The Sunday Independent
Imposing alien values from outside leads to chaos
RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin hit the nail on the head when he remarked during this week’s 13th BRICS Summit 2021that the West, led by the US, created and left a mess in Afghanistan and fled like the house was on fire.
Now, in the aftermath of their spectacular withdrawal from a country under their invasion for the past 20 years at a cost of $3.7 trillion (more than R50 trillion), messy remnants of their invasion are now a matter for the entire international community to deal with, complained President Putin.
He was spot-on. I’ve previously argued that America’s cantankerous foreign policy that is premised on undermining anyone with a dissenting view is a recipe for global disorder. In the milieu, the US together with Nato and the EU flagrantly undermines multilateral institutions such as the UN.
And worse still, at least for global harmony, the West is excessively represented in the 15-member UN Security Council, where the only five permanent members that hold veto powers are the US, UK, France, China and Russia.
The other 10 places are shared by nations on rotational basis. Three members from Africa are invited to join, two from Asia-Pacific, one from Easter Europe, two from Latin America and the Caribbean and the final two from Western Europe. This arrangement, argues veteran Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, evidently favours Western nations. I may add: it makes a mockery of the notion of multilateralism.
Addressing the BRICS Summit this week, President Putin used the Afghanistan crisis as a case in point, where powerful regimes continually attempt to impose their ideology and philosophy on societies that practise different cultures and traditions.
As President Putin told fellow BRICS heads of state: “I have said many times that the current crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible attempts to impose alien values from outside and the desire to build so-called democratic structures by political engineering, which takes into account neither historical nor national characteristics of other nations.”
He further accused the US and its allies of ignoring the traditions that other countries live by. Such actions, he said, inevitably lead to destabilization and chaos.
Addressing the same summit, President Cyril Ramaphosa also touched on the need to reform the UN Security Council. He said: “We call on BRICS to be equally bold and determined in seeking reform of the UN Security Council, among other things to enable Africa to take its rightful place among the collective of nations in this crucial body.” He added: “We must strengthen our cooperation, deepen our partnership and actively strive towards a world of better health, better opportunity and shared prosperity for all.”
The impassioned call for the reformation of the UN Security Council was also supported by other members of BRICS including India, chair of the virtually held meeting.
Addressing the summit, China’s President Xi Jinping illustrated a BRICS bloc that is steadily growing in international stature. He said: “We have made solid progress in various areas of cooperation in the spirit of pragmatism, innovation and winwin cooperation and we have forged ahead in our common journey of development.
Beijing is scheduled to host the 14th BRICS summit in 2022 when the country takes over the chairmanship of the organisation.