- by E Lennon
- The Guardian
- Issue #1970
Seventeen countries joined together to launch their initiative, forming the Group of friends in defence of the Charter of the United Nations.
The signatory nations include China, Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran along with several other states.
Nations involved share a common goal: to promote multilateralism over unilateralism and seek diplomatic solutions to international issues.
Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Samuel Moncada hosted the digital conference, giving a chance for state representatives to develop ideas on these values and their reasons for joining.
“The current situation in the international arena makes the establishment of this group of friends timely and essential,” Moncada said. “The year 2020, for instance, was marked by the worst pandemic humanity has faced in a century and made clear the need for collective action. That is, for the creation of more inclusive multilateralism. Nowadays, we see growing attempts aimed at challenging the Charter of the United Nations.”
Other signatory states include Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, and Venezuela; as well as Palestine, which is an observer and non-member state of the United Nations.
The core belief that these states wish to reinforce is a cooperative approach to international relations and diplomacy, with respects to the original intentions of those who formed the UN and produced its charter.
Former President of the United Nations Security Council Maria Luiza Viotti also joined the meeting.
“Born of the devastation of the Second World War,” said Former President Viotti, “it set the foundations for a more just and peaceful world order. Three quarters of a century later, its vision has not only been vindicated but remains as vital as it was in 1945. […] Our shared challenge right now is to do far better in upholding the Charter’s values.”
While there were major powers in attendance, the respect and non-interference in smaller countries’ affairs and sovereignty became a reoccurring point in speeches during the digital launch.
“We believe that the international community must renew its commitment to multilateralism,” Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Diego Pary Rodríguez said. “The multilateral system represents a guarantee of respect for the sovereignty and independence of the smaller states vis a vis the larger states.”
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s UN Ambassador Kim Song echoed these calls, denouncing interventions in the affairs of smaller states by major powers.
“Seventy-five years have passed since the foundation of the United Nations,” Kim said. “However, it is deeply regrettable that the principle for respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in internal affairs, enshrined in the Charter, are yet to be fully implemented.”
Both Bolivia and the DPRK are two countries that have been subject to interference from Western nations, namely the United States. In building solidarity with the other signatory states, it reinforces a pushback against imperialist forces and the ways in which they seek to undermine the development of countries defiant to capitalist intervention.