SEPT 3 is the 76th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (WWII). Even though we celebrate the success of the Allies in defeating the Axis powers in 1945, we also feel deep sorrow that almost every country on earth suffered the horrors of this war.
For Russia (then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and China, the number of soldiers and civilians who died during WWII was more than half of the global death toll, estimated at 70 to 85 million.
Although WWII is now a distant memory, we should remember it in order to understand what we should avoid and what we should seek for the future.
WWII changed the attitude of the global community towards international affairs even before it was ended. It is noteworthy that a catchy slogan, “United we are strong – united we will win”, became very popular back then among the Allies, known also as the United Nations.
In 1945, the United Nations Organisation was established to, as stipulated in the UN Charter, “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.
The end of WWII also saw a huge movement towards liberation and de-colonisation, giving birth to a number of new countries including Malaysia.
This was due to the people’s growing aspiration for peace and a more equitable and democratic international order.
Seventy-six years have passed, but we are still on a long and thorny path to that order. Today, the world is again facing turbulence with markedly high instability and uncertainty.
Humanity is afflicted by a growing lack of governability and trust in international affairs, increased disparities in development and rise in the potential for conflict.
Use of and threat of force are becoming increasingly important factors in international relations.
We are still witnessing attempts by certain powers to divide the world on ideological grounds, interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states, pursue power politics or even a new “Cold War” in the so-called zero-sum game, and undermine the legal framework of the international relations system.
Unilateral sanctions, including extraterritorial ones, impede the full implementation of sustainable development goals, especially in developing countries, leading to adverse humanitarian impacts on the civil population.
The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened these problems. Vaccine and virus politicisation instead of solidarity has arisen – to the unacceptable cost of health and lives of millions of people worldwide.
However, while the uncertainties prevail, every country prefers to be part of the common world (not of someone’s world), and wants to live in peace and prosperity.
This gives us hope that we can still achieve genuine multilateralism and multipolar international order. While preserving our independence and uniqueness, we should overcome differences and frictions, follow our common interests and jointly defend and promote international order based on international law, a central coordinating role of the UN in the international system, as well as principles of equality, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, peaceful settlement of disputes, and rejection of the use of unilateral sanctions.
All of us share these values, therefore we should consolidate in favour of bearing together the responsibility for maintaining international peace, stability and security, and jointly address the most critical problems facing the world now.
Consistent, step-by-step movement in this direction is crucially needed.
Moscow and Beijing are on this path already. As reiterated in our leaders’ Joint Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation of June 28, 2021, the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership, while not being a military and political alliance, represents “a model of a new type of interstate relations that meets the fundamental national interests of the two countries and aspirations of their peoples, which also plays an important role in promoting a multipolar world order and ensuring international and regional security and stability.”
We strongly believe that every nation establishing bilateral relations with neighbours and remote countries can contribute to a better future for itself and the whole world simultaneously.
We treat our Malaysian friends and other Asean partners as like-minded people who think and act globally. This makes us confident again that a new era of international relations shall come.
Ambassador of Russia to Malaysia
Ambassador Extraordinary of China to Malaysia