clear to the West that the Western countries have attained their current level of development due to intensive use of natural resources, which gave rise to the greenhouse effect, and now the West wants large developing countries to skip their current phase of development and go straight to a post-carbon economy. It doesn’t work that way, they say. First, they need to complete the economic development of their respective states, which is a complex process that involves the interests of each state. An attempt to balance these interests is being undertaken in the course of preparations for the next conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

We made a commitment that by 2030 we would have 70 percent of the 1990 level when the countdown began under the UN Climate Convention. It is unlikely that anyone would have complaints with regard to us. President Vladimir Putin has made clear more than once that we must be extremely careful with regard to everything that is happening. The fact that Russia’s Arctic zone, which is mainly permafrost, is warming up much faster than the rest of the planet is worrisome. This matter is being carefully addressed by several of our ministries, and it is a concern for all of our Government.

Question: Can environmental issues motivate the world powers tо unite against a background of general discord? What is the potential for green diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: Environmental protection and concern for the planet’s climate must become a motive for pooling our efforts. It is hard to say now to what extent the world powers will manage to achieve this.

Let me repeat that the developing nations are strongly inclined to use their opportunities for the current stage of their development before assuming the commitments promoted by their Western colleagues. Many interests come together here. Our global interest lies in the health of the planet and the survival of humanity. However, every country has its own national assessment of the current situation and the commitments to their people. It is a complicated matter, but there is no doubt that this is a challenge that must prompt all of us to come together. We stand for pooling our efforts.

Question: Can the Russian Federation “enforce Ukraine to peace” under the Minsk Agreements?

Sergey Lavrov: The Minsk Agreements do not envisage any enforcement. They have been voluntarily approved, signed and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, thereby becoming international law. When Ukraine as a state, both under Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky, is doing all it can to avoid fulfilling these agreements, we must point this out to those who compiled them with us. I am primarily referring to Germany, France and other Western countries that are going all-out to justify the Kiev regime. When I say that it is trying to avoid fulfilling these agreements, I am referring to many laws that actually prohibit the Russian language, the transfer of special authority to the territories that have proclaimed themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the efforts to harmonise the parameters of local elections in them. These are the basics of the Minsk Agreements.

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Moscow. This issue was raised at her talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. We showed our German colleagues the legal bans that Mr Zelensky adopted himself to justify his complete inability to fulfil what is required by all states in the world. All countries without exception believe that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements for settling the crisis in Donbass. Our Ukrainian colleagues are true prestidigitators. At one time, they believed that Rus was the true name of Ukraine (our ministry has already replied to this, so I will not repeat it). Later they said that the conversion of Rus was a Ukrainian holiday. This is sad. Mr Zelensky claims that Russian gas is the dirtiest in the world. He is doing this not because he is particularly bright but because he wants to maintain and fuel his Russophobic rhetoric and actions to prompt the West to continue supporting Kiev.

Ukraine continues to exploit the obvious efforts of the West to unbalance and destabilise Russia, sidetrack it from resolving its vital problems and make our foreign policy less effective. The Ukrainian regime is exploiting all this. This is clear to everyone. Having placed its bets on Kiev, the West feels uncomfortable about giving up on them. But this approach has obviously failed. The realisation of this fact is coming up but has not yet been embodied in practical steps aimed at convincing or, to use your expression, “enforcing” anything. It is the West that must enforce compliance from its client.

Question: How do you see yourself as a State Duma deputy, something you may soon be? Do you have proposals or ideas to offer? Perhaps, you have specific initiatives to promote our relations with Armenia or Georgia?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not speculate on the outcome of the elections to the State Duma.

We deal with our relations with Armenia and Georgia as Foreign Ministry officials. Armenia is our ally. New Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan was just in Moscow, on August 31. We had a good discussion. Our bilateral agenda is quite fulfilling and includes mutual visits, major projects and expanded economic cooperation. All of that is unfolding in a very intensive and confident manner.

There is the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, and Russia has played a decisive role in bringing a solution to it. The President of Russia, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia signed agreements on November 9, 2020 (on ceasing hostilities and developing cooperation in this region) and on January 11. These agreements include specific actions that follow up on our leaders’ proposals to unblock all transport lines and economic ties. This is not a one-day project. It is underway, and the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are closely following it. Our military personnel in the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh work daily on the ground to reduce tensions and build trust. The border guards are helping their Armenian allies sort out issues with their Azerbaijani neighbours.

Relations with Georgia are almost non-existent. There is a Section of Russia’s Interests in Georgia and a Section of Georgia’s Interests in Russia. There is trade, which is quite significant. Russia is one of Georgia’s leading trade partners. Our people love to go to Georgia (I myself love the country). There are no official interstate or diplomatic relations; they were severed at Tbilisi’s initiative. We have offered to resume them more than once. We planned to reciprocate to our Georgian neighbour when they introduced visa-free travel for our citizens. At first, we followed closely the developments as they were unfolding. We are not banning anyone from going to Georgia. In 2019, we were also willing to announce visa-free travel for Georgian citizens, but an unpleasant incident occurred with gross provocations against the Russian parliamentary delegation, which arrived in Tbilisi for a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy. Our deputy was the assembly chairman. In a conference room in Georgia, the Georgian hosts offered him the chair of the chairman of the parliament themselves. Then, immediately, a group of thugs came in the room demanding that Russia stop interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs and stop “occupying” their parliament. It even came to fisticuffs. With no apologies coming our way, we held back introducing visa-free travel for Georgian citizens and put our decision to resume regular flights on hold. We were ready to go ahead with it. If Georgia really doesn’t want to “play the Russian card” in an effort to retain Western protection, but instead prefers to have good relations with us as a neighbour, we will respond at any time.

Question: What qualities do you think a diplomat’s wife might need? What rules of etiquette she should observe?

Sergey Lavrov: There are no special rules here. A wife and a husband should both understand each other. Rather than obstructing the other, they should help each other carry out the ideas they have decided to devote their lives to and also achieve self-fulfillment in their professions. There is no universal advice.

When I was a rank-and-file diplomat, I worked with some top officials, whose wives had different “styles” – this occurs sometimes. In both cases, this proved to be effective and useful in our work. If a wife has a profession, her husband should also have respect for it. When a woman, regardless of whether she is the wife of an ambassador or a diplomat in a lower position, goes to a country which her husband has been posted to but where she cannot realise her professional potential, this can be a serious problem, which has to be addressed. In this situation, each family decides on its own whether the spouses go together or each of them keeps his or her job and tries to travel as often as possible to see the other. This is life; it doesn’t necessarily fit into a particular pattern.

Question: I believe the man himself comes first – Sergey Lavrov – and only then there is the Russian Foreign Minister. I like to look at politics through the prism of humaneness. What is your favourite song, the one you listen to and feel happy?

Sergey Lavrov: There are many. I will not give examples. The list is long. I do not want to leave anyone out. These are mostly songs by singer-poets. I enjoy listening to them whenever I have the chance, say, in my car or when I meet with my friends.

Question: I have a question about Russia’s relations with the Eastern European countries, given the complexity of regulating relations in this region since World War II, not to mention after the USSR’s collapse. How will they develop in the near future?

Sergey Lavrov: If a particular country has a government concerned about national interests, projects that meet the needs of its population, economic growth, and a search for partners that will help it resolve these problems in the best way, Russia has no problems in relations with any Central or East European country or any other country in the world.

We have close ties with Hungary and it is being criticised for this. In the European Union, Hungary and Poland are reprimanded for not obeying the EU’s general standards and principles. Thus, they hold referendums calling into doubt LGBT rights. Recently, Hungary held a referendum on the same law as Russia did. This law does not prohibit anything but imposes administrative liability for promoting LGBT ideology among minors. Nothing else. I think this is the right thing to do. In addition to major economic projects (nuclear power plants, and railway carriage production for Egypt), we have many other undertakings and good humanitarian cooperation.

Together with Armenia and the Vatican in the OSCE and the UN Human Rights Council, Russia and Hungary are acting as the driver in protecting the rights of Christians, including in the Middle East where Christians are seriously harassed. Hungary is not embarrassed about its Christian roots (incidentally, nor is Poland ashamed of its past and present). When they start talking about the need to raise their voice in defence of Christians, other European countries say that this is not quite politically correct.

In the OSCE, we suggested adopting a declaration against Christianophobia and Islamophobia, because it has already passed a declaration on anti-Semitism. However, these proposals are getting nowhere. Seven years ago, the West promised to adopt them but so far the OSCE countries have failed to adopt a common position on banning both Christianophobia and Islamophobia.

Regarding other East European countries, we have good relations with Slovenia. In particular, we are both working to preserve our common memory, including the bloody events of WWI and WWII. People in Slovenia care a lot about war memorials. Recently, they established a new monument devoted to all Russian soldiers who perished in both world wars. Our economic cooperation is in good shape.

We are implementing economic projects with other Eastern European countries, for instance, with Slovakia. We have considered many ideas about projects with the Czech Republic, but in the past few months it has decided to take a more Russophobic attitude and adopt overtly discriminatory decisions, like banning Rosatom from a tender on building a new nuclear power plant unit. It justified its policy with allegations that have never been proved by anyone. It blamed us for detonating some arms depots in 2014. Even many people in the Czech Republic consider this far-fetched.

However, the allegations remain. We are used to being accused of all kinds of “sins” without any evidence. This happened during the so-called poisoning of the Skripals and Alexey Navalny, and the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines crash in Donbass in July 2014. As in many other cases, these accusations are not buttressed by anything. Our requests to present facts are ignored or qualified as “classified.” Or we are told someone has “prohibited” to transmit information or some other excuse. This position is not serious. It reflects the Western approach to fueling Russophobic tensions without grounds.

Question: Do you think that we can describe the meeting between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in Switzerland as the beginning of a relative normalisation of relations between the two countries?

Sergey Lavrov: Holding a meeting is better than having no contact at all. No breakthroughs occurred, but there was a mutually respectful conversation, on an equal footing, without any grievances expressed to either side.  The dialogue was permeated with the awareness of responsibility that the two biggest nuclear powers had for the state of affairs in the world. The presidents paid attention to the need to intensify bilateral contacts, particularly in the interests of stakeholders in the business community. But the main focus was on the international agenda.

The United States withdrew from the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS) just a few months before the meeting and from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 2019.   This has created a background for the fading of the international arms reduction and control agenda. When Joe Biden took office, he promptly responded to the proposal (which was made way back to the Trump administration but remained unanswered for a couple of years) on the need to extend the New START Treaty without any preconditions. We have managed to preserve at least this element of the arms control architecture for the next five years.

This was the context for the presidents’ meeting in Geneva. The main positive result of the meeting is that the two leaders reaffirmed the position that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and therefore it must never be unleashed. A statement to this effect was made a long time ago by the USSR and the USA. We suggested that the United States confirm this axiom. The previous administration evaded this, but Joe Biden accepted the proposal.

Within the same statement that spoke about the inadmissibility of unleashing a nuclear war, the two presidents outlined an instruction to start a dialogue on matters of strategic stability.  The first tentative meeting took place in July of this year. The second one is scheduled for September. At this stage, the parties’ positions are far apart, but the fact that the dialogue is under way gives hope for the coordination of a basis for further specific talks on arms limitation.   These are our short-term objectives.

They also talked in general terms about the need to establish a dialogue on cyber security. This is yet another topic on which we were unable to reach out to Washington for several years. Vladimir Putin’s official statement was dedicated to the initiatives on ensuring a transparent dialogue based on trust and facts on cyber security in Russian-American relations. Contacts of this kind are being prepared as well. There are reasons to believe that we will reduce international tension just a little in some areas. But this does not abolish the fact that the United States continues to see the containment of Russia and China as one of its main tasks, as well as the encouragement of measures that may be instrumental in having an irritating effect on us.

Russia’s position at the seventy-sixth session of the UN General Assembly

August 05, 2021

Russia’s position at the seventy-sixth session of the UN General Assembly

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4834791

1.      The goal of the 76-th session of the UN General Assembly (GA) is to reaffirm the central and coordinating role of the Organization in international affairs. Owing to its representativeness and universality, the UN is rightfully viewed as a unique platform for an equitable dialogue aimed at reaching compromise solutions with due regard to different opinions. Attempts to undermine the authority and legitimacy of the UN are, in our view, extremely dangerous, as they can lead to the dismantlement of the multipolar system of international relations.

2.      We have consistently advocated the strengthening of the genuine multilateral framework of international relations and world economy based on the norms of international law, including the UN Charter, with an emphasis on the unconditional respect for the sovereignty of States and non-interference in their internal affairs. We deem unacceptable the attempts of Western States to replace the universally recognized international legal principles with the so-called “rules-based world order” elaborated behind the scenes.

3.      We support the coordinated efforts of the international community to curb the spread of the new coronavirus infection as well as to mitigate its consequences in the political, health care, social and economic sectors. In this regard, we consider it unacceptable to politicize the issue of COVID-19 dissemination. We also stress the importance of showing unity and solidarity among all Member States and organizations of the United Nations system in the face of a common challenge. Russia stands for a gradual return to the face-to-face format of events at the UN as the epidemiological situation in the world improves.

4.      Preventing conflicts and addressing their consequences is our first priority. However, effective international assistance in this sphere, including from the UN, is only possible with the consent of the States concerned and in line with the UN Charter. This applies equally to good offices, preventive diplomacy and mediation, which should be conducted impartially and with respect for the sovereignty of States. It is crucial that there should be no universal “conflict indicators”: each situation calls for a delicate and unbiased approach as well as a thorough search for a tailored solution that would take into account the roots and history of the conflict.

5.        We believe that the goal of the UN Security Council reform is to increase the representation of developing States from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Council without prejudice to its effectiveness and operational efficiency. Efforts to identify the best reform model, which would enjoy consensus or at least the support of the overwhelming majority of Member States, should continue in the current format of Intergovernmental Negotiations. The prerogatives of the UNSC permanent members shall not be subject to revision. The veto power is a unique tool that encourages the necessary compromises and allows the Council to reach well-considered and balanced decisions.

6.        We support realistic initiatives to revitalize the work of the UN General Assembly within the relevant Ad Hoc Working Group. We attach particular importance to fine-tuning the UNGA working methods, streamlining its overloaded agenda and strengthening multilingualism. Any innovation should be reasonable and correspond to the current needs. Any redistribution of the powers of other statutory bodies, especially the Security Council, in favour of the General Assembly is unacceptable.

7.      We support increased cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in line with the UN Charter, first and foremost, its Chapter VIII. The activities of regional associations, according to the UN Charter, should be in conformity with their objectives and principles. It is essential to further enhance partnership between the UN and such organizations as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the BRICS and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The biennial resolutions on cooperation between the UN and the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO, uunanimously adopted at the previous 75th UNGA Session, prove the relevance of this task.

8.      The distortion of history and revision of the outcomes of World War II are unacceptable. We attach particular importance to the annual UNGA draft resolution on Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and Other Practices that Contribute to Fuelling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This document has traditionally enjoyed the support of the majority of UN Member States. We call on the delegations that abstained or voted against this initiative last year to reconsider their position.

9.      The destructive policies of certain extra-regional players in the Middle East and North Africa are clearly part of a global strategy to destroy the UN‑centric architecture established after World War II and replace it with a completely illegitimate “rules-based world order”.

We support the international legal parameters for resolving conflicts in this region agreed upon at the UN and implemented solely through political and diplomatic means. Our proposal to create a regional security architecture in the Persian Gulf and, in the longer term, throughout the whole Middle East remains on the table.

10.      One of the top priorities in the Middle East is the Syrian settlement. Achieving lasting and long-term stabilisation and security in the country is only possible through the full restoration of the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its national territory. The continuation of the fight against international terrorist groups recognized as such by the UN Security Council remains critical.

On the political track, we support the promotion of a Syrian-led settlement process implemented by the Syrian people themselves with the UN assistance, as provided for in UNSC resolution 2254. We have consistently supported the relevant work of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, Geir Pedersen, but also stressed that his efforts should not go beyond the mandate defined by the Security Council.

There is growing concern about the significant deterioration of the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the Syrian Arab Republic against the backdrop of tougher unilateral sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic. We call on responsible members of the international community to refrain from politicising purely humanitarian issues and render assistance to all Syrians in coordination with Damascus, provide for sanctions exemptions for reconstruction projects and facilitate the return of refugees and IDPs.

11.       We are convinced that one of the foundations for establishing peace and security in the Middle East is the revival of the Middle East settlement process with the resolution of the Palestinian problem at its core.

We attach key importance to preventing an escalation of violence between Palestinians and Israelis and to providing extensive humanitarian assistance to those affected and in need in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the same time, we advocate for the restart of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on all issues concerning the final status on the universally recognized international legal basis, including a two-State solution. We call on the parties to show restraint, to refrain from unilateral steps and provocative actions (forced evictions, expropriation of houses and land, settlement construction, arbitrary arrests and any forms of violence) as well as to respect the special status and integrity of the Holy Sites of Jerusalem.

We consider it imperative to step up efforts within the framework of the Middle East Quartet, including its interaction with regional actors. We support the arrangement of a Quartet meeting at the ministerial level.

12.    We believe that there is no alternative to a political settlement in Libya. We highlight the need to take into account the views of all Libyan sides, including while planning for international assistance aimed at putting an end to the conflict. We engage with all parties and call for an early cessation of hostilities and the restoration of sustainable and integrated state institutions, including security agencies.

We support the observance of the ceasefire and a political and diplomatic settlement in Libya. All influential political forces should be heard and involved in the political life of the country. We welcome the formation of the Government of National Unity aimed at making arrangements for the national elections scheduled for December 2021. We encourage Libyan actors to seek compromise and to establish strong and effective unified authorities. We support the activities of Special Envoy Ján Kubiš.

13.    We advocate for the cessation of hostilities in Yemen, which exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation in the country. We urge the States involved to engage in the dialogue with a view to reaching a comprehensive settlement which would be accepted by all stakeholders in Yemen.

14.    We support the Iraqi leadership’s efforts to stabilize security situation and implement long-term social and economic reforms. We emphasize the significance of the forthcoming parliamentary elections. It is important that they contribute to bridging the divide between various ethnic and religious groups and political forces. We welcome the dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. We believe that Iraq should not be subject to external interference and become an arena for regional rivalries.

15.    We consistently pursue the policy aimed at facilitating the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan. We provide assistance in building a country free from terrorism and drug-related crime. We are seriously concerned about the continuing influence of ISIS in the north and north east of the country as well as the threat of the spillover of terrorist activities into Central Asia and the use of a deteriorating domestic political environment to undermine the peace process. Together with our partners within the “Troika Plus” and with the participation of both Afghan negotiating teams we are working to advance national reconciliation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We attach particular importance to regional co-operation, primarily through the SCO and the CSTO. We note the continuing relevance of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. We support the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

16.    There is no alternative to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, enshrined in UNSC resolution 2202, as a framework for the internal settlement in Ukraine. Effective international assistance, including through the UN, should be aimed at implementing this decision and supporting the current settlement format, which includes the Contact Group in Minsk and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

Sustainable political and diplomatic settlement of the internal crisis in Ukraine can only be achieved through a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass, while taking into account the legitimate demands of all the regions of Ukraine and its linguistic, ethnic and sectarian groups at the constitutional level. We will continue to actively assist in addressing the acute humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, which has persisted for many years and was brought about by the actions of the authorities in Kiev.

We insist on a full, thorough and independent international investigation of the MH17 plane crash over the Ukrainian territory based on irrefutable facts and in line with UNSC resolution 2166. Neither the technical investigation into the causes of the Malaysian Boeing crash conducted by the Dutch Safety Board nor the criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team meet these criteria.

We expect that all cases of violence against civilians and journalists that have occurred since the beginning of the internal crisis in Ukraine will be investigated fairly and impartially, and that all those responsible will be brought to justice.

17.       The territorial status of Crimea was definitively determined by the Crimean population itself during a referendum in March 2014. Any discussions on the situation in this Russian region that do not involve its residents bear no relation to reality. This issue as well as the situation around the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, which lies within the scope of the Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relations, cannot be part of the UN-led discussion on the developments in Ukraine.

We condemn the efforts of the Ukrainian delegation to introduce the Crimean issue in the UNGA through a politicized resolution on the “militarization” of the peninsula as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.           The resolution is built on groundless, unacceptable accusations against Russia and is intended to put the blame for all of Ukraine’s internal problems on the mythical “Russian aggression”. The document contains Kiev’s twisted interpretation of the provocation it carried out on 25 November 2018, when three Ukrainian vessels attempted to enter the Kerch Strait without first notifying the Russian side. The allegations on the alleged militarization of Crimea and parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov contained in the aforementioned resolution also contradict the truth.

In case this odious draft resolution is again introduced in the UNGA, we call on all States to vote firmly against its adoption.

18.    The implementation of the trilateral statements of 9 November 2020 and 11 January 2021 is a priority for normalizing the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area. We consider it useful to involve UN agencies and in particular the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in humanitarian activities in the Russian peacekeeping operation area. The parameters for their possible work should be agreed upon in direct coordination with Baku and Yerevan.

19.    The problem of the Korean Peninsula should be resolved by political and diplomatic means. Building up sanctions pressure is counterproductive. The creation of a new security architecture in North-East Asia that would take into account the legitimate interests of all States in the region, including the DPRK itself, is key to achieving the settlement of this issue. Various Russian-Chinese initiatives, including the relevant “Roadmap’, the “Action Plan” and a UNSC political resolution are all important tools in this regard.

20.    The early restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at settling the situation with the Iranian nuclear program is a priority task. We call on the US to return as soon as possible to full compliance with UNSC resolution 2231 and to implement the JCPOA, including through lifting the unilateral anti-Iranian sanctions imposed after the withdrawal of Washington from the “nuclear deal”.

21.    The solution to the Cyprus issue should be elaborated by the Cypriot communities themselves without any external pressure. Russia is guided by relevant UNSC resolutions which call for the formation of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single international legal personality, sovereignty and citizenship. The existing security guarantee system has become obsolete, is no longer able to alleviate the concerns of the parties involved and should be replaced with the guarantees from the UN Security Council.

22.    Russia fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the principle of equality of the three state-constituting peoples and the two entities with broad constitutional powers in full compliance with the 1995 Dayton Accords. In this context, we strongly disagree with the so-called appointment of a new High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council. Without the UNSC approval this decision has no executive force. Moreover, the abolition of the Office of the High Representative is long overdue.

23.    The settlement of the Kosovo issue should be based on international law, first and foremost on UNSC resolution 1244. Belgrade and Pristina should come to an agreement themselves, while the task of the international community is to help the parties find mutually acceptable solutions without external pressure. The EU, as a mediator in the dialogue in accordance with UNGA resolution 64/298 of 9 September 2010, should seek to ensure that the parties implement the agreed decisions, primarily, the establishment of the Community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo (the CSMK; the agreement reached in 2013 has still not been implemented). We support the work of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

24.    Internal disputes in Venezuela can only be resolved by the Venezuelans themselves, through a broad and direct dialogue and with full respect for the country’s Constitution. Effective international cooperation is possible only if it is aimed at supporting such a dialogue.

The illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed against Venezuela undermine the efforts of the Venezuelan authorities to effectively combat the pandemic, as well as impede the normalization of the humanitarian situation in the country and the improvement of the migration situation in the region. Humanitarian assistance should be provided without politicisation and in accordance with the UN guiding principles enshrined in UNGA resolution 46/182.

We will continue to oppose any attempts to question the mandates of Venezuela’s official delegations at various international organizations.

25.    We learned with deep sorrow the news of the assassination of the President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse. We have been closely following the investigation into this crime. We are seriously concerned about information regarding the involvement of foreign nationals, including from the US and Colombia, in this brutal murder. This indicates that once again external forces are trying to exploit the purely internal conflict to promote their destructive interests.

We are convinced that the only way to normalize the situation in the country is to reach broad internal political consensus in strict conformity with the universally recognized norms and principles of international law. It is important that all decisions should be taken through peaceful political means by the Haitians themselves, with international support but without destructive external interference in order to elaborate solutions acceptable to the opposing parties.

26.    The Final Peace Agreement is the international legal basis for the settlement in Colombia. This document made it possible for the UNSC and the UN Secretary-General to support the peace process. Unilateral attempts to alter the substance of its provisions are unacceptable. Comprehensive sustainable settlement in Colombia is impossible without involving the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the peace process.

27.    We call on all parties to the conflict in Myanmar to put an end to violence and launch a constructive dialogue in order to move towards national reconciliation. International community should avoid politicising the issue, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign State and abandon sanctions threats. We emphasize the ASEAN special role in the peace process. The current situation in Myanmar does not pose any threat to international peace and security, thus the only issue on the UNSC agenda in this context should be the situation in the Rakhine State.

28.    We support the aspiration of India and Pakistan to normalize relations in the context of the situation in the Kashmir region. We hope that a new escalation along the line of control will be prevented. Only direct negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad can form the basis for a long-term settlement of this sensitive issue.

29.    We believe that conflict settlement in Africa should be based on a leading role of the countries of the African continent and supported by the international community. We call for the strengthening of cooperation between the UN and the African Union as well as the continent’s sub-regional organizations. As a permanent member of the UNSC, we will continue to facilitate a political resolution of the crises in the CAR, the DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali and the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole.

We are firmly committed to actively supporting the efforts of the CAR authorities to improve governance and provide security on the basis of the 2019 peace agreement. At the same time, we will keep engaging constructively with all responsible stakeholders that support stabilisation in the country.

In cooperation with like-minded partners, it is important to assist Sudan in implementing the tasks of the transition period. We insist that the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) should always take into account the views of the authorities in Khartoum.

We stand for in an early normalization of the situation in the Ethiopian region of Tigray. Restoring stability in Ethiopia is certain to have a positive effect on the entire Horn of Africa. We consider the decision of the Federal Government of Ethiopia to establish a ceasefire in the region a step in the right direction. We call on all those involved to support this initiative of the authorities in order to stop the bloodshed and improve the humanitarian and social and economic situation.

30.    The UNGA Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) will remain relevant until a definitive solution to the issue of all 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories is reached. We will continue to actively participate in the work of this body.

31.    UN peacekeeping should fully comply with the basic principles of the UN work in this area (consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force, except for self-defence and defence of the mandate) as well as with the UN Charter. The primary task is to promote political settlement of conflicts and national reconciliation. The adaptation of UN peacekeeping operations to contemporary realities should be implemented in strict accordance with the decisions agreed upon in the intergovernmental format. This includes, inter alia, the issues of “peacekeeping intelligence” and the use of new technologies, which should serve the sole purpose of ensuring peacekeepers’ safety and protection of civilians. Vesting peacekeeping operations with additional powers, including with respect to the use of force, is only possible upon a UNSC decision that takes into account the specific situation in each country.

The UNGA Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) should be responsible for defining the further development of UN peacekeeping activities.         Peacebuilding and peacekeeping are inextricably linked and based on the principle of national ownership in prioritising post-conflict reconstruction and development. International support should only be provided upon request of the host government and be aimed at enhancing the States’ own capacity.

32.    The UNSC sanctions, as one of the strongest instruments of ‘targeted action’ to tackle threats to international peace and security, should not be abused. As a measure of last resort in the area of conflict resolution, they cannot be applied without first taking into account the full range of their possible humanitarian, social and economic and human rights consequences. It is unacceptable to use them as a means of unfair competition and pressure on “undesirable regimes”. The functions of the existing institution of the Ombudsperson should be expanded to protect the interests of all the entities on the Security Council sanctions list. It is unacceptable to supplement Security Council sanctions with unilateral restrictions, especially those of an extraterritorial nature.

33.    We believe that all Member States should join efforts in the fight against terrorism, with the UN playing a central coordinating role. We firmly reject any double standards or hidden agendas in this area. We are convinced that the issue of terrorism should be addressed through the implementation of the relevant universal conventions and protocols, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant UNSC and UNGA resolutions.

Support for the counter-terrorism bodies of the United Nations system, first and foremost the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), remains a priority. We advocate for the expansion of the UNOCT financing from the UN regular budget. We also intend to increase our voluntary contributions to the Office and call on other Member States to do the same. We believe that law enforcement and prevention-oriented initiatives should remain at the core of the UNOCT programme and project activities.

We consider it critical to make greater use of the tools of the specialized subsidiary UNSC bodies, primarily its Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the sanctions committees on ISIL, Al-Qaida and the Taliban Movement. We are committed to a constructive dialogue with regard to the review of the mandate of the CTC Executive Directorate.

We call for ensuring full compliance with UNSC resolutions against the financing of terrorism, as well as with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

We intend to step up efforts to cut off weapons, financial and material support for terrorists, to stop the spread of terrorist propaganda, including through the use of modern information and communication technologies, and to eliminate links between terrorist groups and drug trafficking and other organized crime groups. It is necessary to strengthen cooperation between countries in countering foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and bringing them to justice more quickly.

We oppose the dilution of the international legal framework by non-consensual concepts, such as “countering violent extremism“, which allow for the interference in the internal affairs of States and the reorientation of international cooperation on counter-terrorism towards secondary gender and human rights issues. We believe it necessary to enhance efforts to combat various manifestations of extremism, including right-wing radicalism, while countering attempts to use this issue for political purposes and as an excuse to increase anti-Russian sanctions pressure.

34.    We strongly oppose the revision and weakening of the current international drug control system, including by legalising all recreational (non-medical) drug use, as well as imposing questionable drug treatment practices as a “universal standard” and promoting drug use as a socially acceptable norm.

We advocate the strengthening of the policy-making role of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in the area of drug control. We intend to further continue to actively oppose efforts aimed at creating and institutionalising mechanisms that duplicate the CND work, and at imposing an alternative strategy for addressing the world drug problem bypassing the CND. We emphasize the need for States to strictly comply with the international anti-drug conventions. In view of the re-election to the CND for the period of 2022-2025, the Russian Federation will continue to promote a consistent line on the Commission’s platform as well as in negotiating the resolutions and decisions of the 76th UNGA Session.

We are concerned about the drastic deterioration of the drug situation in Afghanistan and its possible projection into increased smuggling of opiates into Russia and Central Asian countries. In the context of the withdrawal of NATO troops from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, international and regional anti-drug efforts, such as the Paris Pact, the SCO, the CIS, and the CARICC, are of particular importance. We believe that consistent, effective anti-drug efforts by the Afghan leadership based on the principle of common and shared responsibility of States, are essential for achieving security in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

35.    We support the key role of the United Nations in consolidating international efforts to combat transnational organised crime. We note the importance of an impartial Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. We advocate strengthening the legal framework of international cooperation, including the development of new international legal instruments in a number of areas, including cybercrime, asset recovery, extradition and mutual legal assistance.

36.    We facilitate the development of the international anti-corruption cooperation, with the UN playing the central and coordinating role, based on the unique universal agreement, the UN Convention against Corruption (CAC). We support the effective functioning of the Mechanism for the Review of the Convention Implementation. We welcome the results of the first UNGA Special Session against Corruption which took place in June 2021. We consider it important that the political declaration of the UNGA Special Session confirmed the existence of gaps in international law governing the return from abroad of assets obtained as a result of corruption offences. We emphasise the need to develop an international legal instrument on asset recovery under the auspices of the UN to complement the UN Convention against Corruption.

37.    We support the key role of the UN in consolidating joint efforts to ensure international information security (IIS). They should result in the elaboration and adoption under the UN auspices of universal and comprehensive rules of responsible behaviour of States in information space aimed at preventing conflicts therein and promoting the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for peaceful purposes.

We welcome the adoption of the consensus reports of the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the UN Group of Governmental Experts on IIS. We note the unique spirit of the constructive dialogue at these platforms.

During the 76th UNGA Session, we intend to introduce in its First Committee an updated draft resolution on “Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security” welcoming the successful conclusion of the work of both groups as well as the launch of a new Russia-initiated OEWG on Security in the Use of ICTs and ICTs themselves 2021-2025 (in accordance with UNGA resolution 75/240).

We assume that the new Group will ensure the continuity and consistency of an inclusive and truly democratic negotiation process on IIS under the UN auspices within a single mechanism. We call on all States to take an active part in the work of the OEWG 2021-2025 and contribute to building a fair and equitable IIS system.

In line with the relevant UNGA resolutions adopted at the initiative of the Russian Federation, we advocate for an early drafting, under the auspices of the UN, of an international convention countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes. The consensus modalities set out while preparing for the negotiation process in the relevant UNGA Ad Hoc Committee enable us to count on constructive and comprehensive participation of the entire international community in developing a universal and effective instrument to counter digital crime.

We call on our partners to support our First Committee draft resolution as well as to unequivocally endorse full implementation of the mandates of the new OEWG and the Ad Hoc Committee.

38. We have consistently advocated strengthening the existing treaty regimes and developing, through consensus, new arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ACDNP) regimes. The UN and its multilateral disarmament mechanism should play a central role in this process. We are committed to ensuring the coherence and improving the performance of its three key elements – the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Disarmament Commission – while unconditionally respecting the mandates of these forums.

We deem it necessary to counter any attempts to revise the existing disarmament architecture by means of unilateral coercive measures that bypass the UN Security Council.

The main focus of multilateral efforts and fundamentally new approaches to address the whole range of problems in the field of the ACDNP may be considered at a summit of the permanent members of the UN Security Council which Russia has proposed to hold.

39. We strictly comply with our obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and advocate for its early entry into force. We call on the eight states on which the launch of the Treaty depends to sign and/or ratify it without delay. We believe that the key destructive factor here is the position of the United States which is the only state to have officially refused to ratify the Treaty. We expect Washington to reconsider its approach to the CTBT.

40. We support the noble cause of shaping a world free of nuclear weapons. We make a substantial practical contribution to achieving this goal. However, we are convinced there is a need for a balanced approach that takes into account all factors affecting strategic stability, including disruptive US steps aimed at undermining the existing ACDNP architecture. We do not support radical initiatives on introducing an early nuclear weapons ban (namely, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, TPNW).

41. We consider the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to be the most important international legal instrument for ensuring international security and one of the pillars of the modern world order. Our common task is to prevent the final collapse of the system of international disarmament and arms control agreements that has been developed over decades and the regimes based upon them.

In this regard, we attach primary importance to the viability of the NPT. We call on all States Parties to make every effort at the 10th Review Conference postponed until 2022 because of the new coronavirus pandemic to strengthen the Treaty and to help achieve its goals rather than cause more controversy around it. The ultimate goal is to draft a document that would reaffirm the viability of the Treaty and the willingness of the States Parties to strictly abide by their commitments.

We fully support the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an international organisation that possesses the necessary authority and competence to monitor the observance of the non-proliferation obligations under the NPT through the application of Agency safeguards, which, in its turn, is an important condition for the States to exercise their right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

We believe that further development of the IAEA safeguards system serves to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, provided that it keeps intact the basic principles of verification – impartiality, technical feasibility, and transparency.

We are concerned about the recent tendency to politicise the IAEA safeguards system. As a result, claims are being made against States based on the ‘very likely/highly likely’ approach while deployment of nuclear weapons belonging to some countries in the territory of other formally non-nuclear States is being ignored.

The IAEA should not be turned into a nuclear disarmament verification tool, as this is neither a statutory purpose nor a function of the Agency. We believe that the participation of the IAEA Secretariat staff in the January 2022 Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Vienna is inappropriate.

42. We regard the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction held in New York on 18-22 November 2019 as a landmark event both in terms of ensuring stability and sustainability in the region and in the context of global efforts towards WMD non-proliferation. We intend to further support the idea of such conferences. We believe that efforts to elaborate a legally binding agreement on creating a WMD-free zone in the Middle East serve the interests of all states in the region.

We hope that the second Conference on the establishment of a WMD-free zone due to be held in New York in November 2020 but postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic will take place this year, which would allow to kick start a somewhat stagnant process.

43. We are confident that there is still potential for political and diplomatic settlement of the situation arising from the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) based on Russia’s initiative to ensure predictability and restraint in the missile sphere.

We intend to maintain a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of land-based intermediate-range or shorter-range missiles in regions where no similar US-made weapons would appear. Despite the absence of a constructive response to this initiative on the part of NATO, we still consider a moratorium to be a promising idea that would make it possible to avoid new ‘missile crises’. We propose that the US and their NATO allies take on a similar commitment.

We reaffirm our commitment to the strict compliance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (the New START) and welcome its extension for five years without any preconditions – something that the Russian Federation has long and consistently called for. The extension of this Treaty set the stage for resuming a comprehensive dialogue with the United States on future arms control and the maintenance of strategic stability. At the Russian-US summit in Geneva on June 16, 2021 it was agreed to launch such a dialogue in the near future, as reflected in the Joint Statement by the Presidents at the meeting.

We believe that the goal of this engagement is to develop a new ‘security formula’ that takes into account all major factors of strategic stability, covers offensive and defensive nuclear and non-nuclear weapons capable of meeting strategic challenges, as well as the emergence of new technologies and new weapons.

44. We highly commend efforts of the UN Security Council and its ad-hoc 1540 Committee on the WMD non-proliferation. We are determined to engage in a substantive and constructive dialogue in the framework of the comprehensive review of the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540. We expect that the procedure will result in the confirmation of the 1540 Committee’s current mandate.

45. Russia has initiated the development of important multilateral agreements in the ACDNP area, such as the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Treaty (PAROS) and the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Chemical and Biological Terrorism. We believe that a constructive dialogue on these issues will provide an opportunity to engage in substantive work (including negotiations) at the UN platform.

The imperative of preserving space for peaceful purposes and taking cooperative practical measures to this end is shared by the vast majority of States. We consider the globalisation of the no-first placement of weapons in outer space initiative to be an important but only interim step on the way towards the conclusion of an international treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space on the basis of a relevant Chinese-Russian draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force against outer space objects.

At the 76th session of the General Assembly, we will traditionally submit to the First Committee draft resolutions on no first placement of weapons in outer space, transparency and confidence-building measures in space activities and further practical measures to prevent an arms race in outer space.

46. We consider it necessary to continue strengthening the central and coordinating role of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). We are against the practice of addressing issues that fall within the competence of the Committee at other non-specialised international fora. We are concerned about the trend towards the consolidation of unilateral approaches in the policies of certain States aimed at establishing of a regime for the research, development and use of space resources, which carries serious risks for international cooperation, including with respect to outer space.

We continue to actively engage in the work of COPUOS to improve the security regime for space operations. We have succeeded in establishing the Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities. The Group’s mandate is to implement the existing and develop new guidelines on long-term sustainability of outer space activities, which is of particular importance against the background of the rapidly changing environment in which space activities take place.

We are against moving the issues traditionally on the COPUOS agenda to parallel platforms, including the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, as part of the concept of the so-called ‘responsible behaviours in outer space’. Neglecting the Committee’s key role with regard to space debris and space traffic management may negatively affect the adoption of balanced consensus decisions in these areas.

We are in favour of the successful completion of efforts to develop the Space-2030 agenda and its implementation plan, with a view to presenting this document at the current session of the General Assembly.

47. We are in favour of strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention, the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, as well as the Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons.

In order to ensure the effective operation of this UN Secretary-General’s Mechanism, at the 76th session of the General Assembly we will submit a relevant draft resolution to the First Committee.

We come out against attempts by Western states to politicise the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in violation of the norms set in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). We regard as illegitimate their actions aimed at vesting the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW with the function of ‘identifying those responsible’ for the use of chemical weapons (attribution), including the creation of an illegitimate Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). We strongly disagree with its biased conclusions. We also have a whole range of complaints about the work of other OPCW inspection missions in the Syrian Arab Republic which violate the methods of investigation set out in the CWC. We urge the OPCW leadership to take action as soon as possible to rectify this deplorable situation.

We support impartial and highly professional investigations into chemical provocations by anti-government forces in Syria and all manifestations of ‘chemical terrorism’ in the Middle East in strict accordance with the high standards of the CWC.

48. We note the negative impact on international security of yet another destructive step by the United States – the decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies (OST) under the pretext of alleged violations of the Treaty by Russia. Alongside the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, as a consequence of which the Treaty ceased to have effect, this step is fully in line with Washington’s policy of destroying the whole range of arms control agreements and causes real damage to the European security system. The United States have upset the balance of rights and obligations of the States Parties to the OST, that is why Russia was forced to take measures to protect its national security interests and begin the procedure of withdrawal from the Treaty (to be completed by 18 December this year).

49. We continue to underline the unique role of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as a universal instrument creating a comprehensive legal regime for international cooperation of States in the World Ocean. We highly appreciate the work of such conventional mechanisms as the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Seabed Authority. We believe it is vital that they work strictly within their mandates under the Convention avoiding any broad interpretation of the competence granted to them or politicising their decisions.

50. The Russian Federation supports the work of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the main judicial body of the United Nations and is ready to assist the creation of conditions enabling its effective and unbiased functioning.

We closely follow the situation around the implementation of the provisions of the UNGA resolution of May 22, 2019 concerning the Chagos Archipelago, adopted in accordance with the relevant advisory opinion of the ICJ. We view the above-mentioned General Assembly decision in the context of the completion of the decolonisation processes.

Elections to the ICJ are planned for the autumn of 2023 at the Security Council and the 78th session of the UNGA. The Russian group in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decided to nominate sitting judge K.Gevorgyan for re-election to the ICJ for the period 2024-2033. We are counting on the support of our candidate by the Member States of the Organisation in the forthcoming elections.

51. The Russian Federation facilitates the work of the International Law Commission (ILC) which contributes significantly to the codification and progressive development of international law. We believe that the UN should further build on its most valuable outputs.

In the autumn of 2021, during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, elections to the ILC are scheduled to take place. The Russian Federation nominated the current member of the Commission, Director of the Legal Department of the MFA of Russia E.Zagaynov, for re-election to the Commission for the period 2023–2027. We hope that the UN Member States will support our candidate in the upcoming elections.

52. The credibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is steadily declining. It is becoming more politically biased and one-sided. We note the low quality of its work and the lack of any tangible contribution to conflict settlement.

53. We underline that the mandate of the Residual Mechanism is strictly limited, and it is necessary to complete its activity as soon as possible. We have to acknowledge yet again that the Mechanism inherited the worst practices from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which is demonstrated by its consistent anti-Serbian attitudes. We monitor respect for the rights of persons accused and convicted by the Residual Mechanism. We do not consider it expedient at this point to establish new judicial bodies of this kind.

54. We continue to assume the legal nullity of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 established by the UN General Assembly acting beyond its authority. We object to the funding of the Mechanism from the UN regular budget and to the Mechanism gaining access to the archives of the OPCW-UN Joint Mechanism.

55. We continue to regard the issue of “the rule of law” with an emphasis on its international dimension, i.e. the primacy of international law, particularly the UN Charter. We continue to oppose attempts to use it to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign States under the pretext of strengthening the “rule of law” at the national level.

Given the confrontational incorporation of the permanent item “responsibility to protect” (R2P) in the UNGA agenda, we underline the loss of the consensual nature of this concept. We will continue to block attempts to legitimise it.

56. It is States that bear the primary responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights, while the UN executive structures are to play a supporting role. We believe that equal cooperation between States based on the rule of international law, respect for sovereignty and equality of States should be the main principle in the work of the United Nations to promote and protect human rights. It is inadmissible to duplicate the work of the main bodies of the United Nations through unjustified integration of the human rights agenda into all areas of the UN activities. We are against strengthening the link between the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the UN Security Council. We oppose attempts to reform the HRC in order to turn it into a quasi-judicial monitoring mechanism.

We consider it unacceptable to include politicised country-specific resolutions and topics outside the scope of their mandate in the agenda of United Nations human rights mechanisms. We condemn the use of human rights issues as a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of States and undermining the principles of international law. It is in this light that we regard the resolution on the situation of human rights in Crimea, which, since 2016, has been regularly submitted to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly by the Ukrainian delegation. This document has nothing to do with the actual situation in this region of the Russian Federation. We will vote against this resolution during the 76th session of the UNGA, and we call on our partners to do the same.

The work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should become more transparent and accountable to the UN Member States in order to avoid politically motivated approaches to assessing human rights situations in different countries.

We will continue to promote intercivilisational, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and due respect for the diversity of cultures, civilisations, traditions and historical developments in the promotion and protection of human rights.

57. We strongly condemn all forms and manifestations of discrimination. The ban on discrimination enshrined in international human rights instruments is universal and applies to all persons without exception. We see no value added in defining new vulnerable groups (such as members of the LGBT community, human rights activists, bloggers) that allegedly require a special legal protection regime or new categories of rights. Such steps by a number of countries only lead to de-universalization of legal protection regimes and increased politicisation and confrontation within the UN human rights mechanisms.

58. Active practical work in the area of social development aimed at eradicating poverty, promoting social integration, ensuring full employment and decent work for all will facilitate effective implementation of the decisions adopted at the World Summit for Social Development and the 24th special session of the UN General Assembly.

We consider the UN Commission for Social Development to be the main UN coordinating body that develops framework for harmonised actions on general issues of social protection, ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, problems of ageing population, improving the situation of young people and strengthening the role of the traditional family. We resolutely oppose any initiatives that undermine its role, as well as the calls for its dissolution.

59. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) remains the main intergovernmental platform for discussion of a broad range of issues relating to improvement of the status of women and achieving gender equality in particular. We believe it is important to avoid politicization of these issues or their automatic inclusion into the UN documents focusing on other topics. Special attention in documents on improving the status of women should be devoted to social and economic rights, as well as social protection and support for women and their families.

We believe that gender equality issues should be taken into account in the work of the UN system in a balanced manner, without absolute prioritisation or selective use.

We commend the work of UN Women which should render assistance only within the framework of its mandate, upon request and with the consent of the States concerned. We will continue to interact actively with it within the framework of the Executive Board.

60. We reaffirm the need for strengthening international cooperation in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child on the basis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the outcome document of the 27th special session of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “A World Fit for Children”. We consider unacceptable attempts by a number of countries to deprive parents and legal guardians of their role in the upbringing of children and the development of their potential, including by granting young children autonomy in their decision-making. Programmes to support the family in its traditional sense, to ensure access to education and healthcare are important for the successful upbringing of children.

We devote close attention to the problem of children in armed conflict. We support the mandate of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and develop cooperation with her, including as part of the programme for repatriation of Russian children from Syria and Iraq.

61. We support discussion at the United Nations General Assembly of the problems of interreligious and intercultural interaction and the development of intercivilisational dialogue, especially within the framework of the Alliance of Civilisations (AoC). We regard the establishment of a culture of peace as an essential prerequisite for peaceful co-existence and global cooperation for the sake of peace and development.

We are actively preparing for holding the World Conference on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue (St Petersburg, May 2022).

62. We are ready for the cooperation on the UN agenda issues with all interested relevant non-governmental organizations. Their involvement in the work of the United Nations should take place within the framework of the established practice, which requires the obligatory consent of Member States. We encourage the adequate representation of the Russian non-governmental corps in the activities of the relevant segments, bodies and structures of the United Nations.

63. To overcome the consequences of migration crises affecting individual countries and regions of the world, global efforts are required under the central coordinating role of the United Nations.

We commend the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on ensuring more effective international protection for refugees and other categories of persons under its responsibility. We consider the work of the UNHCR particularly important in situations of major humanitarian crises.

Russia makes a significant contribution to international efforts to improve the situation of refugees, including by accepting forcibly displaced persons from Ukraine and also through programmes for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. Each year our country voluntarily contributes some $2 million to the UNHCR budget.

We reaffirm our commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which should form the basis of comprehensive long-term cooperation aimed at creating legal channels for migration and countering irregular flows.

Russia took an active part in the first meeting of the Global Refugee Forum. We expect that this platform will help to attract the attention of the international community to the problems of refugees and to consolidate efforts to implement the GCR.

We welcome the strengthening of the UN migration pillar under the coordinating role of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). We support a comprehensive approach of the UNHCR and IOM to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 among persons of concern. We are convinced that one of the effective measures to combat the pandemic should be large-scale vaccination of the population, including forcibly displaced persons.

We note the effectiveness of the UNHCR’s work with Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). We look forward to the world community pursuing a non-politicized approach in dealing with this issue and providing greater assistance in rebuilding infrastructure and ensuring conditions for their early return.

We appreciate and contribute, including financially, to the UNHCR’s efforts to address the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the internal Ukrainian crisis. We support the UNHCR programmes aimed at eliminating statelessness, in particular in European countries.

We are interested in the UNHCR facilitating the return of IDPs and refugees to Nagorny Karabakh and the surrounding areas.

64. We consider the Georgian UNGA resolution on the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be counter-productive and to entail the risk of aggravating the situation “on the ground” and further stalling the Geneva discussions, which remain the only negotiation platform enabling direct dialogue between the representatives of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia. We also note that at a time when the Abkhaz and South Ossetian representatives are deprived of the opportunity to convey their position to the General Assembly because of the systematic refusal of the United States authorities to grant them entry visas, discussions in New York on the topic of “refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia” without their direct participation are meaningless.

65. We consistently advocate for the strengthening of UNESCO‘s international standing. We believe that the adaptation of UNESCO’s working methods to the emerging challenges, including in the context of the new coronavirus pandemic, should be in line with the intergovernmental nature of the Organisation and be based on unconditional compliance with the provisions of the UNESCO Constitution, rules of procedure and directives of the decision-making bodies.

We oppose to the artificial integration of human rights issues in UNESCO’s activities in order to avoid duplication of functions of other UN specialised agencies. We aim to increase the effectiveness of the Organisation by depoliticising it and removing from its agenda issues of territorial integrity and sovereignty that do not belong to it.

Russia contributes significantly to UNESCO activities. In 2022, Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, will host one of the largest and most significant UNESCO events – the 45th Anniversary Session of the World Heritage Committee, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

66. We view cooperation in sports and the promotion of sport ideals worldwide as effective ways to foster respect and mutual understanding among nations.

We believe that politicisation of sports and discrimination of athletes, including Paralympians, in the form of collective punishment are unacceptable. We advocate the development of a universal system of international sports cooperation based on the principles of independence and autonomy of sports.

67.    In the context of international cooperation to address social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we support intensified efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the 2030 Agenda) as a holistic and balanced strategy to guide the work of the UN in the social, economic, environmental and related fields. We underline the integrated, non-politicised and indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with poverty eradication being the key objective.

We support stronger coordination between the UNGA and ECOSOC, including through the dialogue platform of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The HLPF is designed to serve as a forum that brings together all stakeholders, including members of the business community (not only NGOs), to review the progress made in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the global level. Russia’s first Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the SDGs presented in 2020 has been a significant contribution to these efforts.

We promote a balanced approach in the energy sector with a focus on ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources in line with SDG 7. We recognise the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while believing that it should be fulfilled not only through the transition to renewable energy sources but also through the introduction of advanced low-carbon technologies in the use of all types of energy sources, including fossil fuels. In this context, we advocate increased use of natural gas as the most environmentally acceptable fossil fuel, as well as the recognition of nuclear power and hydropower as clean energy sources due to the absence of a carbon footprint. In this spirit, we intend to ensure Russia’s participation in the High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021.

68.    We will continue to uphold the basic parameters for international humanitarian assistance outlined in UNGA resolution 46/182 and other decisions of the General Assembly and ECOSOC. We will oppose revision of fundamental principles, in particular the respect for the sovereignty of an affected state and the need to obtain its consent for assistance. We will continue to urge UN humanitarian agencies to act as “honest brokers” and base their work on carefully verified data about the humanitarian situation “on the ground”.

We are concerned about the worsening of humanitarian crises triggered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As humanitarian needs grow considerably, we believe it crucial to avoid politicising humanitarian assistance.

69.    We condemn individual countries’ practice of imposing unilateral coercive measures contrary to the United Nations Charter and international law. We therefore support the idea of joining efforts of sanctioned countries in line with the Russian President’s initiative to create sanctions-free “green corridors” to provide countries with access to medicines and essential goods.

70.    We call for accelerated implementation of the Addis-Ababa Action Agenda decisions on financing for development in order to mobilise and make effective use of resources to achieve the SDGs.

We support the principle of prioritising the interests of international development assistance recipients. We offer assistance to interested countries based on a de-politicised approach, promoting domestic innovation and expertise.

We recognise the importance of reaching international consensus on global taxation, in particular in the fight against tax evasion. We support the increased intergovernmental cooperation in curbing illicit financial flows and repatriation of income generated from illegal activities.

71.    We oppose attempts by individual countries to reduce socio-economic development solely to the achievement of environmental protection goals, namely climate change. We see such a one-sided position as an indication of unfair competition and trade protectionism, which are inconsistent with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) principles of a universal, open, non-discriminatory multilateral trading system.

72.    We welcome the further strengthening of the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to achieve sustainable development of the United Nations.

We support the consolidation of UNEP’s role as the key universal intergovernmental platform establishing the integrated global environmental agenda.

We advocate greater efficiency and stronger financial discipline within UN-Habitat as part of the Programme’s structural reform implemented in accordance with resolution 73/239 of the General Assembly.

We stress the need for strict adherence to the principle of equitable geographical representation in the staffing of UNEP and UN-Habitat and the inadmissibility of politicisation of these programmes’ mandates.

73.    We stand for the continued leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in coordinating international efforts to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. We will encourage these Rome-based organisations to engage in a closer inter-agency cooperation within the UN system in addressing these issues.

In practical terms, we are actively involved in preparations for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. We expect it to deliver a comprehensive analysis of optimal agri-food chain models to help eradicate hunger and improve food security, including the provision of healthy food for the population. We believe that commonly agreed and universally supported sectoral approaches and proposals should be reflected in the Summit outcome documents in a balanced way. We hope that the upcoming event will set the course for the transformation of global food systems, particularly in the context of overcoming the consequences of the new coronavirus pandemic, and give further impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

We pay careful attention to preventing the risk of a food crisis, namely in view of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to provide humanitarian food aid to countries most in need, first of all to those of the former Soviet Union, as well as in Africa and Latin America.

74.    We attach great importance to the work carried out by the UNGA to support the multilateral efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and overcoming its impact. We advocate a universal, equitable, fair and unhindered access to medical technologies as well as safe, high-quality, effective and affordable vaccines and medicines for the new coronavirus infection.

We consider increasing global preparedness and response capacity for health emergencies to be a priority task. We are ready for a constructive dialogue with all partners in the framework of the relevant formats. Yet we believe that the World Health Organisation (WHO) should continue to be the main forum for discussing global health issues.

We consistently support WHO as the focal point for the international human health cooperation. We call for enhancing the efficiency of its work through increased transparency and accountability to Member States.

75.    We will further strengthen the multi-stakeholder partnership for disaster risk reduction under the Sendai Framework 2015–2030. Amid the ongoing pandemic, we believe that special attention should be paid to building States’ capacity to respond to emergencies, including in health care.

76.    We seek to keep down the growth of the UN regular programme budget for 2022, as well as estimates for peacekeeping operations and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. We propose targeted and justified reductions in requested resources. Any requests for additional funding should first undergo careful internal scrutiny. At the same time, the Secretariat should step up its efforts to improve the efficiency of its working methods in order to minimise the associated costs of achieving UN’s objectives. We insist on stronger accountability, strict budgetary discipline and improved transparency in the Secretariat’s work.

77.    Ensuring parity among the six official UN languages in conference services and information and communication activities remains one of the priorities in our interaction with the Organisation’s Secretariat. The principle of multilingualism should be given primary consideration when implementing all media projects and information campaigns as well as allocating financial and human resources to the language services of the UN Secretariat.

Biden Calls the “Killer”

Biden calls the “killer”

Source

THE SAKER • APRIL 13, 2021 

The big news of the day is that Biden decided to call Putin. Here is how the Russians reported this:

At the initiative of the American side, a telephone conversation took place between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Joseph Biden. The current state of Russian-American relations and some relevant aspects of the international agenda were discussed in detail. Joseph Biden confirmed his earlier invitation to the Russian President to take part in the Climate Summit, which will be held via videoconference on April 22-23. Both sides expressed their readiness to continue the dialogue on the most important areas of ensuring global security, which would meet the interests of not only Russia and the United States, but also the entire world community. Moreover, Joseph Biden expressed interest in normalizing the state of affairs on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable cooperation on such pressing issues as ensuring strategic stability and arms control, the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan, and global climate change. In this context, the US President proposed to consider the possibility of holding a personal summit meeting in the foreseeable future. During the exchange of views on the internal Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures. It was agreed to give instructions to the relevant departments to work out the issues raised during the telephone conversation.

This is t he US version:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty. President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions. President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.

Why the difference in tone? Because the Russians don’t believe in loud statements before a negotiation and, unlike “Biden”, they are not insecure in their legitimacy (both the legitimacy of their policies and the legitimacy of their government). As for Biden, he just produces the exact same type of hot air which the Trump administration became so infamous for. I can tell you what most Russians think when they hear this. They think: “sure looks to me like the old man is desperately trying to encourage himself!”. I totally concur.

This being said, there is also some very premature triumphalism in Russia. A lot of “hurray patriots” are saying “Biden caved in first”. Their arguments go something like this:

According to Defense Minister Shoigu, the US/NATO have about 40,000 soldiers along the Russian border (ostensibly as an exercise) and about 15,000 weapons systems. In response to that threat, Russia deployed 2 Armies and 3 Airborne Divisions along her western border. That is something of the size of 200,000 soldiers. The US Americans saw this and understood that the Russian “fist” could smash them. This is why Biden caved in.

Well, I am not at all so sure that “Biden” caved in or “blinked first”. Why?

  1. “In the coming months” is too late to defuse the current risks of war. They might meet in the upcoming climate conference on April 22-23. But that is the wrong format.
  2. The first rule of military analysis is “don’t look at intentions, but look at capabilities”. This is even more true for “declared intentions”. And what are we reading into “Biden’s” supposed intentions? “Pursue a strategic security dialog” is the best I can find, and I am really not impressed.
  3. Let’s assume that they meet before a full-scale war breaks out, and so what? Did Trump not meet with Kim Jong-un – did that do any good?

Last Sunday, Margarita Simonian, the head of Russia Today, said something very interesting on a Russian TV show (I paraphrase and summarize here):

We will never be able to reach a real agreement (to coexist) with the USA. Why? This is a country built on violence from Day 1. This is a country stuck with several ideological doctrines, including the Doctrine of Discovery to the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny. All these doctrines say the same thing: “we have the right to do whatever we want and we have the right to rule over everybody else. This land was ours, but those Indian SOBs had the arrogance to live there. So we will massacre them all and then create a beautiful feast when we will celebrate that they taught us what to eat (Thanksgiving Day). This was true not only in the 17th century. I remind you of the year 1831 when we already had the Decembrist revolt while the USA was engaged in a massive ethnic cleansing operation (the Trail of Tears) under the personal supervision of

President Andrew Jackson (a Democrat, by the way!) who deported 5 Indian tribes which were settled, had their own schools and many were Christianized. He deported them to Oklahoma using methods which resulted in thousands of deaths (one tribe lost ¼ of her people. My family was deported by Stalin (we were Armenians) and I can tell you that the methods used by Stalin during his deportations were a “gentle ballet” compared to what the “democractic United States” did.

We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to collapse. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to become paupers. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to give up our nuclear weapons. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to forsake all our national interests and we cannot agree to only do that which they tell us to do (including to the detriment of our own interests). We will never reach an agreement with them because we will never agree to forget our history and we won’t agree to have our next generations consider themselves as a totally different nation. We will never reach an agreement with them because we will never agree to any of that, and they will never accept anything less! (emphasis added).

Frankly, I can only agree. From the First Crusade on, the core value and even identity of the political West (in its various manifestations) has always been imperialism. This is true of the Latin Papacy as much as it is true about Hitler’s National Socialism, and it is still true for today’s main ideology of the United States. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. We can call these various manifestations of the united messianic West by many names (today I call it “Zone A”), but this changes nothing to its essence, nature and behavior: the pretextes (ideologies) change, the policies stay the same.

This is why I have been saying that Russia and the AngloZionist Empire are locked in an existential war from which only one party will walk away and the other one will be either destroyed (Russia by the USA) or profoundly change (due to the internal dialectical contradictions of capitalism and the unsustainable nature of the US society today).

And don’t assume that it is “only” Simonian who is “seeing the light”. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Riabkov, made the following statement about the USA:

“They talk about a high price, but they never mention it. What they have done so far, we have, firstly, studied well, and secondly, we have adapted. We do not believe that such terminology is generally applicable: price, payment, and so on. We simply defend our interests and the interests of our citizens, the Russian-speaking population, and we will continue to protect them”. “The question is what conclusions are drawn from this situation in Kiev and from Kiev’s patrons. These conclusions do not set up a positive mood, these threats only strengthen us in the belief that we are on the right course: the United States is our enemy, doing everything to undermine Russia’s position in the international arena, we do not see other elements in their approach to us. These are our conclusions”.

Pretty clear, no?

Years, even decades, of non-stop US threats against Russia have (finally!) achieved their full effect: the illusions which many Russians had for centuries about their western neighbors have almost completely disappeared from the Russian society and the Russian consciousness. What is left is a firm determination to survive, to live, to do whatever it takes to prevent the Empire from “assimilating” Russia.

Russians now also clearly see another truism of western policies. I would express it as so: it really does not matter whom Russia fights – it maybe even be Satan in person (and in many ways it is, let those with ears…), the West will always, always side with our enemy, even if it is Satan in person (again, let those with ears…). Let me just give you one example which says it all:

The USA claims that it was al-Qaeda which did 9/11. Fine. A high-school physics can prove the opposite, but fine. Yet that self-same USA totally backed “al-Qaeda” (all the various denominations and aliases included) in both Chechnia and Syria (and in Serbia too, I would add). And they are still at it.

Another example? Sure.

The West always supported the worst, most violent, rulers in Russia. Conversely, the very best rulers in Russian history are vilified, slandered and despised in the West, and they are, of course, described as obscurantist tyrants, even when compared to the western leaders of the same time period they look like saints (which some of them literally are!).

Want to try one more? Okay.

Let’s look at religion. In the history of relations between Russia and the West, we see something interesting: it does not matter which branch of western Christianity (Latin or Reformed) is in power, the rulers of the West will always side against their putative “Christian brothers”, even if that means siding with non-Christians! Not much has changed between the 15th century, the Crimean War and today: the West always created an ad-hoc “ecumenical coalition” to try to finally conquer Russia.

The bottom line is this: Simonian is 100% correct. The West’s “program for Russia” has not changed and it remains the same: Russia must vanish. Nothing else is acceptable for our western neighbors.

So where do we go from here?

Frankly, I don’t know. I don’t think anybody does. But I can express my hopes.

I hope that the current Russian stance (we are willing to take on the combined might of the USA+NATO+EU and “why would we want a world without Russia?”) to overcome the West’s delusional narcissism (We are almighty! Nobody can stop us! We will crush you!) and get enough folks back in touch with the “real reality” (as many were during the Cold War). Next, I really hope that the Empire will not unleash the Ukronazis in the Donbass (yes, hope dies last, and I have to admit that I currently don’t see how the Ukies could deescalate). I hope that the people of the EU will liberate themselves from their current colonial status, and that they will regain at least a modicum of real sovereignty. Lastly, I hope that the US society will defeat the Woke-freaks currently in power and that the USA will become a powerful, but normal, country (like so many empires have done it before). The slogan “we want our country back” has my total sympathy. But that is a lot of hope, I know.

Now for a pessimistic shot of realism.

First, Biden, the man, not the collective “Biden”, is in no shape to negotiate with anybody. Neither is his Harris. At best, he can do what microbrains like John Kerry or Josep Borrell did: meet with their counterparts, declare A, then fly back home and immediately proclaim non-A.

Tell me – why would the Russian be interested in this kind of silly circus?

What about the collective “Biden” then? Well, Blinken is definitely smarter that this arrogant imbecile Pompeo, but he sure hates Russia no less. Is that an improvement? Maybe.

I am afraid that this proposed meeting will never happen, I think that the White House sees this as a subtle ruse to try to lower the Russian defenses (both military and political). Won’t happen. It is too late for that.

Could it be that “Biden” is throwing in the towel and seeking some kind of arrangement with Russia. Never say never, but I find this exceedingly unlikely. Why? Because of the centuries long ideological messianic narcissism and sense of impunity of the US rulers: they simply cannot fathom that their “city upon the hill” has been placed in a kind of a “mate in three” situation by a horde of vodka guzzling asian barbarians (just like they can’t fathom how those evil “Commie Chinks” have built an economy vastly superior to theirs).

A famous leader of the “united West” also had a hard time accepting that he, and his putatively “invincible armies”, had been comprehensively defeated by Russian subhumans. Even while he could hear the sound of Soviet cannons in his underground bunker.

Truly, some things never change.

Chinese Foreign Policy Outlook

Chinese Foreign Policy Outlook

March 13, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

China achieved miraculous progress during the last four decades, which were never seen in humankind’s known history. There must be many reasons for its rapid developments, but its foreign policy was one of the significant reasons. In simple words, China opted for a reconciliation policy and avoided any confrontation with any other nation or country. It helped China to focus only on developments and achieved the desired results.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed outlooks of Chinese foreign policy and answered questions about the country’s foreign policy and external relations at a virtual press conference on Sunday during the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature. Some of the highlights are given below:-

Pandemic

Through innovative “cloud diplomacy,” President Xi Jinping has championed solidarity in the world’s fight against COVID-19 and pointed the way forward for the international community to jointly fight the virus.

China will continue working with other countries in ongoing efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China has carried out its most extensive emergency humanitarian action, contributing to the world’s anti-coronavirus efforts.

On China-Russia relations

In the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Russia have stood shoulder to shoulder and worked closely to combat “both the coronavirus and the political virus.”

China and Russia should be each other’s strategic support, development opportunity, and global partner. It is both an experience gained from history and an imperative under the current circumstances.

On CPC leadership

Facts have proved that the Communist Party of China’s leadership is the most prominent political advantage of Chinese diplomacy. Leadership will offer fundamental support for China’s diplomatic agenda to secure more victories.

Wang said that China’s diplomacy is people-oriented diplomacy led by the CPC, and the Party set the direction for China’s diplomatic agenda. The original inspiration and mission of the CPC – to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation — determine China’s diplomacy’s responsibility.

On China-Africa relations

Helping African countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic and bringing their economies back on track is the top priority of the China-Africa cooperation. China will always support developing countries. China has started to provide COVID-19 vaccines to 35 African countries and the African Union Commission already.

On ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’

Hong Kong is a particular administrative region of China. One cannot talk about loving Hong Kong without loving its motherland, adding that love for the country and Hong Kong is entirely consistent. Hong Kong enjoyed no democracy during colonial rule. Since its return to the homeland 24 years ago, no one is more concerned about Hong Kong’s democratic development and wishes Hong Kong to remain prosperous and stable than the central government, he said.

On China-US relations

It is logical for China and the US, two countries with different social systems, to have differences and disagreements. “What matters most is to manage them effectively through candid communication to prevent strategic miscalculation and avoid conflict and confrontation.”

China hopes the US can remove its unreasonable restriction on bilateral cooperation as soon as possible and refrain from artificially creating new ones. China is willing to work with the US and set China-US relations on a new path of healthy and steady development.

On Taiwan question

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait must be and will surely be reunified, which is the trend of history and the entire Chinese nation’s collective will, Wang said, adding the one-China principle is the political foundation of the China-US relationship. It is considered a red line and should not be crossed. There is no room for compromise or concession from the Chinese government on the Taiwan question.

“We would hope to see a clear departure from the previous administration’s (Trump Administration) dangerous practice of ‘pushing the red line’ and ‘playing with fire, and we hope that the Taiwan question will be handled prudently and properly,” Wang said.

China stresses the UN’s core status

The UN is not a club for big or rich countries. All countries enjoy equal sovereignty, and no country is in a position to dictate international affairs, Wang said. He also urged efforts to enhance the representativeness and voice of developing countries in the UN to better reflect the common aspiration of most countries.

China, EU not systemic rivals

The China-Europe relationship is equal and open and not targeting any third party or is controlled by anyone else. China never intends to divide relations between Europe and the United States, Wang said, adding that the country is glad to see the European Union uphold multilateralism and remain devoted to coordination and cooperation among major countries.

China opposes ‘vaccine nationalism.’

China opposes “vaccine nationalism,” rejects any “vaccine divide” or any attempt to politicize vaccine cooperation. More than 60 countries have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines. China has provided COVID-19 vaccine aid free of charge to 69 developing countries urgently need while exporting vaccines to 43 countries.

On China-Arab relations

China will work with Arab states in solidarity, pursue expected progress, and prepare for a China-Arab States Summit.

In the past year, relations between China and the Arab States have continued to progress amid various challenges, Wang said, adding their joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has set an excellent example for international cooperation.

On multilateralism

Building small circles in the name of multilateralism is, in fact, “group politics,” multilateralism with one’s own interests taking precedence, is still unilateral thinking, and “selective multilateralism” is not the right choice.

Genuine multilateralism means openness and inclusiveness instead of closeness and exclusion. It means equal-footed consultation instead of supremacy over others.

China’s WTO accession

The past two decades had taught China four crucial lessons: China will stay committed to the fundamental policy of opening-up, remain committed to the principle of win-win cooperation, remain committed to the right direction of economic globalization, and we must stay committed to the central role of the WTO.

“China has injected energy into economic globalization and facilitated the optimization of global industry chains and resources,” he said.

On China-Japan relations

China and Japan should remain focused without being distracted by any single event to make the bilateral relations more mature and stable. China and Japan should support each other in hosting the upcoming Olympic Games this year and next year. China hopes the Japanese society would truly embrace an objective and rational perception of China to solidify public support for long-term progress in China-Japan relations.

‘Xinjiang genocide’ claim a thorough lie

The so-called claim of genocide in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is preposterous, a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives and a complete lie.

Some western politicians chose to believe in the lies cooked up by a few instead of listening to the voice of 25 million Xinjiang residents of various ethnic groups, Wang said, adding that they chose to dance with the clumsy dramas by a few anti-China forces instead of acknowledging the progress in Xinjiang.

On China-ASEAN relations

Wang said that China stands ready to develop an even closer community with a shared future with ASEAN as the two sides celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishing bilateral dialogue relations this year.

China will continue to prioritize efforts to meet vaccine demand from ASEAN and further consolidate beneficial cooperation and see that China’s new development paradigm is better to align with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, he said.

On the Belt and Road Initiative

China’s commitment to supporting the Belt and Road Initiative has not changed, and the country will continue to work with stakeholders to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Wang Yi said.

COVID-19 may have changed the world, but the need for Belt and Road cooperation has not subsided, he said.

“As we pursue a new development paradigm, we will explore better pathways for Belt and Road cooperation and offer greater opportunities to BRI partners,” he added.

In the new development stage

China will create a better business environment, pursue opening-up at a higher level, and work with various countries to accelerate an open world economy, Wang Yi said.

China is like an express train with the greater driving force and load capacity accelerating towards a new goal in the further development stage, he said.

On China-India relations

China stands in a firm position to solve border disputes through dialogue and consultations and, at the same time, is determined to safeguard its own sovereign interests, Wang Yi said.

Border issues are not the whole of the China-India relationship, Wang said, noting that what happened again proves that initiating confrontation will not solve the problem and that returning to peaceful negation is the right way forward.

On climate change

Even though China and the US, and the European Union are in different development stages and face other challenges, they share the same mission in coping with climate change.

Wang urged enhanced communication and coordination between the three sides. They play a leading role in the international community, adding that China welcomes the US’s return to the Paris Agreement and expects that the US will shoulder its responsibility and make its due contribution.

On Iran nuclear issue

China hopes the United States will show sincerity on the Iran nuclear issue, take actions as quickly as possible, including removing unjustified unilateral sanctions and lifting the “long-arm jurisdiction” on third-party entities and individuals, Wang Yi said.

At the same time, he said, Iran should resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal and shoulder its responsibility of nuclear non-proliferation, Wang said.

On the South China Sea

The only intention of some Western countries, including the United States, is to stir up troubles in the South China Sea in the name of so-called free navigation and undermine peace in the South China Sea and disturb regional stability, Wang said.

He called on China and ASEAN countries to continue to remove distractions and press ahead with Code of Conduct consultations, and continue with the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

On Myanmar tensions

Relevant parties in Myanmar should maintain calm and exercise restraint, address their differences through dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the democratic transition.

“The immediate priority is to prevent further bloodshed and conflict, and ease and cool down the situation as soon as possible,” Wang said.

On China and Latin America

China is providing COVID-19 vaccines to 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries. “China and Latin American and Caribbean countries have stood alongside and supported each other in COVID-19 response and economic recovery,” he said. “Our cooperation best illustrates the saying, that ‘a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near.”

On objective coverage of China

China hopes to see and welcome more journalists in Edgar Snow’s mold in this new era among foreign journalists.

Wang Yi said he hopes that foreign journalists will not apply any filter to their camera, whether beautiful or gloomy, when reporting on China.

“Truthful, objective, and fair stories will always appeal to people and can stand the scrutiny of history,” he said. “However the world changes, the media should stand by their professional ethics.”


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

The ‘Cancel Culture’ phenomenon: kind of hate-hush all over the world

The ‘Cancel Culture’ phenomenon: kind of hate-hush all over the world

March 01, 2021

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

Who remembers the Herman’s Hermits and their 1967 song ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’? The hush the song speaks of is a hush of love, and it was a world of dreams in the sixties in the West, despite the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights protests in the USA and other global conflicts. The peace movements were strong and vibrant, and there was hope that the peace-loving youth will have their way and make a difference; because they genuinely believed in the slogan that ‘all you need is love’.

Alas, the love-hush seems now to be replaced with a hate-hush, and it is engulfing the world, particularly the West, with unprecedented anger and vile displays of demeanour, and this seems to be part of the ‘New Normal’ that some are pushing down our throats.

Not long ago, inspired by another song of the 1960’s, the article pondered where have all the flowers and peace movements gone. In such a short period since, discord and trouble has steeply risen to unprecedented levels, where we are witnessing now an ominous step forward into the abyss and a huge fall in the trajectory of humanity.

In comparison and as an example, when the Lebanese civil war erupted in 1975, it didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone as the specter of such calamity had always hung in the air and sat on the agendas of opposing political groups, as well as on the narrow minds of religious groups that held back unsettled sectarian scores for decades, even centuries.

In hindsight, it seems unfathomable as to how did the German people become so brainwashed and vulnerable to Nazi propaganda. They incrementally discarded all the humane values they had known before, replacing them with nationalist, exclusionist and supremacist values, eventually engaging, wittingly or unwittingly, in supporting or perpetrating injustices on minority groups including Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, the disabled, just to mention a few. Shockingly, when the civil war began in Lebanon, the Lebanese people actually saw a similar phenomenon happen right in front of their eyes. The world witnessed town turning against town, suburb against suburb, neighbour against neighbour, inflicting the most horrendous crimes of maiming, sniping, torturing and killing each other. The same happened again in Yugoslavia as it fell apart.

In more ways than one, latent hatred was expected to eventually manifest itself. If and when old sentiments are not dealt with and brought to closure, such an outcome of a build-up and explosion is to be expected.

But what we are witnessing today, in the West, is something quite different; a case where many people develop boiling, seething, foaming and frothing rage and hatred against others for no apparent reason or history at all.

In America at least, there are a number of actual issues that cause rage and dismay, such as unresolved racial tensions and injustices, perceptions of stolen elections, mishandling of the Corona Virus, the economy and so on. However, these issues are dealt with so vehemently, often with grave, unjust, illegal and disproportional measures, leaving many wondering if America is teetering on the brink of a civil war.

Most striking is the alarming phenomenon of other Western countries taking on board many of the divisive American-specific issues, all with the rage and social divisions that define America’s social status quo. People make ‘all or nothing’ stands and polarity on so many issues, reaching new frenetic levels each day. Even when a legitimate reason for anger exists, the expressions of these can be increasingly extreme and irrational and treated as a defining issue, one worthy of labelling, whether in America or elsewhere.

The authors observed that many people from all different sides of the political divide, within and outside the USA, when asked, are unable to rationally express the reason behind their extremely heated stands. Such a psychological situation can destroy the West; or what is left of it. Close friends, friends who have known and loved each other for decades accuse each other of the most heinous of ‘crimes’, attach labels to each other, just because they ask simple questions, trying to understand the rationale behind their feelings.

And feelings they are, because they are not well-conceived and fact-finding-based views, and their answers provided are merely emotionally based.

In the very near past, people and friends in particular, used to have deep political discussions with peers. They disagreed quite often, but such diverse views were discussed in a civil manner with the assumption that people had the right to have different views and opinions.

In the West today however, it seems that the ‘agree-to-disagree’ principle is no longer. The current rule is ‘you are either with me or against me’. Where have we heard this before? Instead of ‘me’ it was ‘us’?

Not only are we witnessing extreme and unwarranted actions between disagreeing individuals, we are also witnessing this on a collective level, one we often refer to as ‘thought-policing’. Its repercussions in recent times are rapidly morphing into what can only be described as torture ‘techniques’ such as the likes of ‘Cancel Culture’. This is exactly synonymous to the act of ‘banishment’ during the Spanish Inquisition days and the Witch-Hunt eras. Nothing much has changed, or perhaps things have gone full-circle.

In that time, ‘banishment’ meant that the banished ones lost their jobs, became socially isolated, prohibited from trading or buying goods, and quite often, this preceded being burnt alive at the stake. And, now it appears that ‘Cancel Culture’ means virtually the same thing. Whilst the victim may still be lucky enough to trade and buy commodities online, it still generally involves losing one’s job, stature, friends, memberships of associations, and facing humiliation and defamation among many other things. The only basic difference today is the absence of being put to death.

Prior to any banishment or ‘Cancel Culture’ being implemented, just like in the past where such people were branded as heretics, they are now given labels such as ‘denialists’ (disagreement with climate change theory), ‘anti-vaxxers’ (questioning the effectiveness and safety of COVID vaccines) and others. What is interesting here in all this madness, is that a person could be labelling another, only to end up themselves being labelled for something else. Someone who labels another as a ‘denialist’ may find him/herself branded as an ‘anti-vaxxer’.

What is most sinister perhaps is that, on one hand we see this violent, unexplainable, unwarranted irrational level of anger, but on the other hand, we see the West endorsing and accepting other irrational policies that can destroy it, but yet no one is batting an eyelid. Any keen observer can see that a whole myriad of changes have been imposed on the Western society, each of them alone can destroy the Western culture. Without much effort, we can see many such changes, but it suffices to mention the following:

  1. Political correctness that has gone way too far and continues to erode personal freedom of expression.
  2. The climate change debacle/hoax that elevated Greta to the level of becoming Time Magazine’s person of the year.
  3. The destruction of Western family values.
  4. The over-emphasis on LBGTI rights and all the changes imposed on the mainstream society, including such things as banning the use of words like mother and father.
  5. The COVID-thing; lockdowns, conflicting information, the vaccines that we know little about, the presence of nefarious people of influence like Fauci and Gates in decision-making.
  6. Confusing young school children with gender issues and almost encouraging them to become homosexual and/or transgender.
  7. The silence of the public regarding the censorship regulations of Facebook and Twitter.
  8. The silence of the public about the plans of the WEF’s ‘Great Reset”.
  9. The growing acceptance of thought policing and compliance to the state and media.
  10. The public indifference towards the groundless sanctions against Russia and their possible effect on global stability and peace.
  11. The public lack of knowledge and indifference about the support of their governments to Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
  12. The West losing its industrial base under the watchful eyes of Western Governments.
  13. The West suffering from a huge drop in number of students majoring in STEM subjects.
  14. The West suffering from a growing lack of desire of young adults to have children and raise families.
  15. Giving blanket and unconditional support to abortion, even in the absence of any medical, psychological and justifiable reasons, including late-term abortion, and considering it (ie abortion) as a human right.

When people in the West are asked, why do those who do not agree with the above or accept it say nothing? The response is invariably fear, fear of being targeted and being subjected to the ‘Cancel Culture’.

Coerced to endorse the revolution of anger and phantom ideology, Westerners, especially the youth, have been socially engineered to become the corner stones of ‘controlled opposition’, all the while, they seem to have been conditioned to ‘unsee’ the real issues that threaten their survival in the future.

Coming to the crunch question; with what appears as increasing irrationality and insanity all around, have people been recently, or maybe incrementally, subjected to systemic brainwashing that renders them into such a state of irrationality, anger, volatility and blindness? If that is the case, then how was this achieved?

This brings to mind the tactic of subliminal advertising, a technique developed as early as in the 1950’s in which a person is subjected unknowingly to an advertisement. It can be sound-based or visual. A visual one is based on techniques like inserting a single advertisement frame, say of a bag of popcorn, into a movie. Movies show motion by playing a series of still frames, around twenty per second. In a single frame it is not noticeable by the conscious mind, but is picked up by the subconscious, and in this example given, will create a stimulus to buy popcorn. There is much evidence of more sinister or politically motivated subliminal messages inserted into Hollywood movies. Legal questions arose around this technique.

From such a simple, unsophisticated technique, in the same decade, a secretive project on behaviour modification was undertaken named Project MKUltra, eventually becoming the subject of an American Senate Intelligence Hearing . Mind-control technology took off, reaching ever new heights (or lows?), not just enhancing business and socio-political agenda, but becoming a crucial component of warfare, even with special strategies for social media, to target the public and their perceptions, making them compliant or malleable and even activating them to the extent this discussion indicates. Intibah Kadi’s work on this is cited in the preceding link to an academic paper.

The question is where else, apart from media and social media, have such techniques been used? What kind of technology and to what extent and what ends has this been taken to? And has such systemic brainwashing that we suggest, been ramped up in these last few years when Trump was President of the USA? This is predicated on the suspicion of Trump acting at times as the ‘disruptor” of a particular set of the ‘establishment’, or ‘swamp’ as he named it, one that either rejected him or he alienated.

This also brings to mind an old movie in 1977 by the name of Telefon, a fiction based on a few people who on the surface appear to lead a normal life, but in reality, are a team of professional assassins designated to kill certain individuals upon receiving a vocal message they had been hypnotized to respond to like robots.

Have we actually reached such days of a ‘New Normal’ in terms of the evident, debased level of social discourse, labeling, shaming and damning? Ironically, ‘New Normal’ is a term we hear every day, courtesy of world leaders, various officials and, of course, from the head of the World Economic Forum. Or is it ironic? Will brainwashing and behaviour modification techniques go far beyond that of what we commonly understand and well into the realms of Artificial Intelligence and Electromagnetism? And in these new realms, what extent, if any, do these play a role in these shocking days of ‘Cancel Culture’, the suspension of critical thinking and general mob-rule behaviour permitted for some in the West in recent years?

But above all, did the Western mind deteriorate naturally as a result of attrition or did social engineering cause it to devolve in a manner that fires it up chasing red herrings all the while being totally blind to what really matters? Or has it been manipulated by a devious master plan that makes any science fiction movie look like a Batman Comic?

‘Times are a Changing’: Launch of Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace & Justice Project

British politician Jeremy Corbyn. (Photo: File)

By Ronnie Kasrils

I salute Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace & Justice initiative which could not be more timely, and I am proud to be part of it.

We live in troubled times: the raging pandemic, rise of neo-fascist forces; the rapacious neoliberal global system.

For so many, survival against war, police brutality, starvation, disease, collapsing economies, refugee camps, is the stark reality.

All of this is compounded by the climate crisis; environmental pollution; collapse of food and water security.

The pandemic has exposed to the light of day too often hidden or denied chasms of inequality both within and between nations and peoples around the world — both in the disproportionate impact on the poorest, most vulnerable, people of color, in getting the virus, and especially in the inequities of access to the vaccine.

The rich grow obscenely richer, the poor grow poorer. Less than one percent owning more than half the world’s population.

Yet “the times are a changing”; Bob Dylan sang at the time of the civil rights and anti-colonial liberation struggles; and the melody continues to rhyme with history – reflected to this day by the pressure of billions across the planet demanding a better life.

Two centuries ago the poet Shelley wrote in the wake of the Peterloo massacre you are the many they are the few”.

Not long after, Marx and Engels pointed to the consequences of the increasing concentration of the means of production and wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Then, as now, the challenge was to understand the world in order to change it.

To do that we must not ignore the repercussions of colonial conquest as a prelude to the rise of the capitalist era.

The hangover of that colonial past exists: in power relations between peoples and nations; between global north and south; in the neo-colonial masquerade of the Bolsonaro’s, Modi’s and El Sisi’s trying to subvert progress.

Progress such as the Black Lives Matter movement, which is energized not only by revolt against police crimes but to overturn the weight and consequence of centuries of slavery, white supremacy and inequality.

Struggle for change, as ever, requires an understanding of the material conditions of political and economic life, to avoid reductionism into identity politics and racial or gender essentialism, at the expense of class-conscious clarity.

Likewise, loser Trump’s rage and the mob that attacked the Capitol building are a consequence of America’s past, and symptomatic of the frustration of white supremacists whose psychosis, as in the 1930s, is stoked by demagogues.

Enormous irony is seen in the double standards of the “Free World”. On the one hand: unbelievable shock that the USA’s seat of democracy has been assaulted. On the other: the sanguine promotion of military intervention, neo-colonial coups, punitive sanctions abroad in the name of that democracy.

To control the Middle East, Israel – a colonizing project – receives massive US military and financial aid. Disregard for Palestinian rights is reflected in Trump’s Deal of the Century and the so-called “normalization” between Israel and corrupt Arab fiefdoms.

If Biden is to commit to democracy, he must quit the double standards of previous administrations and apply the visions of a Franklin D Roosevelt and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Biden needs to apply and significantly extend a “New Deal” project which in FDR’s day cut black Americans short; he must commit to world peace in recognition of the national and human rights of all peoples; uphold international law under the writ of the United Nations – an institution whose authority the US has systematically undermined.

And as King’s birthday is commemorated this weekend, Biden needs to note King’s most important speech – “Beyond Vietnam” which described the US government as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world”, and crucially identified the three interlocking evils that must be challenged – systemic racism, poverty, and militarism.

For the Corbyn Project to succeed it must become an international champion, furthering both FDR and King’s visions – and connect with movements for peace and justice throughout the world.

From the multitude that filled the streets opposing the invasion of Iraq, to the Arab Spring and BLM rebellion; waves of protest are signaling a new dawn. In India alone, over 250 million participated in strikes and protests last year. We must spare no effort in making this rising tsunami unstoppable.

And if we wish to talk about courage under fire, note the men, women and children of Palestine, facing the bombs and bullets of the Israeli Defense Force in their peaceful protests, refusing to submit.

Like others around the world, we South Africans have developed a vibrant civil society, with grassroots movements, encouraging our and all governments to act decisively in tackling the fault lines of the 21st Century, as we did in the struggle against Apartheid in the previous century:

For people’s involvement in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine and global vaccine equality;

For the protection of the eco-system and food security through a Climate Justice Charter and Global Food Sovereignty Agenda;

For a global anti-racist, anti-war, pro-peace platform. Together we must defeat a second coming of fascism – for in Berthold Brecht’s words (referring a system, not the gender) – “The beast is on heat again.”

No Pasaran! They shall not pass. This is a time when, in Seamus Heaney’s words, “hope and history rhyme.” Through people’s power, in unity, action, and international solidarity, we will win. For people and the planet. For the many, not the few!

– Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

James Jeffrey’s Confessions: Syria is the gift that continues to give to us, we are in control of northeastern Syria. Erdogan retreats under threat (2) اعترافات جيمس جيفري: سورية الهديّة التي تستمرّ بالعطاء لنا نحن المسيطرون فعلياّ على شمال شرق سورية.. وأردوغان يتراجع تحت التهديد (2)

**Please scroll down for the English translation**

نضال حمادة

نستكمل الجزء الثاني والأخير من المقابلة التي أجراها المبعوث الأميركيّ الخاص السابق الى سورية جيفري جيمس مع «المونيتور».

يقول جيفري جيمس يجب الفصل بين أردوغان وتركيا، وستكون أكبر التحديات التي يواجهها بايدن هي الصين وروسيا وكوريا الشمالية وخطة العمل الشاملة المشتركة الإيرانية والمناخ. هؤلاء هم الخمسة الكبار. المرتبة السادسة هي تركيا، حيث إنّ تركيا لها تأثير مباشر على اثنين من المراكز الخمسة الأولى: إيران وروسيا، وهذا له تأثير على الإرهاب رقم ثمانية أو تسعة.

ويضيف: تركيا دولة مهمة للغاية في الناتو يقع رادار الناتو في قلب نظام الصواريخ المضادة للصواريخ الباليستية الذي يواجه إيران في تركيا. لدينا أصول عسكرية هائلة هناك. لا يمكننا فعلاً «القيام» بالشرق الأوسط أو المؤتمرات الحزبيّة أو البحر الأسود من دون تركيا. وتركيا خصم طبيعي لروسيا وإيران.

ويتابع: أردوغان مفكر كبير في أساليب الحكم. حيث يرى ما يجذب يتحرّك، الأمر الآخر بالنسبة لأردوغان هو أنه متعجرف للغاية ولا يمكن التنبّؤ بما يفعله، وببساطة لن يوافق على حلّ يربح فيه الجميع. ولكن عندما يكون في عجلة من أمره – وتفاوضت معه – فهو ممثل عقلانيّ..

لذا، إذا رأى بايدن العالم مثل الكثير منا الآن، منافسة قريبة من الأقران، تصبح تركيا مهمة للغاية. انظروا إلى ما فعله (أردوغان) للتوّ خلال ثمانية أشهر في إدلب وليبيا وناغورني كاراباخ. كانت روسيا أو الحلفاء الروس هم الخاسرون في الثلاثة.

يصف جيفري أردوغان فيقول: أردوغان لن يتراجع حتى تظهر له أسنانك، هذا ما فعلناه عندما تفاوضنا على وقف إطلاق النار في تشرين الأوّل/ أكتوبر 2019، كنا مستعدّين لسحق الاقتصاد التركي.

هذا ما فعله بوتين بعد إسقاط الطائرة الروسيّة لقد أرسل الروس الآن إشارات قوية مرتين إلى الأتراك في إدلب.

يجب أن تكون مستعداً، عندما يذهب أردوغان بعيداً، لقمعه حقاً والتأكد من أنه يفهم ذلك مسبقاً. الموقف التركيّ ليس صحيحاً أبداً بنسبة 100 %. لديهم منطق وحجج معينة من جانبهم. نظراً لدورهم كحليف مهمّ وحصن ضدّ إيران وروسيا، فإنّ الأمر متروك لنا على الأقلّ للاستماع إلى حججهم ومحاولة إيجاد حلول وسط.

حول رغبة ترامب في مغادرة القوات الأميركية المنطقة يقول جيمس جيفري: الرئيس غير مرتاح لوجودنا في سورية. كان منزعجاً جداً مما اعتبره حروباً لا نهاية لها. هذا شيء لا ينبغي أن ينتقد بسببه. أسقطنا الخلافة (داعش) ثم بقينا. ظلّ ترامب يسأل، «لماذا لدينا قوات هناك؟» ولم نعطه الإجابة الصحيحة.

إذا قال أحدهم، «الأمر كله يتعلق بالإيرانيين»، فربما كان سينجح. لكن الأشخاص الذين كانت مهمتهم معرفة سبب وجود القوات هم وزارة الدفاع. وقد أعطوا الإذن (من الكونغرس) لاستخدام القوة العسكريّة، نحن هنا لمحاربة الإرهابيين.»

أعتقد أنّ سبب سحب ترامب للقوات كان لأنه سئم من تقديم كلّ هذه التفسيرات لسبب وجودنا هناك. كان هناك وعد ضمني له: يا رئيس، لا شيء خطأ، نحن نعمل مع الأتراك، ونعمل مع الروس. ومن ثم يحصل على هذه الكوارث.

لم أبلغ الرئيس بذلك. لقد فعل بومبيو ذلك وقدّم له الحجة، وركز على إيران. لكن ترامب كان غير مرتاح لهذه القوى، وكان يثق بأردوغان. سيواصل أردوغان طرح هذه القضايا حول حزب العمال الكردستاني، وسيستجوب الرئيس الناس، ويجب أن يكونوا صادقين ويعترفوا». بالطبع، الأمر أكثر تعقيداً من ذلك. الحروب معقدة، ويضيف: لقد شرحنا الأسباب للرئيس لكنه يستمع أيضاً إلى أردوغان. أردوغان مقنع تماماً بالنسبة له.

في وزارة الخارجية، لم نكشف للرئيس عن عدد القوات في سورية. إنها ليست وظيفتنا. لم نحاول خداعه. لكننا كنا نعطيه أرقاماً أقلّ بكثير من الأرقام الفعليّة، لذلك عند التحدث إلى وسائل الإعلام والكونغرس، كان علينا توخي الحذر الشديد وتجنبها. بالإضافة إلى أنّ الأرقام كانت مضحكة. هل تحصي الحلفاء الذين لا يريدون الكشف عن هويتهم هناك؟ هل تشمل ثكنة التنف؟ هل تحسب أن وحدة برادلي تأتي وتذهب؟

كنا خجولين لأنّ الرئيس أعطى الأمر بالانسحاب ثلاث مرات. كانت الضغوط مستمرة والتهديد بسحب القوات من سورية. شعرنا بالضعف الشديد وربما شربنا القليل من الخوف لأنه كان يعني الكثير بالنسبة لنا. أتفهّم مخاوفه بشأن أفغانستان. لكن المهمة في سورية هي الهدية التي تستمرّ في العطاء. نحن وقوات سورية الديمقراطية ما زلنا القوة المهيمنة في شمال شرق سورية.

كان الأكراد يحاولون دائماً جعلنا نتظاهر بأننا سندافع عنهم ضد الجيش التركي. وحثوا قوة المهام المشتركة، على الرغم من اعتراضاتي، على البدء في إقامة نقاط استيطانيّة على طول الحدود التركيّة.

James Jeffrey’s Confessions: Syria is the gift that continues to give to us, we are in control of northeastern Syria. Erdogan retreats under threat (2)

Nidal Hamada

We complete the second and final part of the interview that former U.S. special envoy to Syria Jeffrey James gave to Al-Monitor.

Jeffrey James says Erdogan and Turkey must  be separated, and Biden’s biggest challenges will be China, Russia, North Korea, Iran’s JCPOA and climate.

“Turkey is a very important NATO country, and NATO’s radar is at the heart of the anti-ballistic missile system that confronts Iran in Turkey.” We have enormous military assets there. We can’t really “do” the Middle East, party conventions or the Black Sea without Turkey. Turkey is a natural opponent of Russia and Iran.

“Erdogan is a great thinker in governance.” Where he sees what attracts he moves, the other thing for Erdogan is that he is too arrogant and unpredictable as to what he is doing, and simply won’t agree to a win-win solution. But when he’s in a hurry, (and I negotiated with him), he’s a rational actor.

So, if Biden sees the world like so many of us now, a close-up competition, Turkey becomes very important.   

“Erdogan won’t back down until you show him your teeth, that’s what we did when we negotiated a ceasefire in October 2019, we were ready to crush the Turkish economy,” he said.

The Russians have now sent twice strong signals to the Turks in Idlib.

You must be prepared, when Erdogan goes away, to really suppress him and make sure that he understands it in advance. The Turkish position is never 100% true. They have certain logic and arguments on their part. Given their role as an important ally and bulwark against Iran and Russia, it is up to us at least to listen to their arguments and try to find compromises.

“The president is uncomfortable with our presence in Syria,” said James Jeffrey. He was very disturbed by what he considered endless wars. This is something that should not be criticized for it. We brought down the caliphate (ISIS) and then we stayed. Trump kept asking, “Why do we have troops there?” and we didn’t give him the right answer.

If someone said, “It’s all about the Iranians,” maybe it’s going to work. But the people whose job it was to find out why the troops were present was the Ministry of Defence. They have given permission (from Congress) to use military force, we are here to fight terrorists.”

I think the reason Trump pulled the troops out was because he’s tired of providing all of these explanations of why we’re there. There was an implicit to him: President, nothing is wrong, we are working with the Turks, we are working with the Russians. And then he gets these disasters.

I didn’t report it to the President. But Trump was uncomfortable with these forces, and he trusted Erdogan.

At the State Department, we have not disclosed to the President the number of troops in Syria. It’s not our job. We didn’t try to fool him.

We were shy because the president gave the order to withdraw three times. Pressure was continuing and the threat of withdrawing troops from Syria. We felt very weak and maybe even drunk a little fear because it meant so much to us. I understand his concerns about Afghanistan. But the task in Syria is the gift that continues to give. We and the Syrian Democratic Forces are still the dominant force in northeastern Syria.

The Kurds were always trying to make us pretend that we would defend them against the Turkish army. They urged the Joint Task Force, despite my objections, to start establishing outposts along the Turkish border.

Days of the Future Passed: A Syncretic Look at the Problems of Empire – Book Excerpt

December 10, 2020

‘Days of the Future Passed’ by Jim Miles. (Photo: Book Cover)

By Jim Miles

(Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return, Jim Miles. Kindle Edition. 2020)

By Introduction

The United States has throughout its existence demonstrated all the features of ‘empire’, from the original settlers using the Papal Doctrine of Discovery (1542)  through to the current propaganda of the global war and terror, now changing to defense doctrines against Russia and China.  My new work, “Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return” presents the broad outlines of what this represents to the international scene from inception through to today’s ongoing empirical adventures.

The two main constants have been economic influence and military influence.  The two are highly integrated and always have been even from before Independence, through the conquest of much of North America, where sometimes the soldiers led the way, and sometimes the settlers led the way, but neither being far apart from the other.  Today the economy of the US empire is highly dependent on the military mindset of the US supporting its economic adventures overseas, the bottom line being support for the global reserve currency, the fiat ‘petrodollar.’

Three other ideas enter into this picture.  An additional military factor is the threat of nuclear war, an event only a hair trigger action away from ultimately ending all of our problems.  The current increase in propaganda rhetoric against Russia and China makes a nuclear scenario unfortunately all too realistic.  Added to this, climate change is affecting our chances at long term safety and overall survival, much of it caused by our consumer oriented economy based on fossil fuels – control of the latter being of paramount importance for the US dollar and thus the US military.  Add to all that the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the empire appears to be slowly losing its grip on its desired hegemony, but not without threatening much of the rest of the world.

Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return” argues that we have passed some tipping points for which there will be no return to normal, within economics, the environment, and the military industrial complex.  Ideas for solutions are easy, their implementation is not as the inertia of empire is not easily restrained or controlled.

Excerpt

2020 – Tipping Points

It may not be evident yet, but in another ten or twenty years, the year 2020 may also be looked on as a pivotal year in global interactions – geopolitical, environmental, and financial – all of which are highly interrelated.

Imagine the lowly teeter-totter, a playground piece not as common as it used to be.  The teeter-totter is aptly named as many a child, and many an adult has stood above the bar that makes the plank teeter and totter, trying to maintain balance but also testing how far they can go before touching down on one side or the other.   Now imagine that teeter-totter is poised on the edge of a cliff, where one side can touch down and avoid the unknown drop, and the other side obviously is the drop from which there is no recovery to equilibrium.

It is a simple metaphor, but it illustrates for several sectors of our lives, we have allowed ourselves to drop into the unknown.

The unknown is simply the future.  This future is to be determined by a declining global economy becoming saturated with massive US money printing to prop up the banksters and corporate CEOs.  It will be determined by the disregard domestically and in foreign affairs for the supposed ‘rule of law’ but more importantly international law and true justice for all people. The changes to our environment are at the moment relatively slow but are becoming irreversible under current trends.   Finally, the massive military investments on a global scale for both nuclear and conventional weaponry threatens everyone with a very delicate balance of power.

….Under the Trump presidency, combined with the economic impact of the virus and actions to contain it (for better or worse, not a point of discussion here), the US has assuredly reached a point where its huge national debt can never be repaid.   Combine this with the main source of income and wealth in the US no longer being production, but financialized services simply creating money at the stroke of a keyboard and the economy is surviving precariously on the whim of people servicing the US$.

Put simply, the US survives on the Federal Reserve Bank (a consortium of private banks) pumping money into the economy.   With much of the economy based on debt, and interest rates kept necessarily low in order to service the debt, the strength of the US$  as a global reserve currency – the petrodollar – is jeopardized.

….This year there have been several accounts of how the climate/environment is showing signs of tipping into conditions where there can be no reversals to ‘normal’ without serious changes to our atmospheric inputs:  Greenland’s ice sheet melts more than it accumulates in snowfall each year by a significant amount; the Amazon has reached the status where it can no longer regenerate itself after a series of droughts; the forest fires in Siberia, Australia, and California demonstrate the overall pattern of global warming; each succeeding month has set record new global highs.

….The main feature here is that the combination of China and Russia have created a multi-polar world whether the US is willing to admit it or not.  Russian resources, defensive military achievements, and a renewed domestic scene under the direction of the much-vilified Vladimir Putin have combined with China’s increasing defensive measures in the Western Pacific, its Belt and Road initiative throughout Asia and extending elsewhere, and the economic power that China has achieved as the largest economy in the world (on purchasing power and domestic market basis).

Above all, both China and Russia have stated they no longer support the hegemony of the US$ as the global reserve currency.  They cannot replace it themselves, but they can operate outside of it, and they can support alternate global systems such as a ‘basket’ of reserve currencies, and their own digital exchange systems.   That is what truly scares the US as it sees its own debt problems trap it into hyperinflation while other countries start to shift away from supporting the US$.   That could mean war, hybrid for sure, but it could also go kinetic.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and analyst who examines the world through a syncretic lens.  His analysis of international and domestic geopolitical ideas and actions incorporates a lifetime of interest in current events, a desire to preserve and conserve our natural environment and stop the commodification of the environment.  He has been active as a critical writer in opposition to the US empire and its militarization of most aspects of domestic and international affairs. Miles’ work has been published globally and has appeared on a variety of websites including Palestine Chronicle, Axis of Logic, Countercurrents, and Global Research.  He has appeared on RT News and The Tyee concerning events in Palestine/Israel.  This is his first book and effectively summarizes many years, indeed a lifetime, of interest in international geopolitical and environmental affairs. He contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle. 

The real reason behind Democrats impeachment of Trump

September 29, 2019

The real reason behind Democrats impeachment of Trump

by Scott Humor,

the Director of Research & Development for the Saker.is

 

The general debate of the General Assembly opened on Tuesday, 24 September at 9:00 a.m. (New York time). This year’s theme was “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.

The internal properties of the C.I.A. newly revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form, which the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) requires to be submitted under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), show that the document was uploaded on September 24, 2019, at 4:25 p.m.

Thus, at some point on September 24th the C.I.A. decided to move forward with the Operation Impeachment, and uploaded an amended “Disclosure of urgent Concern” form to cover their asses with a fig leaf. They did this in response to something that was said during the day of September 24th at the UNGA and to what was about to be said the following sessions. The C.I.A. decided that Nancy Pelosi’s full statement on launching Trump impeachment inquiry will be sufficient enough scandal to detract the Media and the public from statements being made by the leaders and representatives of many nations. Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24th at noon. So, the C.I.A. posting a revised “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” form four hours later was an afterthought. See the complete story here.

It shows that they had Trump phone conversation with the Kievan mamzer set aside to use when there is a need to create a side-show, but they weren’t completely ready for the UN General Assembly because they didn’t know about the diplomatic demarche and learned about it at the last moment.

Another curious detail is that the impeachment inquiry is officially based on the complaint arising out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader and it being used to detract from the diplomatic demarche made by the foreign leaders at the UNGA.

How to detract public attention by offering a fake target

The UN organized a diplomatic demarche. To detract from this international demarche, the globalists conjured a fierce fake target with the cooperation of their Kievan mamzer. Trump, of cause, had to become their main target. Why not to kill two birds with one stone, to detract from the UN members’ diplomatic demarche and to try, once again, to unseat the president and to grab power? The thinking humanity, being totally disoriented by information wars, thundered following this dog and rabbit race without paying the slightest attention to the fact that leaders and representatives of so many world states expressed harsh criticism of Israel’s occupation and murder of Palestinians living in this open air concentration camp and used as live targets by Israelis. Even the Chinese offered Israel to clear off the occupied territories.

Did you hear on your national TVs that the heads of states representing half of the world population loudly and sternly demanded Israel to get out of the occupied lands? No? That’s right you didn’t hear anything because at the end of the first day of the diplomatic demarche in the UNGA, the C.I.A. changed the rules of engagement, and Pelosi made her statement about the impeachment, and from this point on all you could hear were the attacks against Trump, the following day everyone rushed to discuss the Kievan mamzer, then the meeting between Trump and the Kievan mamzer, them the pictures of the mamzer and Trump, next day it was the turn for the mamzer’s wife and her clothes.

On the top of the verbal and visual torrent, came the globalists’ spawn, the face of disdain that the rich and powerful feel towards the rest of us. The code name of the spawn is “the girl Greta,” and she is not to be confused with another similar girl whose code name was the “Kurdish girl,” who gave so called The Nayirah testimonya false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by the daughter of the Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United States, who has never been to Iraq. She was revealed as a fake Kurdish girl, but after the war that she with so much emotion called for. The truth about the girl’s identity was whispered after Saddam was killed along with hundred thousands Iraqis children, Saddam’s children and grandchildren were killed, then children of the Iraq’s military officers and police officers, Christian children and Muslim children, and children of Iraq’s teachers and scientists. Children are still dying in Iraq long after the war is over, from depleted uranium 4,000,000 pounds of which used in the 2003 invasion.

While the slaughter of the nation was taken place, the Kurdish actors played on camera a talented scripted show of being raped by Saddam personally with fake tears streaming down their lying faces. It was non-stop around the clock tales of ‘rape,’ while real Iraqi women were raped by invading armies of the US and their partners in crime, Israeli proxies, and by Kurds themselves and all mercenaries from around the world that Kurds managed to bring into the country.

The 21st century genocide of Arabs started with the girl in the UN.

The “girl Greta” turned out to be a bit too much even for the trained to listen and obey international audience. She, like similar females prior in history, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Nadezhda Krupskaya, was brought up to be ‘the face of protest’ and the face of European youth. But this face is so terrifying, that European youth is slow to recognize itself in it.

So, here we got not only a detraction from reasonable well-educated men in suits who started their speeches with thanking God and demanded that laws adopted by the international community were observed. We also got the face of the future “genocide from the distance,” We see a girl… she is not killing anyone, no, on the contrary, she asks to protect someone, or something… it’s only with the lapse of time mass murders will commence. These girls, and the fake Kurdish girl and this fake European girl, they were brought to the UN by some evil men as if into some enchanted forest. And when it will be over, this girl will grow up like the one before her, and who would blame them for the tragedies they both caused?

The first act of the drama “girl Greta” has already played, when she also served as distraction from the diplomatic demarche of the leaders and representatives of fifty percent of the world population to stop genocide of Palestine. From the “Girl Greta” point of view, people are not nature. It’s because of two terrifying female dwarfs playing their roles, Nancy and Greta, the world didn’t hear the demands of the world leaders for Israel immediately seize the occupation and to return back within its 1967 border.

The political demarche started with the address by the president of Nigeria.

“An injustice on the global scale”

The UN General Assembly session 74 started on September 24th with the speech of Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria.

(All the following are mine unofficial transcripts.)

Listen starting at 9:15 minute of the video. “The UN has new opportunities to take the lead on issues that continue to cloud the prospect for international peace, prosperity, namely the right of the Palestinian people to have their own country free of occupation. The international community has spoken from Resolution 242 of 1967 to the present day on the right of Palestinian people to have and live in peace on their own land.”

After spoke the president of Turkey. And, what a speech it was!

Stating at 22 minute of his speech Erdogan spoke about the plight of Palestine under Israeli occupation. he said that Palestine has been the most striking place of injustice.

If the images of the innocent Palestinian woman, who was murdered heinously by Israeli security forces on the street just a few days ago will not awake the global conscience, then we are standing at the point where words are not sufficient. I am quite curious, what about this map of Israel? Where is Israel? Where does the land of Israel begin and end? Look at this map. Where was Israel in 1947? And, where is Israel now? Especially between the years, of 1949 and 1967. Where was Israel and where is Israel now? Look, this is 1947. The Land of Palestine. There is seemingly almost no Israeli presence on these lands. The entire territory belongs to the Palestinians. So the map suggests, but in the year of 1947 the Distribution Plan takes place, gets ratified, Palestinian lands start shrinking and Israel starts expending. From 1947 to 1967 Israel is still expending, Israel is still expending and Palestine is still shrinking. And today, the current situation… there is seemingly no Palestinian presence. The entire land belongs to Israel. But would it suffice to Israel? No. Israel is still willing to take over the remaining land. But… what about the United nations Security Council? What about the United Nations? What abut the resolutions? Are those resolutions being activated? Are they being implemented and unforced? No. We have to ask ourselves, what does the UN serve? Under this roof we are producing resolutions without any effect. Where do you think justice can prevail? This is our main suffering. This is where the pain is coming from. the current Israeli government and the administration right to these murders and atrocities is busy interfering and attacking the historical legal status of Jerusalem and call it secret lands and artifacts. As Turkey, we have a very clear stance on this issue: the immediate establishment of the independent Palestinian state with homogeneous territories on the basis of 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital is the only solution. Any other peace plan other than this will never have a chance of being fair and just, and it will never be implemented.

Now, I am asking from the rostrum of the United States General Assembly, where are the borders of Israel? Is it the 1947 borders? The 1967 borders? Or, is there another border that we need to know of? How can the Golan Heights and the West Bank settlements be seized just like other occupied Palestinian territories before the eyes of the world if they are not within the official borders of the state? Is the aim of the initiative promoted as the Deal of the Century to entirely eliminate the presence of the state and the people of Palestine? Do you want another bloodshed? All actors of the international community and particularly the UN should provide a concrete support to the Palestinian people beyond more promises. In this regard it’s very important for the UN relief and aid agencies for Palestinian refugees to continue their work effectively. Turkey will continue to stand by the oppressed people of Palestine as she has always done. “

Curiously, Erdogan’s statement that “words are not sufficient,” weren’t reported in the Western media at all, and they were mis-translated and mis-reported by the Russian-language media. The RT ‘forgot’ to translate this statement, and other media outlets reported this statement by mis-translating it as If the images of the innocent Palestinian woman, who was murdered heinously by Israeli security forces on the street just a few days ago will not awake the global conscience, then the world is standing at the point of global moral collapse.”

Next, the pro-Palestinian diplomatic démarche was continued by the president of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

Listen starting at 16:20 of the video, ”… the resolution of the protracted crisis that I inherited once is the necessary precondition for any serious efforts aimed at formulating a more effective international system. The most prominent example of this is the longest standing crisis in the Middle East, namely the Palestinian cause. The persistence of this cause without a just solution based on international resolutions calling for independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital doesn’t only mean the continuation of the plight of Palestinian people, but it also entails the continued depletion of resources of the people of the Middle East. And I repeat with the clear conscience what I stated from this podium over the past two years. I say that Arabs are open to the realization of the just and comprehensive peace. The Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table and there are remain an opportunity to launch a new phase in the Middle East. However, we need bold decisions that restore the rights to the Palestinians that would pave the way to the major change in the reality of this region. And I say this without exaggeration, for the entire world this decision would led to the establishment of the security and economic system in the Middle East that is based on peace, security, cooperation and common interest.”

Then the Assembly was addressed by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives

“Despite of the best efforts by the UN and its member states for a number of decades, the question of Palestine remains unresolved. Never before the unalienable rights of the Palestinian people being so acutely and blatantly dismissed by Israel, marginalized and discriminated against, in complete disregard of the international law and the resolutions of both, the General Assembly and the Security Council. We are strongly agree that the lasting peace in the Middle East can only come to fruition through a two state solution, driven by genuine and meaningful dialog between them and between Arab countries and Israel. We call on the United Nations and its member states to undertake every effort to a settlement that would achieve this result. We expressed our unvarying support for the Palestinians to achieve their independence in the 1967 borders.”

Then the world was given to our favorite Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, the victim of an illegal international blockade and extortion.

“Honorable audience, the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Arab territories in general, and the ensuing unlawful practices, in particular of settlements, judaization of the city of Jerusalem, the unjust and strangling blockade of Gaza strip, intensifying settlement activity of the occupied territories of Syrian Golan Heights and changing its nature, all these practices are happening in defiance of the UN and its resolutions, to the extend that Israel has come to regard the airspace of the countries of the region as opened to it. How long will international legitimacy remain inapt and unable to find anyone who would enforce its respect when it comes to Palestine? It has been proven that settlements based on the imposition of the logic of force will only result in their violation and denial by the logic of force of occupation as well. However, permanent peace is based on justice, which means guarantying the rights of the Palestinian people whose homeland has been usurped. For most of which it means the establishment of the Palestinian state in the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital and the end of Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab lands including the Syrian Golan Heights and the Lebanese occupied territories. Qatar will not stop supporting any efforts in favor of realizing just peace. It will continue to provide political and humanitarian support to the brotherly Palestinian people. “

Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation, didn’t mention Palestine, but offered Geneva for the next UN headquarter.

Next to address the plight of Palestinians was His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He dedicated his excellent speech to the plight of Palestine.

“No crisis has done more global damage than a core conflict in my region, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Neither side has achieved a durable peace that the secure future depends on. The regional and world stability has continued to pay the price. It is a terrible irony that the land holding three faiths, the faiths which shared the great commandment to love one’s neighbor, should ever be a place of conflict. This is the land where prophets walked. The land where generations of Muslims, Christians, and Jews resorted to live in obedience to God’s teaching to share compassion, mercy and respect for others. Segregation, forced displacement, violence and mistrust do not belong in this Holy land. Forty years ago my father his late majesty King Hussein who loved peace stood in this very chamber and decried the occupation and attempts, in his words, “to eradicate from the world memory centuries of history and tradition and spiritual and moral cultural ideas.” It is the global moral tragedy that the occupation continues. But no occupation, no displacements, no acts of force can erase people’s history, hope or rights, or change the true heritage of our shared values that are three monotheistic faiths. And nothing can take away the international rights of the Palestinian people to equality, justice and self-determination. My friends, young people ask me why don’t world stand up for Palestinian rights? Isn’t it time to answer them by showing that global justice and human rights belong to them too? And it begins with respect to the Holy sites, and rejecting all attempts to alter the legal status of East Jerusalem and the authentic historic character of the Holy city of Jerusalem. What lessons do we teach the young people when armed personnel enter Al-Aqsa mosque even when Muslim worshipers gather to pray. As the Hashemite custodian, I am bound by the special duty to protect Jerusalem Islamic and Christian Holy sites. But all of us have a stake and a moral obligation to uphold religious freedom and human rights. Let us to safeguard the Holy city for all humanity as a unifying city of peace. We must also press towards an end to the conflict, and for a just lasting and durable peace through realization of a two-state solution, a solution that is in accord with the international laws and the UN resolution which provides the end to the conflict and creates an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in mutual peace and security. The two-state solution is the only genuine solution. Because what is the alternative? One state? Segregated? With unequal laws? Depending on force to strain the deepest values of the good people on both sides? This is the formula for enduring conflict. It’s not a path to stability, security and peace.”

Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi said,

Starting at 12:50 of this video, ” the Palestinian issue should be pushed on top of the international agenda. What we lack is not a grand design, but the courage to deliver our commitments and the conscience to uphold justice. There should be no more regression from the two-state solution and the line for peace principle, which represents the bottom line of the international justice. For the Palestinian people to establish their own state is their inalienable right. something that should not be used as a bargaining chip.”

On Septenber 27th, the diplomatic demarche continued by Malaysian Prime Minister. Starts at 6 minute of this video.

The president of Burkina Faso addressed the General Debate of the 74th Session with the support of Palestine and two-state solution, starting at 19 minutes of this video.

Statements made by Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia.

During his Q&A session: “It’s a pity that we cannot navigate out of the corner where Palestinian problem is being trapped.”

Sergey Lavrov: “As I said, all the games are around the Palestinian problem: the promise of the “deal of the century”, the offer of $50 billion. in order not to return refugees to Palestine, the attempt to first persuade Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel, and only then to solve the Palestinian problem (which directly contradicts the Arab peace initiative) – all this is currently driving, if not already driven, the Palestinian-Israeli settlement to a standstill.

We are convinced (as I also said in my statement to the General Assembly) that it is not in the interests of Israel or of anyone else. Because only a two-state solution, only the creation of the Palestinian state promised 70 years ago, can ensure peace and stability in the entire region, alleviate the problem, including dramatically reducing the ability of extremists to recruit young people from the Arab street. We say this openly to the Israelis. Unfortunately, while the American line is to do it yourself, remains in demand.”

In the statement made at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019, Lavrov said:

“The United States set a tough course for abolishing the UN resolutions on international legal framework of the Middle East settlement. It suggests waiting for some “deal of the century”, meanwhile it has taken unilateral decisions on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A two-state solution to the Palestinian issue – which is essential for satisfying the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and providing security for Israel and the whole region – is under threat.”

Statement made by Syrian Arab Republic Deputy Prime Minister Addresses General Debate, 74th Session

“Instead of working towards peace and stability of the Middle east, Israel has started yet another phase of escalation, heightening regional tensions to unprecedented levels. Israel has not not only occupy Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan, it also continues to violate international humanitarian and human rights laws, and it continues to support terrorism on a daily basis. It has even launched repeated attacks on the Syrian territory, and the territories of neighboring countries under false pretense and in fragrant violation of international law. the UN Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions. This Israeli violations would not continue to escalate would it not for the blind support of certain countries that are fully responsible for the consequences of Israeli actions.

Such support became horrifically evident, when the United States decided to recognize Israe’s alleged and false sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan recognized the occupied city of Jerusalem as a capital of Israel, and to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, not to mention the intensity of efforts to undermine the Palestinian cause. All of these decisions are null and void and represent a complete disregard to international legitimacy. Some must understand that the era of acquisition of land by force has long past. It’s a delusion to think that the crisis in Syria would force us to forfeit our inalienable right to recover the Golan fully to the borders of June 4th of 1967 by using all possible measures under the international law. Moreover, it’s a delusion to think that the decisions of the US administration on the sovereignty over the Golan would alter the historical and geographical facts, or the provisions of international law. The Golan has been and will forever be a part of Syria.

Israel must be compelled to implement relevant United Nations resolutions. Notably the resolution #497 on the occupied Syrian Golan and to seize its repeated attacks on the countries of the region, as well as its settlement activities. Israel must be compelled to allow the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital along the borders of June 1967, and ensure the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes.”

The UN transcript of all the speeches will be available in months to come, when the 74th UNGA will be a thing of the past. You can search the addresses of the heads of states here on the UN YouTube channel. Maybe, you will understand why this year diplomatic demarche against Israeli occupation and aggression called for such drastic measures of detraction.

 

In conclusion, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Israel as a country is, by all accounts, a hellhole. Israel will be uninhabitable in the next fifty years. Extreme heat, lack of drinking water, vegetables grown in human excrements, militarism, mind control by the police state, poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, desperation, – name a social malady and you can find it there. Most Israelites are poor and depending on the state to provide for them, many still live in kibbutzs. Israel is a state of militant socialism and the ruling theocracy in many regards. Most young people dream of leaving Israel for good and look for every opportunity to move to Europe and the Americas. Two million of Israelites are from the Soviet Union and Russia, and Russia doesn’t want them back considering their loudly proclaimed hatred of Russia, Russian people and the Orthodox Christianity, and considering the genocide of Russian people that the Jewish government of Trotskists-Bolsheviks organized in the 1920s.

Mostly the religious families depending on social payments and other poor people live in the illegal settlements. Forced to move inside the 1967 borders, they would have no place and means to resettle, even if all agricultural lands would be build over. The faith based and state authorities use the UN pressure to create non-stop hysteria and the apocalyptic visions of the ‘war of the world’s nations of Gog and Magog’ against them and the ‘end of their world’ inside the Israeli society.

Using President Putin’s words of ‘not trapping a rat into a corner,’ the UN members should come up with an attractive offer. Those states who claim “friendship” with Israel, like the US and Brazil, should offer to Israelites a part of their territory to create an autonomous Jewish state. New president of Brazil had especially boasted his ‘love’ for Israel and having vast sparsely populated territories where Israelites could create their new better home. Simultaneously, rich Israel’s allies like the Saudis and the UK should pay for people to resettle. When those who want to relocate have new homes, schools and jobs in their new lands, a couple of ocean-liners should be dispatched to take them all to their new new life in Brazil or the US. Then, the UN peacekeepers should be used to secure the 1967 border.

The most devastating war in history, the World War II, was facilitated as a part of the plan to create the state of Israel, To amend this terrible mistake that drains resources and good will of an entire world would take an effort of humanity as a whole, once again.

 

 

Watch Imran Khan’s Full Speech Before the UN General Assembly — Eurasia Future

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Back to French tear gas in the morning: smells like austérité

Back to French tear gas in the morning: smells like austérité

September 22, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

September 21 (hello autumn) was the worst day of violence in Paris since May 1st. That day is best remembered for when “centrist” politicians and citizens were enraged that Yellow Vest/union/old lady demonstrators would dare to seek refuge in a hospital rather than stand there and get tear gassed prior to getting charged and beaten by cops.

President Emmanuel Macron knew a black mark day was coming – not just Yellow Vests but unions and climate change protesters would also be marching – so he made a major concession: he gave a public interview. Noblesse oblige!

Macron waited two years before giving his first press conference, so we shouldn’t have expected a miracle, but France’s #1 public servant could have considered to talking to French media, at least. Instead he spoke with US magazine Time.

In the land of Ayn Rand, where the petit bourgeois boss is the undisputed chief in a million hillbilly fiefs, Macron may have been playing to his audience when he said: “In our country, we want leadership, but we also want to kill the leaders.” Who can forget Louis XVI?

However, I thought of all the French leaders who weren’t hacked to death by a vengeful populace. Louis I, for example. Louis II – there’s another one. Louis III, him too. In fact, Louis IV through Louis XV all were not assassinated, so why is Macron so worried about public retribution?

Look deeper into French history – despite #MeToo claims of universality it’s not even a gender thing: (2018’s 43,434th-most popular name) Ermentrude of Orléans, (don’t call me “Big”) Bertha of Burgundy and that lousy job-stealing immigrant Clementia of Hungary all escaped assassination despite being the nation’s #1 lady. Joan the Lame was a regent, and thus held the real power, and yet she wasn’t beheaded even though she must have been pretty easy to catch. They did destroy Joan’s tomb during the French revolution – she couldn’t run forever.

I also note that way back in the Merovingian era Engelbert the Humperdinck was not assassinated either, despite his many crimes which fell harshly on the ears of his suffering subjects.

To clarify for Macron: France wants leadership but they also want to kill their leaders sometimes. Other times they build huge statues to their leaders, like Charles de Gaulle and Joan of Arc. It seems to rather depend on the leader, and I thus think this allegedly French sentiment may actually be universal.

Jokes aside, Macron is obviously not trying to get re-elected, and thus he shows the biggest loophole in Western bourgeois democracy: the one in which opportunists temporarily accept public service in order to exploit it for personal gains.

(Contrarily, I’m not sure Iran’s Supreme Leader is even allowed to resign? He is there expressly to be a permanent patriotic force within a democratic system – presidents came and go but the Leader does not – and to mediate among different societal groups for the good of the national well-being.)

I look at Macron’s cover of Time and I see Brazil’s Michel Temer.

There is a clear contradiction between the image and caption on the cover of Time: Macron is frankly and aggressively rolling up his sleeves, yet the words about his “troubled presidency” indicate contrition, guilt and a desire for reconciliation. Anybody need to roll up their sleeves before a fraternal embrace? Anyway, Time got it fundamentally wrong: In June Macron declared he was on “Act 2” of his presidency, which is not at all a reset but an advance, a progression. Macron is rolling up his sleeves because his current pension and unemployment system rollbacks are the most divisive and most sweeping of his presidency. Like Temer, he couldn’t care less about the consequences – he has work to do, and the work is the social dismantling ordered by neoliberal austerity ideology and Brussels. Both Macron and Temer act on the orders of their 1% friends – the only reset for them is personal and after their terms, when they get the cushy lives and private, ego-stroking conferences where their hurt, under-appreciated egos can be revived.

But why should Time journalists have any real idea about what the “French Street” thinks? They aren’t there, haven’t been there and ain’t gonna be there – they hold the Yellow Vests in the same contempt as US Zionists do the “Arab Street”.

What Time would have seen on the worst day of violence since May 1

The tear gas and police brutality started at 10 am. I’m not sure what time it was in Hong Kong?

The first tear gas always provokes the most dramatic symptoms – I imagine it is because your body is telling you, “What the hell is this you’re inhaling now? Get it out of here.” Your skin burns more, you are expectorating excessively via the mouth and nose, your heart rate is elevated well after the “conflict adrenaline” has worn off. The next gassings are much easier, provided you are not at ground zero of course.

I have taken so much tear gas in “the birthplace of human rights” I wonder just how much poison I have built up in my bloodstream? I wonder if I can sue the French government for creating a hazardous work environment after organ failure from cyanide poisoning? Probably not.

Tear gas was falling from the skies regularly, and especially loud Yellow Vests were being individually targeted for violent arrest, but for whatever reasons – programming, shift change, etc. – after my 12pm live interview PressTV didn’t want another interview until 2pm. Being the die-hard activist journalist me and my cameramen are, we went on lunch break.

Hey, we gotta eat sometime. We’re workers, and Macron hasn’t revoked our right to a lunch break yet. And we can’t be there for every gassing/beating/rubber bullet – it’s not possible; furthermore, if we, did eventually our time would come and then there’d be no more reports at all. Gotta play the long game.

By the time we returned the Champs the crowds had really thinned out, after looking like there would be enough to hold it all day. Cops were being totally brutal: gas, confuse and punish, push people off the Champs, and then don’t allowing them back in, thus locking down the world’s greatest mall/boulevard. But we had an interview scheduled, so we stuck around with the perhaps 500 die-harders still hoping unionists, climate changers and Black Bloc would show up to retake this iconic mall-evard from the hated regime.

So we go live and do our interview, and we probably contributed to the violence. This is what often happens: The Yellow Vests know they’re on TV all of a sudden, cuz some monkey with a microphone is yammering in front of a camera, and they want to represent. They get loud and rowdy. In this way the presence of journalists hypes up the crowd in a way similar to, but actually very different, the presence of hyper-armed cops agitates a crowd. For political protesters journalist coverage is a sign that they matter and that they are doing something right and worthy of comment: that’s what makes it so sad that my French media colleagues are never covering the Yellow Vests – if they were, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people would join the protests again. Of course, the vast police repression since late March is the main reason the average Frenchmen isn’t showing up.

We finish live French protest interview #481 (I truly and humbly contend that no journalist in France has covered as many demonstrations as I have in the past decade – that number I gave is my honest estimate) and the little crowd is back to being the Yellow Vest engine that could.

Heartwarming… let’s get out of here. And we left because we had to go find another demonstration to cover – newsroom bosses want you to be where the action is, and there was a huge climate change protest there. Frankly, and sadly, I think much of the crowd had dissipated because they wanted to go join the eco-nuts, who are have as much backbone for a political fight as tofu.

Why was I going to the climate change protest and not the union demonstration? Because only one of the nine major unions ultimately decided to demonstrate that day – total betrayal of a day which was supposed to be so huge, but that’s the “virtue” of “independent” trade unions, right?

As we are leaving and I take one last look and – the tear gas is flying again. Of course it was: cops fear rowdy protesters whom they haven’t totally beaten into silence and submission, thus – launch some more gas.

Nothing we can do for ya, Vesters. We gotta think of where the action will be 45 minutes from now, and y’all had been kettled (boxed in by cops) and y’all knew they were going to gas you, drive you out and put the Champs on lockdown and if ya didn’t know then now ya know.

What teases we journalists are! Get ‘em all excited, and then leave ‘em in their moment of need. Don’t blame me, lady – blame the system.

The alternative hypothesis is that the cops saw that the only camera-wielding journalists around were leaving, and that the coast was clear for more gassing. Then it is still our presence which provoked it, and more shame on my well-heeled French media colleagues for not being there.

The final hypothesis is that the cops were about to gas them anyway and the timing of our leaving was purely coincidental. That is certainly mathematically logical, given the rates of tear gassing by French cops on Saturdays.

Regardless, that was an interesting anecdote which proves the journalistic corollary to quantum mechanics – the mere observation of a phenomenon inevitably changes that phenomenon. Again, what would the effects be if the French media were actually there? Or even journalists from Time?

The eco-kooks: fake-leftist politics at its most pathetic

I can’t stand covering ecological protests – what a waste of time.

Firstly, climate change requires a cooperative solution on an international level, and obviously capitalism is predicated on competition at an international level. Therefore, there is no reason at all to do a damned thing about environmental issues – the only solution is to get socialism first. No socialism? Then no possible climate solution.

Secondly, is climate change a news beat which is not being covered enough already? Hardly – there are 900 billion Western journalists who simply adore covering this story. I note that the roughly 900 billion climate change articles in Western media on any given Tuesday hasn’t done much good. Don’t tell that to the eco-freaks, though – they think they’re God’s favourite servants.

Definitely don’t point out to them that the 1% just adores you wasting your political energy on climate change instead of class issues. Climate change is inherently neutered of any class aspect: billionaires and homeless alike all litter or leave a “climate impact” (or whatever) or don’t compost properly.

Climate change protests are thus so very, very useless that I cannot give a damn, and the protesters directly acknowledged this: they had one big ballon, which read “Give a f***”. Classy. And they’re the only ones who give a f***, right?

Smug punks. And climate change protesters are punks with a capital P – too many examples to list, but here’s a quick few:

The presence of alcohol at French political demonstrations is lamentable – this is not a party – but only at eco-protests do you see Champagne.

The presence of loud music at protests – instead of loudly-chanted slogans or even silence – is… acceptable, I guess. But for many people Saturday wasn’t a protest but a rave, celebrating Mother Earth – techno music boomed it’s 4-on-the-floor “pound my tiny soul into submission” with the idiot hipster/bobo DJ calmly, slowly saying (for the people there on ecstasy or MDMA) “Feeeeeeeeeeel the earth…. don’t let it die.” Nothing says “I protest” like dancing during a protest march.

The presence of mimes at protests… can only happen in France, of course. I have no idea what political purpose they served, but I must admit they were amusing. I must also admit I was hoping they would also be tackled by cops for their very minor vandalisms, because they they would have to say something. Mimes are a good symbol for ecological protesters in general: they are there to be seen. And, I’d add, to feel good about and receive praise for their nonsensical works.

The presence of tear gas at ecological protests is not expected because WHAT a buzzkill, amirite? When the first tear gas flew the eco-warriors were so panicked thousands of them all ran in the wrong direction… and just kept marching that way. LOL, later comrades!

That was a new one. But I was hopeful, because instead of heading in the exact opposite direction of the Champs (as the eco-route had planned), they were now heading toward it – let’s retake the Champs, yes!

No, eco-warriors planned to march in the exact opposite direction of the Champs (east, not west) and they were determined to make sure they stayed away from any possible conflict with cops that could create bad karma/force them to shower (the tear gas off) later. Eventually, the thousands all just turned around and marched in the proper direction. Inwardly, they were likely too egotistical to ask themselves if they looked like idiots.

Black Bloc must have got the address wrong

The violence which spooked the eco-kooks was provided by Black Bloc. We had arrived just in time to see it happen:

The usual. Targeted vandalism against banks, real estate agencies (10,000 euros per square meter now in Paris, so believe me when I say that my landlord – whom I have made rich – can take a long walk off a short pier), and sexist ads (lotta Black Bloc are women).

There was a twist, and you gotta admit Black Bloc is up on things: they attacked the Egyptian Central Centre… obviously in solidarity with the anti-Sisi protests in Egypt going on that day. These Blocers were up on the news, found out the Egyptian Cultural Centre was on the eco-route, and took action. I got that wrong in this live interview from the scene among the debris – maybe Black Blocers could do my job better? Cut me some slack – live interviews are hard: I got it right in time for the days official report.

(I talked with the lone Egyptian worker at the Centre, and whom you can see in that video – he said the Centre was clearly targeted. He showed me an empty vodka bottle they had thrown inside, but Black Bloc isn’t a bunch of drunks. I felt bad for the poor guy – who knows if he supports Sisi or not? He’s just manning a cultural centre in some far away place – Egyptians need cultural centres, after all.)

Ok, there was some damage which was not purely political – two motorcycles were set on fire. However, when I claw my way to the top and become dictator of France the first thing I will do is ban those damned loud lawnmowers they call transportation. You have to live in Paris to understand just how much extra reverberations motorcycles make in this walled city – noise pollution is a much bigger problem than regular pollution (which is also a problem) – so I personally view anti-motorcycle actions as 100% justified; it is social, if not necessarily political. On top of their annoying and perpetual noise, motorcycle riders do nothing but drive between car lanes and break every law imaginable. I truly believe Paris has become more dangerous to drive in than Tehran, and that is pretty amazing. (Of course, in the past few decades Iran has actually invested in driver infrastructure whereas Paris just makes more bike lanes; Iran now has many more traffic cops, which is a type of public worker you’ll never seen in Paris – maybe they were there pre-austerity?)

Seeing as how our job is to be at the front line, we had to be at the front line fire. I made a rookie mistake – never be in a situation where you have to flee down a side street, always stay on the main thoroughfares and close to the wall. So, they gassed us (women, elderly, children) to clear way for the fire trucks to put out the fire. Here’s the thing: the crowd was already moving back to clear a way – the gassing was not at all necessary but punitive. The tear gas cans exploded mid-air so close to me I could see them ignite clearly, and that’s when you lose an eye. Alhamdulillah, me and my colleague were ok. Pretty badly gassed, but we’ve had worse. The worst part? I was only so close because I was scheduled to do a live interview from the craziness, but our damned connection wasn’t good enough! So I was gassed, crying, running and yelling at Tehran to put me on the damned air all at the same time. It happens.

But I admit it humbly: with my awesome-sounding French in my PressTV Français recap at the end of the day (not posted yet), I was not critical enough of Black Bloc – they can do more harm than good. Mainly when they go where they are not wanted – like that ecological protest instead of the Champs.

Immediately after the violence and mid-demonstration Greenpeace and Youth for Climate tweeted that they were revoking their leadership of the march and that everyone should leave the protest. Tough kids, eh?

I talked with a Black Blocer just prior to the gassing: a woman who was very voluptuously built. She was probably one of those defacing sexist ads, as she is likely subject to constant objectification when walking down the street (a hejab undoubtedly gives women a break from that, but let’s leave that issue there): heaven forbid she violently object to female nudity in public advertising, because that’s proof France is so “sexually progressive” and “respectful of women”, right? She took off her mask when she saw I was one of the good journalists – her pretty young face was flushed from leftist exertion. Dressed head to toe in black, she said she wasn’t Black Bloc but merely rocking the “Goth” look. A lovely figure, pretty face, guts and a sense of humour? Of course I was so smitten I could not identify her to authorities if ever forced to do so, such was the mass of stars, hearts and bright lights swirling around her.

I would have talked to a Youth for Climateer but they were retreating too fast… yet somehow they were able to tweet at the same time? Millennials – so talented!

Another Saturday in France, more long-term lung damage

The reality, which is still difficult to grasp as we left Yellow Vest #45 and filmed an old man whose face was red and bloodied from cops, as well as a bleeding, handcuffed old woman, is that things are only going to get worse: As I wrote, the pension and unemployment systems will have the broadest immediate impact of any of Macron’s “deforms”, thus they will provoke the broadest protests.

Such protests go beyond the Yellow Vests’ capability. September 21 was significant because it was the “Yellow Vest Day Without the Yellow Vests” – most did not wear them. The idea was to finally converge the Vesters with the various social struggles (unions, NGOs, mainstream leftist political parties, even eco-kooks, etc.). After 10 months, they have to join forces with the right groups.

They are talking about an unlimited transport strike in December, and I never recall hearing that before. No Christmas vacation for me, I guess.

The only TV media openly covering the Yellow Vests remains Iran (in English, French, Spanish and Farsi) and RT. I have seen France’s LCI (the government channel) openly there for about 6 weeks, and once or twice last month I saw TF1, but that’s it. I’m sure the fake-leftist MSM was all over the climate change march – because they always are – and I hope they got more tear gas than I did.

However, the process of lasting revolution is long – it takes years of struggle, and victory is not assured until households and families are forced to choose sides against each other. I am not promoting familial disharmony, just reporting what I have read of previous revolutions – the simplest, most moral and most effective choice, of course, is to side with the lower classes.

The thing about a “reset” in a video game is that you just go right back to the same beginning, and you have totally erased from memory all the bad you did. Why would Macron deserve a reset from the French public?

Too bad for Macron that civil service and politics are not a video game, or a hippie rave. Too bad for everyone in the global economy that austerity continues.

The reality is that Macron doesn’t even know his own country’s history: since the 9th century less than five of France’s just over 100 leaders have been killed. France doesn’t kill their leaders – they exile them, even those of the First Republic (1792-1804). This is another false cliche Macron has accepted as fact which is mainly promoted by fearful, reactionary English monarchists. Beheadings aren’t necessary – just ask any Frenchman: what could be a worse fate than to not live in France?

Macron will likely wind up exiled as well – who doesn’t imagine the young Macron being feted like an emperor in the Anglophone business world after he isn’t re-elected in 2022?

So Macron needn’t worry – he’ll probably just have his tomb desecrated like Joan the Lame. Probably a lot of other similarities between Macron and Joan the Lame, I imagine….

The question Macron should ask himself is: what is it that he is doing which is causing him to have regicide on his mind?

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China”.

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