Discover more from A Lily Bit
The World is No Longer Unipolar
The Unshakable Truth About the New World Order the WEF Prefers to Ignore
The Valdai Discussion Club, a prominent Russian think tank, was founded in 2004 and derives its name from Lake Valdai, near Veliky Novgorod, where the inaugural meeting was held. The club's creation was the result of collaborative efforts by esteemed organizations, including the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP), the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MIGIMO), and the Russian University of Higher School of Economics.
The 20th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, held in the coastal city of Sochi, Russia, carried a distinctive theme - “Fair Multipolarity: How to Ensure Security and Development for Everyone.” This WEF-like gathering brought together approximately 140 experts, politicians, and diplomats hailing from 42 countries across Eurasia, Africa, North America, and South America.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the Valdai Club is its significant policy influence, particularly on its diverse range of guests, including international participants. The club has made extensive analyses of the ever-evolving global dynamics and their impact on Russia's geopolitical landscape. The concept of multipolarity, a subject now widely discussed at various global gatherings and academic institutions, has become central to these conversations. It's clear that as the world undergoes a comprehensive restructuring, institutions and international relations are also in a state of transformation.
The chosen theme for the Annual Meeting in Sochi carries immense relevance in the face of the profound changes underway in the world. The discussions on multipolarity have transcended the boundaries of summits and conferences, extending into academic circles across the globe. The fundamental questions revolve around how to ensure global peace and security, strategize development in this new landscape, and reform multinational financial institutions. These interrelated issues have been on the agenda for some time, and current efforts seek to address them and pave the way forward. Their significance extends to the realm of foreign policy.
I often say that one of humanity's most significant challenges mostly lies in attempting to deny reality. In the context of social and evolutionary processes, the reality is that the concept of a multipolar world has become a prevailing idea. It is not mere wishful thinking, and resistance to this transformation will likely lead to more global challenges. A striking example of this shift can be found in China's GDP, which has soared from $92.60 billion in 1970 to nearly $18 trillion today. Similarly, India, once a British colony, now boasts a GDP larger than that of Britain. This underscores the inevitability of the multipolar world and the need to embrace it for the betterment of our shared future.
As emphasized by the Chairman of the Valdai Club, Andrey Bystritskiy, throughout history, humanity has grappled with conflict while nurturing a collective yearning for peace and harmony. It's evident that these endeavors, though not without success, have yielded a world that is undeniably more prosperous and less cruel than centuries past. Yet, in the face of current events, it's apparent that substantial efforts are required to construct a future that's universally acceptable.
In recent years, the complexity and contradictions within the process of improving the world, reevaluating norms, and seeking consensus among the numerous global actors have become increasingly evident. Many experts concur that multiple endeavors are necessary to discover sustainable avenues for development, within which the creation of new relationships, the call for reforms, the acceleration of cooperative initiatives, and the establishment of more effective regulatory mechanisms all play integral roles. The general sentiment is that the world stands at a crucial juncture, a turning point.
Despite the intellectual intricacies of the modern world, it is imperative to contemplate its future. The predominant model of the future, chosen by the majority, will exert a significant influence on the emergence of a new world order. The ability of this new order to fulfill humanity's fundamental qualitative needs will be a key determining factor. This extends to the collective aspirations and objectives of society and the priorities set by leadership. Altogether, there is a considerable opportunity to observe the formation of a novel interconnectedness rooted in respect for diversity within a world teeming with differences. Some envision a multipolar world as a possible outcome.
Throughout the working sessions, it became increasingly evident through various presentations that multipolarity is rapidly evolving into a practical reality, poised to challenge the longstanding political dominance. However, this emerging system brings forth its own set of risks. For instance, Timofei Bordachev, the Academic Supervisor of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), stressed the need for cautious use of the term “pole,” as it implies the dominance of some over others, a concept Russia rejects. Thus, there is a call for the development of new terminology.
Sharing his extensive academic insights, Pham Lan Dung, the acting president of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, argued that BRICS serves as evidence of a shift in the global architecture, with the growing number of member countries reflecting a widespread interest in a multipolar order. This perspective garnered strong support from figures like Philani Mthembu, Director of the Institute for Global Dialogue (South Africa), Ram Madhav Varanasi, President of the India Foundation, and many others during the first day of the session.
In essence, the Valdai Club has brought together global experts to brainstorm concise strategic pathways toward a multipolar world. As argued by Andrey Sushentsov in his opinion piece titled 'The World in Search of a New Balance of Power,' published in early October 2023, the world finds itself in a continuous state of power rebalancing without any major breakthroughs. At the same time, globalization remains a prominent force, connecting even opposing entities through gateway zones. Today, many nations are swiftly adapting to evolving conditions and learning to seek mutual benefits in their pursuit of development and well-being for their people.
The Valdai Club Chairman, Andrey Bystritskiy, has aptly emphasized the necessity for a paradigm shift in thinking to bring about the creation of a new world. This shift requires a range of innovative ideas combined with a systemic approach encompassing politics, economics, and the social and cultural dimensions of life. To ensure the seamless operation of this new system, trust must be built to a level higher than what's typically required in dealings with external parties.
The themes discussed by the participants were also addressed during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Attentively listening to his address, it became evident that many developing nations worldwide are striving to enhance their sovereignty. These nations are increasingly inclined to form alliances to address their concerns in ways that promote mutual benefit and fair balancing of interests. A notable example of such an alliance is BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Despite the complex geopolitical landscape, Russia's interactions are steadily evolving with a strong commitment to democratizing interstate relations based on widely accepted principles of international law. Russia welcomes this trend and actively seeks to reinforce it, with reference to key international associations such as the UN, the G20, and BRICS.
Lavrov underscored the alignment of the Valdai Club report's findings with their own assessments based on recent global events, including the BRICS summit, the EAS summit in Jakarta, the G20 summit in New Delhi, and the Ministerial Week of the UN General Assembly. All these events have illuminated the trend toward a multipolar world. Nations are increasingly seeking dependable partners.
The expansion of BRICS, with the addition of six more states to the original five members, and the interest of approximately two dozen others in establishing special relationships, is a testament to the reliability and confidence that BRICS offers to its members. This ongoing process is of significant importance, and BRICS can serve as a platform for the development of a new system with a focus on sustainable progress.
During the final plenary session of the 19th Valdai Discussion Club meeting in late October 2022, President Vladimir Putin delved into numerous contentious topics. He noted that classical liberal ideology has undergone profound transformations and predicted the waning of the United States' global supremacy. While he didn't propose a specific model for Russia, he stressed the need for principles and mechanisms to realize the lofty objective of establishing a multipolar world.
Putin refrained from declaring Russia as a global power and instead accorded that distinction to China. He emphasized that the global South largely supports the idea of a multipolar order and asserted that Russia does not harbor hostile intentions toward Europe or the United States. He firmly advocated laying to rest the notions of “authoritarianism and exceptionalism” in the United States and envisaged great potential and resources within the emerging polycentric architecture for progressive and dynamic developments that benefit humanity.
During the plenary session, President Putin fielded several inquiries: “Mr. President, what is your vision for a new international partnership institution? On what basis of parity is Russia prepared to engage on the international stage? What mechanisms, tools, and individuals are necessary to forge new alliances, partnerships, and friendships grounded in tangible commitments rather than just declarations? Do you believe it is essential to revamp or build upon other approaches within future international partnerships?”
In response, Putin articulated: “We must, and indeed we can, prioritize cooperation, especially with nations possessing the authority to make fundamental decisions. That's my first point. Secondly, we should seek consensus for every decision. Thirdly, we must strive to maintain a balance of interests. These principles are most applicable to universal international organizations, with the United Nations taking the foremost position.”
In the realm of navigating diverse viewpoints within the geopolitical arena, the imperative lies in fostering equilibrium among relationships. As per the majority perspective at the Sochi assembly, amid the ongoing reshaping of the global order, latent misconceptions and power struggles may persist. China and India, in particular, have displayed such inclinations, particularly concerning the crucial question of who leads the emerging world. Following the G20 summit held in New Delhi, numerous articles portrayed India as a frontrunner due to its adept management of political disparities and disputes. The summit discussions witnessed some friction stemming from rival interests.
According to insights from the Valdai Club, the concept of a multipolar world, initially proposed by Russia and subsequently endorsed by China, India, and other influential nations, originated in the mid-1990s as a response to the global hegemony that emerged after the Cold War. This theoretical concept has since evolved into a tangible objective and has now become an international reality. The next step is to articulate how precisely this new world order will function. Crafting a world order entails the development of mechanisms that account for the interests of all parties and promote collaborative efforts for a brighter and collectively shared future.
Reiterating here the compatible features of the new world, including working for accelerated growth, sustainable development, and inclusive multilateralism, without doubt, this calls for enhancing more effective and transparent governance and leadership. It brings into its fold a huge amount of responsibility and dedication. It is very important to emphasize here the importance of mediating the social, economic, and political situation across the world. There should be a sense of urgency for collaborative measures to resolve contradictions and straighten up the complexities in order to meet legitimate aspirations in the new world.
Perhaps, it will also be an illusionary mistake to keep making declarations without attempting their practical implementation. The history and theory of evolutionary processes invariably require more radical but well-designed, purposeful changes to have the expected impact and development-oriented results. For example, if BRICS is leading the new reconfiguration, then it needs its own templates and institutional tools in all aspects, from technology through finance to social and cultural dimensions.
The old unipolar is fast coming to an end. The world is no longer unipolar. At same time, the global economy has become a kind of mixed bag while the future in heavily clouded and presents relative uncertainty. But to stand for a multipolar world—a world based on the principles of cooperation, respect for the right to independence, and sovereignty—also requires more openness, reviewing weaknesses and strengths, creating conditions for frequent interactions, and taking more strategic measures in consolidating policy fixtures—these should not only resonate in speeches, statements, and reports. Obviously, there is a concerted interest and a huge opportunity for building a better future for generations.
If you liked this article, kindly leave a like. It costs you nothing, and helps others see this posts. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments.
The true power to shape this world has always lain in your hands. Choose well!
If you found the information provided insightful, and believe that independent journalism should be supported, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for more in-depth insights on various topics.
If you don’t want to commit to a paid subscription but still wish to support me, you can donate an amount you choose here. Most of my content is free to read, so it is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
If you do not wish to make a contribution of any kind, please leave at least a like. It costs you nothing and helps others see this post. Thank You :)