Most political analysts and geopolitical experts would agree with the contention that the US and Europe are still living in a bubble of blunders, ignoring the Global South.
As the Global South is partnering with Russia, Biden, Macron, and Leyen are trying to save their hegemonic castle. So, they decided to organise a futile conference. But as Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” The conference against Moscow may be futile, as the truth will always prevail over lies propagated by the West.
Almost 150 senior officials, including more than 40 heads of state and representatives from international organisations, attended the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC), which was held from February 17–19. Three key issues were discussed at the conference: the conflict in Ukraine, the necessity of confronting China and Russia, and the significance of the Global South in the conflict between the superpowers.
Russia did not attend the Munich conference, as it did the year before. Yet for the first time in twenty years, Moscow was not even invited to take part this year. Due to the absence of both Russia and Iran, the meeting was used as a forum to criticise opponents of western policy.
The summit was held in the midst of global unrest and rivalry among major powers for sway in the nascent multipolar order. A number of western nations expressed their displeasure with the Global South’s stances on the issues involving China and Russia.
What happened at the Munich conference
In fact the US Vice President, Kamala Harris, said during her speech that, “We have invited a record number of representatives from the so-called “Global South” because while we have this unity between us, when you talk to representatives of the Global South – and we had them on the podium this morning – you see that many countries sit on the fence.”
In light of this, the MSC chairman, Christoph Heusgen, declared during the opening ceremony that this year’s conference will “put a spotlight on the Global South” and “listen to their concerns.”
Similarly, the French President Emmanuel Macron emphasised the need for more inclusive efforts to change the world order. He noted that the Global South is moving away from the West and the US and Europe has not done enough to address its concerns. He suggested that one of the ways to assist the Global South is by implementing reforms in the United Nations.
While the conference’s debates and results indicate that western powers now value countries in the Global South, this appears to be mostly due to the need to mobilise their assistance in significant disputes with China and Russia.
The conflict in Ukraine amply illustrated that the failure of the west’s efforts to isolate Russia was due in large part to the refusal of many Latin American, African, and Asian nations to adopt western sanctions.
The final report of the Munich Security Conference noted that the wake-up call delivered by Russia’s conflict and the hesitation of many nations in the Global South has awoken liberal democracies from their complacency, reminding them that the international system, just like democracy itself, is in constant need of renewal.
But most importantly, the report emphasised that nations in regions such as Africa, Asia and Latin America have gradually lost hope in the legality and justness of a geopolitical structure which has neglected their reasonable concerns in the international domain and have refused to address them. The report stressed that for many countries, these issues are connected to the West. The states in the Global South view the international order led by the US and Europe as reminiscent of neo-colonialism, hypocrisy and lack of empathy.
The declarations made at the Munich Security Conference make it plain that the west understands the need to alter its strategy for working with developing nations in the Global South in order to fight the growing influence of Beijing and Moscow.
While these nations have historically been seen as recipients of aid and development rather than as equal participants in a relationship that benefits both parties, this will nevertheless demand for a fundamental change in views and policies towards them.
It will require consistent work and sincere devotion to transcend the imperialist heritage of the west and forge an equal and fruitful partnership with the Global South.
It will be necessary to do this by moving away from the donor-recipient model and towards one that emphasises partnership and mutual benefit, as well as by acknowledging the importance of and need to respect the goals and interests of the Global South.
Western policies in the developing world have a history of plundering wealth, meddling in state affairs, and conducting wars. States that do not follow the dictates of the west are frequently threatened with sanctions or put under tremendous economic pressure.
A few instances of how western powers have acted against the interests and welfare of countries in the Global South include the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the support for authoritarian regimes and coups, the economic squeeze on nations like Venezuela and Lebanon, and the unequal distribution of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How a changing geopolitical order eroded the hegemony of the US and Europe
Now, the relationship between the West and the Global South, also known as the developing world or the third world, has been one of the most complex and contentious issues in international politics for several decades.
Historically, the West, which includes North America, Western Europe, and Australia, has been dominant in terms of economic, military, and cultural power. In contrast, the Global South, which comprises most of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, has struggled with issues such as poverty, political instability, and underdevelopment.
The relationship between the two regions has been marked by various forms of exploitation, including economic, political, and cultural imperialism.
For example, during the colonial period, the West established direct control over the Global South, exploiting its natural resources and labour for their own benefit. Even after decolonization, the West continued to exert its influence through economic policies such as structural adjustment programs and trade agreements that often favoured Western corporations and governments.
The relationship has also been characterised by significant power imbalances. The West has been able to impose its agenda on the Global South, often with little regard for the concerns and interests of the latter. This has led to a deepening of inequality between the two regions, with the Global South often being relegated to the status of a mere supplier of raw materials and cheap labour.
However, the emergence of new economic powers such as Russia and China has challenged the traditional dominance of the West, leading to greater competition for resources and markets.
As a result, there has been a growing recognition of the need for a more equitable and collaborative relationship between the West and the Global South. This has led to initiatives such as debt relief programs, fair trade agreements, and sustainable development projects that seek to address the historic imbalances between the two regions.
To conclude, the relationship between the West and the Global South has been marked by a complex interplay of power and exploitation. The key to a more positive relationship lies in acknowledging the historic injustices that have characterised the relationship and working towards a more equitable and sustainable future. But it is highly unlikely, given the adamant tendency of the West to not recognise its systemic injustices and historical trauma.
The Global South nations, which were earlier compelled to function on the draconian framework hatched by the US and Europe in the international domain, have found Russia.
In fact, Russia’s relationship with the Global South has a long history, dating back to the Cold War era when the Soviet Union sought to gain influence in the developing world. While the Soviet Union is no longer in existence, Russia has continued to strengthen its ties with countries in the Global South.
One of the main drivers of Russia’s relationship with the Global South is its desire to counterbalance the influence of the United States in the region. Russia has sought to strengthen its ties with countries such as China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, all of which are major players in the Global South.
Russia has also pursued economic cooperation with countries in the Global South, particularly in the areas of energy and arms sales. Russia has become a major supplier of arms to countries in the Global South, and it has also sought to expand its energy exports to these regions.
Therefore, taking this into close consideration, the West is now countering the strong partnership between Moscow and the Global South. And so the whole purpose of organising the flawed security summit in Munich was to drive an emotional narrative and also threaten and intimidate the Global South into severing its ties with Russia and joining the catastrophic camp of the US and Europe.
The Munich summit is just a tip of the iceberg, it’s just the beginning of the numerous endeavours of Biden and Leyen to establish their neo-colonial agenda and hegemonic structure of power in Asia, Africa and Latin America.