During a high-level meeting of the United Nations Security Council with high-level Chinese and Russian diplomats on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke of the need for multilateral cooperation and stressed that “human rights human rights and dignity must remain at the heart of the international order. “

“We will also work with any country on these issues – including those with which we have serious differences,” he said. “At the same time, we will continue to forcefully back down when we see countries undermining the international order, pretending that the rules we have all accepted do not exist, or simply breaking them at will.”

Blinken noted that nations do not have “a blank check to enslave, torture, disappear, ethnically cleanse their people or violate their human rights in any other way” and warned against nations that “claim to redraw borders from another “country, spread disinformation, undermine elections and attack journalists. “This was an apparent reference to China’s alleged treatment of the Uyghur minority population and its action in the South China Sea, as well as Russia’s annexation of Crimea to Ukraine,” to his alleged interference in the US presidential election and to the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

For more information on The Associated Press, see below.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kiev, Ukraine on May 6, 2021. At a recent UN meeting, Blinken spoke talked about human rights.
Efrem Lukatsky / AP Photo

Despite major differences, especially on human rights and democracy, the three declared themselves ready to cooperate with all countries to address international challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change to the end of the conflicts and helping those in need.

Blinken said the commitment of nations after World War II to work together to prevent conflict, alleviate suffering and defend human rights is in “grave danger”, highlighting the resurgence of nationalism, growing repression and intensification of rivalries.

“Now some are wondering if multilateral cooperation is still possible,” he told the Council. “The United States thinks it’s not just possible, it’s imperative.”
Blinken said that “no country, no matter how strong, can meet the challenges alone” and that is why the United States will work through multilateral institutions to stop COVID-19, tackle the climate crisis, stem the spread and use of nuclear weapons, save life – save humanitarian aid and manage conflict.

Blinken called on all countries to honor their commitments under the United Nations Charter, treaties, Security Council resolutions, international humanitarian law, the World Trade Organization and other global organizations.

The United States does not seek to maintain this “rules-based order to keep other nations away,” he said, noting that the international order that the United States helped create and to defend “has allowed the rise of some of our fiercest competitors. “

Chinese Wang and Russian Lavrov both stressed the importance of maintaining the UN as the center of multilateralism, which Blinken did not.

Wang recalled the declaration adopted last September by world leaders to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations that “multilateralism is not an option but a necessity”.

He called the UN “the banner of multilateralism” and said: “We are ready to work with all parties to advance multilateralism and the UN … and jointly build a community with a shared future for it. humanity”.

He said that the more complex the global problems, the greater the need for cooperation on the basis of equality between all countries, “not zero-sum games”.

“No country should expect others to lose,” said the Chinese minister. “On the contrary, countries must work together to ensure that all are winners to ensure security and prosperity for all.”

Wang also called for “fairness and justice, not intimidation or hegemony,” stressing that international law should apply to everyone “and that there should be no room for exceptionalism. or the double standard ”. And he warned that “dividing the world along ideological lines conflicts with the spirit of multilateralism and is a step backwards.”

Russian Lavrov was more specific in targeting the United States and other Western countries.
He said the architecture of global governance created at the end of World War II “is under strain.”

“Unfortunately, not all of our partners are guided by the imperative to work honestly to establish true multilateral cooperation,” he said.

Unable to advance their “unilateral or bloc priorities within the UN,” Lavrov said, “major Western countries are now trying to roll back the process of establishing a multipolar and polycentric world and restrain the course. Of the history”.

He accused Western nations of developing their own rules, imposing them on everyone and taking steps to bypass the United Nations which he called “harmful”.

Lavrov underscored US President Joe Biden’s call for a summit of democracies, warning that “the creation of a new special interest club on an openly ideologized basis could further exacerbate international tensions and draw dividing lines in a a world that needs a unifying program more than ever. “

He also referred to the Franco-German Alliance for Multilateralism, saying that it should be considered within the UN and not outside. And he said the West has established “close partnerships” on issues such as cyberspace, humanitarian law, freedom of information and democracy that are already discussed at the UN or its agencies.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends a press conference following a 2 + 2 dialogue between the Defense and Foreign Ministers of Italy and Russia at Villa Madama on February 18 2020 in Rome, Italy. Lavrov joined US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday in talks on global cooperation.
Antonio Masiello / Getty Images