Letter: Foreign policy transformation needed

Published: 4/21/2021 10:00:09 AM

The return to unilateral sanctions against the Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran will be a disappointing step backwards by the Biden Administration. Unilateral economic sanctions are mafia-like (“My side is right”), but conflict implies two sides. It follows that they can only be mediated by diplomacy. Sanctions are thus forbidden by the United Nations Charter unless authorized by its Security Council. A member may use force to defend against military aggression, but must commit to diplomacy for conflicts of interest. We need the moral framework provided by the UN Charter, an end to superpower unilateralism and rival alliances, to achieve solidarity.

Sir David Attenborough states “we are no longer separate Nations each best served by looking after its own needs and security; we are a single truly Global species whose greatest threats are shared, and her security must ultimately come from acting together in the interests of us all” (Climate and Security, February 2021). He refers to the threat of climate change to our collective security. He could also include our “war against nature” and the increased threat of nuclear conflict. Blueprints to deal with each in turn, representing our collective work in UN-coordinated efforts are The Paris Agreement, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We need all hand on to ensure our common future. There is no chance of success with two agendas.

Nicholas Ourusoff

New London

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