Learning Multilateralism on Obama’s National Space Policy
In June 2010, Obama’s new National Space Policy (NSP) emphasizes a broad continuity between its main goals and the overarching themes originally developed by the Eisenhower administration, such as the use of space and strengthening space stability. Other goals evolved directly from original U.S. space policy goals, including expanding international cooperation, nurturing U.S. space industry, and enhancing the assurance and resilience of mission-critical functions enabled by commercial, civil, scientific and national spacecraft and supporting them infrastructure. Thus, National Space Policy of U.S and also National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) of U.S is seeking to emphasizes international cooperation through its pillars and also point from policy
Five Pillars of National Security Space Strategy of U.S
The National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) provides a roadmap for the implementation of US space policy and the achievement of U.S space objectives. It consists of five basic principles or pillars that prescribe the framework.
Promote the Responsible, Peaceful and Safe Use of Space
The NSSS first pillar calls on the United States “to lead in improving security, stability and responsible spatial behavior” and to develop transparency and confidence-building measures that “encourage responsible spatial action and peaceful use”. As stated in the National Space Policy, there are specific steps that include national and international actions that aim to promote safe and responsible spatial operations, improve information collection and sharing, which is to prevent collisions between spatial objects, protect critical spatial systems and infrastructure support, with special emphasis on critical interdependence and reinforcement of space and information systems.
Provide improved U.S Space Capabilities
The NSS second pillar calls on the U.S. to improve space capabilities and energize the U.S. industrial space base. In addition, the existence of a strong industrial base and staff support is also one of the U.S. country’s best insurance policies, in the strategic, operational, economic and technological fields referred to in the new defense strategy.
Partnering with Responsible Nations, International Organizations, and Commercial Firms
The third pillar calls for greater involvement and partnership with other space-based countries, relevant international organizations and business actors. To guard the third pillar in US Space Policy and ready to face future strategic circumstances, the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of the main organizations responsible for safeguarding these benefits in the face of changing strategic circumstances and the US uses the National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) as means to maintain this benefit. Meanwhile, there is a specific geographical responsibility area (AOR) that is not assigned to USSTRATCOM. So that the responsibility is only limited to below sea level, which is used as a place for strategic U.S. submarines operating, up to 22,000 miles above the surface of the earth.
United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) engage actively in this pillar and have signed more than 29 agreements with several business entities that were then used to share situational awareness with many selected information partners. Recently, U.S. country in this case it has been authorized to negotiate similar agreements with non-U.S. government agencies and intergovernmental organizations, to work with space actors who are supposed to be responsible for the process of sharing and exchanging space flight information security. Also, USSTRATCOM actively seeks further partners, in particular those with whom little or no previous commitment has been made. State U.S. has also partnered with old friends and allied countries such as Australia, Canada, Britain and other NATO allies who are always involved with them. Moreover, this is done while looking for new opportunities to work with potential partners in Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, South America, the Middle East and Africa.
Prevent and Deter Against U.S Space Infrastructure
U.S. space infrastructure basically an U.S. component vital. This is seen in how U.S. want to protect this asset. Space defense also certainly requires a full understanding of the operating environment, which allows U.S. warnings. to be recognized and effective protection of U.S. assets, provide resilience, and use alternatives when challenged. This fourth NSSS pillar, which is “preventing and deterring U.S. space infrastructure,” includes operations to gain and understand the location, activities, ownership and purposes of space-based objects. In point of Prevent and deter against U.S space infrastructure mentioned about international cooperation; the point is;
“Sensitivity to space situations (SSA) enables all our operational activities. An important way to increase SSA’s capacity and capacity would be to expand partnerships and increase international cooperation. To this end, we want to transform California’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) into a Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC).”– U.S Department of Defense
Initially, such a step would enable us to influence individual strengths in full cooperation with U.S closest partners and, in accordance with national policies, provide a framework and environment that might help meet the needs of common space security. In addition, such a transition would conform to the mandate of the NSSS “build coalitions of like-minded nations that share space”.This partnership would allow the U.S. to act in a coordinated manner, synchronize U.S. efforts and promote responsible spatial behavior with these partners to ensure long-term spatial sustainability.
Prepare to Defeat Attacks and Operated in a Degraded Environment
The final pillar of the NSSS calls on the United States to prepare to defeat space attacks and operate in a degraded environment. This approach will generally always include activities to provide critical space capabilities for U.S. missions. and coalition forces. Besides that, it is also used to ensure the success of the mission through architecture and alternative means, even if necessary, under all conditions of conflict and pressure.
The guarantee mission includes the need to maintain and protect the capabilities of the US critical space itself, US allies and partner countries, and also to improve the resilience of critical space systems, increase the use of alternative means and resources to secure the space mission, not to mention the ability to operate in a stressed environment if and when the capacity is degraded.
Several successive U.S. administrations have sought to maintain the leadership of the country in the field since the United States entered space. There’s no exception to the Obama administration. It openly emphasizes efforts to strengthen U.S. in its National Security Space Strategy and National Space Policy. Leadership in outer space in particular. These efforts include reassuring U.S. allies ‘ commitment to collective self-defence in space-related forums and activities; promoting regulations and encouraging interoperability within these regulations; promoting security, stability and responsible space behaviour, facilitating new market opportunities for U.S. commercial space capabilities and services, advancing appropriate risk-sharing amounts.
Recall Multilateralism from Obama’s Space Policy
The Obama administration incorporates multilateralism into one of the policy’s six major objectives, the policy’s goals of expanding international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities are mentioned. The space policy of Obama will make U.S. space policy more conducive to multilateral space efforts. In its National Security Space Strategy and National Space Policy, the U.S. adopted the National Security Strategy, which aims to maintain and enhance the benefits of U.S. space advertising capabilities resulting from national security. The NSSS set specific goals for enhancing security, stability, to accomplish the tasks assigned by the NSSP. And space security; maintaining and enhancing strategic space-based national security; maintaining and enhancing the US’s strategic space-based national security benefits; and energizing the space-based industrial base that supports US national security.
Obama’s new National Space Policy (NSP) highlights a broad continuity between its main goals and the overarching themes originally developed by the Eisenhower administration, such as the use of space and enhancing space stability. Obama still wishes to emphasize international cooperation, which can be seen under the heading. “Space operations should be conducted in ways that emphasize openness and transparency in order to increase public awareness of activities” and, “All nations have the right to explore and use space for peaceful purposes under the NSP Principles and the other side mentioned in the NSP Goals, which is Support International Cooperation”.
At this stage, the National Space Policy and National Security Space Strategy during Obama administration indirectly also applied the Multilateralism. This can be seen in policies that emphasize and invite to conduct international cooperation in space matters. For example, are, Obama fully supported the life of NASA through increased funding budget to NASA through NASA authorization act 2010 and U.S was hosted the International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board Joint Statement 2010 and also Obama through U.S NSP and NSSS implement multilateralism efforts towards Global Positioning System (GPS) Cooperation.
This is stated in the National Space Policy and National Security Space Strategy of U.S issued during Obama administration. One of the most obvious instances of U.S. international cooperation for peaceful space purposes is demonstrated by the International Space Station (ISS). Aboard the ISS, 15 countries cooperate, sharing international flight crew, several globally distributed launch vehicles, operations, training, engineering and development facilities. In addition, communication, the Global Positioning System (GPS) Cooperation, and the ISS Multilateral Coordination Board.
The approach taken by President Obama is very different from his predecessor. He was aggressive with space policy by issuing the 2010 United States of America’s National Space Policy and the 2011 Strategy for National Security Space. President Obama spoke about the contributions of civil and commercial space capabilities in his space policy. The US has also committed to encouraging and facilitating the growth of the US commercial space sector that supports the country’s domestic needs. Thus, the space success heritage and its transformation also pose new challenges. The possibilities of using space were limited to just a few nations when the space age began and there were limited consequences for irresponsible or unintended behavior.
Lastly, Obama also abandoned the unilateralism of Bush and pursue/emphasizing multilateralism would be given top priority in dealing with international affair. Platform of multilateralism efforts during Obama period are concentrate in joint scientific and research program. To support joint scientific and research program in space, Obama make decision to extend the life of U.S on International Space Station in order to giving more U.S contribution and offer transparency scientific research program at International Space Station (ISS) and the decision of Obama based on writer perspective change U.S view in term of space towards more opened transparency and cooperation among other states. Even though, U.S still want to be leader in space, at least this multilateralism effort which mentioned by Obama on his speech and also each point of NSSS and NSP can bring a new perspective about U.S in space.
The ICC acts naively in foreign affairs
On March 17, 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: President Putin of the Russian Federation and his aide Maria Lvova-Belova who is in charge of Children Rights Affairs at the President’s Office. The ICC did arouse a sensational news in global media, but it is also seen as a diplomatic farce and a political fuss among the Global South.
The ICC was created with a view to working for a global fight to end impunity and, through International Court of Justice, it has since aimed to hold those responsible accountable for their crimes. Yet, the ICC is aware of the reality where it can’t reach these goals alone. Governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute, the ICC has been literally the world’s first permanent international criminal court. Later, it has one Liaison Office to the U.N. headquarters in New York and seven field presence/ country offices: Kinshasa and Bunia (Democratic Republic of the Congo, “DRC”); Kampala (Uganda); Bangui (Central African Republic, “CAR”); Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire); Tbilisi (Georgia); and Bamako (Mali), where ICC field offices are responsible for developing and maintaining cooperative relationships with key stakeholders in situation countries and supporting the Court’s mandate and resulting activities in these countries.
Now the question arises if the ICC has acted as an inter-States legal organization of fairness, neutrality and humanity. The answer is saliently “No”. International law essentially consists of rules and principles of general application dealing with the conducts of states and of international organizations and with their relations inter se, as well with some of their relations with persons, whether natural or juridical. [Malanczuk, 1998] Yet, the decentralized nature of international law is fundamentally rooted in the decentralized structure of international society or what it is termed of «anarchic system». As some legalists argue that modern international law has in any case always been dual in nature: it is based on state sovereignty while making an effort to regulate if not limit it. With the League of Nations in 1920, it began the establishment of the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague. Since 1945, it was renamed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that has since played a major role in the formation of international law.
Yet, at the end of the WWI, the winning side of the war came to argue that the individuals of the losing side would be subject to criminal prosecution for their part in the outbreak of the war and the conducts during it. In doing so, the Versailles treaty affirmed that the Kaiser of Germany was liable to criminal prosecution on account of “a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties” in terms of the violation of Belgium neutrality. However, the Dutch government refused admitting the clauses providing for the extradition of the German Kaiser (Art. 227) due to the fact that all the great powers of Europe had become involved in an arms race prior to the total war. Accordingly, in 1919 the peace treaty acted a deliberate policy of discrimination against Germany referring to “keeping Germany down”. After the WWII, several dozens of German and Japanese military and political figures were prosecuted and sentenced by the tribunals of the allied powers in Nuremberg and Tokyo. This has inspired the liberal scholars and some of public groups to set up international criminal courts under the auspices of the U.N. in Arusha after the genocide in Rwanda and in The Hague after the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. The Rome Statute provided for the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC), where persons are to be tried for serious violations of the laws of war and crimes against humanity.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) officially came into existence in 2002 following the 60th ratification of the Rome Statute, heralding a new era for the effective prosecution and punishment of serious violations of international humanitarian law, e.g. the ICC investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. Today there are approximately 121 countries that have joined the Rome Statute system and then taken a stand for supporting the ICC to fight against impunity, so that perpetrators of such crimes are punished, and to help prevent future occurrences of these crimes. This idea is claimed as the cause of all the humanity. Thus far, ICC judges have issued 40 arrest warrants, by which 21 persons have been detained in the ICC detention center and have appeared before the Court, while 16 persons remain at large. No doubt, the ICC has been recognized by more than half of all sovereign states of the world. Yet, in the case of Russia, there is no question that the ICC acts naively to accuse President Putin for alleged war crimes involving abductions of children from Ukraine.
First, as some observer put it that the warrant marks the first time that the ICC has issued an arrest warrant against a sitting head of state. However, Russia, like China, India, Israel and the United States, has not signed on to the ICC, citing concerns about the court’s jurisdiction and potential impact on national sovereignty. Moreover, it remains a challenging issue whether it is a responsible act to issue a warrant of arresting a sitting head of state who has enjoyed wide support and sympathy from his people while the BRICS and the Global South have refused labelling Russia as an invader in the case of the Ukraine war. Finally, as one of the great powers of the world, Russia will never allow it happened to see its head of state being arrested as a war criminal since Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the charges outrageous and unacceptable. The only flash spot of the ICC’s investigation lies in political and diplomatic ramifications for Russia as the West could further isolate Russia from the international community or lead to much severer economic sanctions. Geopolitically, it becomes salient that the U.S.-dominated West has aimed to keep Russia down, as they did to Germany in 1919.
As a matter of fact, China has argued that Russia must be kept as a major player in the world affairs, not to mention its role in rebuilding the European security architecture. Historically, Russia has been one of the major powers of Europe to act a key balancer of European equilibrium. Today, the rise of China equally needs a powerful and prosperous Russia as its good neighbor and a geostrategic partner to counter any unilateral hegemonic world order. As China reiterated recently that over the last decade, China and Russia have followed the principles of good-neighborliness, friendship and win-win cooperation in advancing exchanges and cooperation in various areas. Under the new historical circumstances, the two sides will view and handle China-Russia relations with a broad vision and a long-term perspective, in a bid to bolster the wide-ranging cooperation between the two countries going forward.
It is worth noting that the ICC has also faced criticism and challenges over the years. Some countries—the United States, Russia, China, and India—have not signed on to the ICC, while many countries of the Global South have criticized the ICC of its bias against certain countries or groups of countries, politicization, and inefficiency. Obviously, some critics argue that the court is dominated by Western countries since it has unfairly targeted leaders from Africa while ignoring atrocities committed by leaders from other parts of the world. This is a very strong statement because on March 18, just as China’s President Xi was about to take his trip to Moscow, the ICC issued an international arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes. The warrant, which was flatly rejected by Russia as a political ploy from the West, was applauded by President Joe Biden and his allied partners. The basis of the claims seem to hinge on the fact that Russia took Ukrainian children out of the war zone and brought them to protective custody in Russia. Or put it simply, the claims seem to imply that Putin should have left the children in the war zone where they would possibly be killed.
Now it concludes that the ICC acts naively with a view to advancing a strategy that aims to jeopardize China’s desire to be seen as a broker for peace between Russia and Ukraine given that Putin is officially a war crime suspect. For sure, in the immediate term, the ICC’s warrant for Putin and one of his aides is unlikely to have a major impact on Russia’s image or China’s stance on the Ukraine issue. However, the stain of the arrest warrant could well work against China and Russia in terms of public opinion. In doing so, it is ridiculous to see the ICC as a fair court and transparent forum struggling for international justice and the world peace.
What does the Arctic Ocean hold for the world in changing global politics?
“The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate”, a book by Robert Kaplan sheds light on the imperative role of geography in changing the destiny of nations. Only geography of a country doesn’t benefit countries much, but technology and research open ways to become a developed nation. History showed the true manifestation of this fact. The arrival of Vasco de Gama in the Indian Ocean and his discovery of the trade route brought the interest of great powers of that time to the subcontinent. The arrival of these powers in the subcontinent changed the fate of indigenous people. However, they also benefited from the sea and natural resources of the Indian subcontinent. The past tells that sea and national resources are the cornerstone of the country’s position in global politics but also attracts attention from world powers. Similarly, In today’s world, where the world is confronting the energy crisis, global warming, challenges of the supply chain, and chasing maximization of resources as a strategic benefit, the arctic ocean grapes the world’s attention. The Arctic Ocean is located in the North polar region. The main countries sharing the arctic ocean are the US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. According to the world economic forum, 13% of undiscovered oil is present in the arctic ocean as well as 30% of undiscovered gas is present there. Apart from these bordering countries, non-Arctic countries also have a great economic and strategic interest in the arctic which includes India, japan, south korea, and many more.
Energy security, Europe and Russia
The invasion of Russia in Ukraine highlighted an issue of energy security in the world but on the other hand, the strategic use of renewable energy resources also came into the light. The rising energy prices and halting supply of energy gave a call for a diversification of energy resources to gain strategic defense where overly dependence can put countries in a vulnerable situation. In this geopolitics and geoeconomics scenario, Norway is fully reaping the benefits of its research and exploration of oil resources in the arctic ocean. In all these circumstances, the strategic importance of renewable resources in the arctic ocean came under discussion. The reason behind this is that renewable energy resources like wind and solar energy are difficult to be weaponized at the time of war. Somehow, the rising global warming which is opening avenues to utilize untapped resources also demands a shift toward renewable energy resources. Though the shift from fossil fuels is difficult, Ukraine Russia war triggers a debate on the use of renewable resources where the arctic ocean can be proved an excellent opportunity to opt for a renewable energy policy in the world.
New trade routes, Sino-Russia, USA, and non-arctic countries
The development of the Northern Sea Route by China and Russia will provide a faster route for the passage 0f traffic as compared to the passage from the Suez canal which will attract more attention from the world in terms of economic and environmental benefits i.e. fuel consumption reduced and it also has a positive impact on the environment. But it will have a drastic impact on Egypt whose major chunk of the economy is contributed by earnings from the Suez Canal. Additionally, the development of trade routes in the arctic ocean will also impact the Malacca strait, especially in Singapore and Indonesia. Therefore, it is showing that new trading routes will have an impact on certain countries and supply chains will change. The strategic, economic, and strategic benefits of this area attract the world, but it also raises the question: will this region become a new area of strategic competition? According to Malte Humpert in his article New US Arctic Strategy Foreshadows Increasing Hurdles for Cooperation in a More Complex Region The U.S. strategy is built around four pillars: security, climate change and environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and international cooperation and governance. The US Arctic policy 2022 which is the first time published after 2013 highlighted The strategy specifically singles out Russia and China as the two main competitors in the Arctic and highlights their recent activities in the Arctic in light of the growing strategic importance. Contrary, sino-russia both have a point of divergence and convergence for interest. Since both countries are collaborating in different areas mainly in One Belt One Road and other areas of mutual benefit, most likely they will collaborate in areas of energy and research in the arctic ocean. Similarly, the interest of other non-arctic countries like Japan and India, etc in the arctic ocean also demands a collaborative approach between stakeholders. In today’s global world where every country is focusing on strengthening their economies by opting strategy of diversifying their income sources and trying to attain natural resources to gain strategic advantage, it is the need of the hour to have collaboration between countries under the umbrella of international organizations because a healthy competition between countries bring development in technologies and development but unhealthy competition results in a disastrous impact on the world especially under developing and developing countries.
Global warming, arctic ocean, climate challenges
The melting ice in the arctic ocean, and the exploitation of oil resources, and minerals will impact the climate of the world. The Arctic Ocean is one of the untapped resources of the world. The melting in the arctic ocean will bring a change in geo-economic and geopolitical areas. The exploitation of resources causes the emission of immense carbon dioxide that has transboundary impacts especially on developing countries which are already facing indigenous challenges altogether. The heat weaves in Europe, devastating floods in Pakistan, and other examples create challenges for the world. Therefore, there is a need for a special focus on climate change concerning the arctic ocean.
What is next?
The future of the world lies in peace. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine depicts that the war has ripple effects and impacts the lives of every individual on the earth in this globalized world. The strategic competition between great powers is good until it fosters research, and the upgradation of technology which is a symbol of healthy competition, but when this competition shouldn’t result in a cold war which proves a disaster for the world. The stakeholders of the arctic ocean should come under one umbrella and work together by keeping in view mutual benefits. Therefore, the world needs to develop policies to counter global warming by keeping in view the arctic ocean.
Putin, Xi, the ICC, and the Demise of Global Judiciary
Authors: Roman Kusaiko and Alexey Ilin*
On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian president Vladimir Putin. The press release stated that Prosecution’s application was filed on the February 22, 2023, while the existence of the warrants was disclosed on March 17, 2023. This is the first time the ICC releases a warrant against a sitting president. Moreover, it immediately preceded the visit to Moscow by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which took place on March 20-22, 2023. While the warrant is expected to force Russia and its leader into submission, the end result may be the erosion and eventual demise of the universal criminal justice.
The International Criminal Court was established by the Rome Statute (done July 17, 1998, in force July 1, 2002) to prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (Rome Statute art. 5). The ICC has three main advantages against its predecessors – the ad hoc tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). First, it is a permanent court. Second, it is based on an international treaty and not the United Nations Security Council resolution, which gives it more legitimacy. Third, the ICC jurisdiction is not limited to a particular country or case – the Court can prosecute a crime if it was committed either by a national of a State Party, or on a State Party’s territory. Generally, officials of the non-party states cannot be prosecuted, but even this barrier can be overcome if the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by the UN Security Council (Rome Statute art. 13(b)).
France and the UK are the only State Parties to the ICC among those countries that legally possess nuclear weapons (under the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty). China, India, Pakistan and North Korea neither signed nor acceded to the Rome Statute while the U.S., Russia, and Israel officially refused to ratify the treaty. The attitude towards the Court reveals a divide in states’ perception of international criminal justice. Countries with extensive military capabilities decided not to delegate any of their judicial power to an external international institution. The rest of the countries delegated their authority to an international judiciary seeking justice in case any major crimes are committed against them.
Since its inception, the Court’s authority has been facing challenges, especially from the U.S. The latter has a long history of complicated relations with the ICC, from open hostility to the recent bipartisan support. Most prominently, the “Hague Invasion Act” grants the U.S. the right to use military force to liberate any U.S. or allied country’s citizen being held by the ICC. The existence of such methods undermines the authority of the Court and also manifests that the U.S. and its allies are “out of judicial range” and thus not accountable before the international community.
The ICC has been repeatedly stumbling in its attempts to investigate the most serious crimes in the areas where the U.S. and their allies conducted their military operations. Between 2014 and 2020, the ICC investigated the war crimes in Iraq (willful killing, torture, and rape) committed by the armed forces of America’s closest ally – the UK. Nevertheless, the investigation was closed in 2020 raising criticism from European institutions, non-government organizations and multiple media sources. Some critics claimed the ICC’s refusal to hold the UK accountable discredited the Court’s authority. Afghanistan has been a State Party to the ICC since 2003, but the Court has not taken any decisive actions in this country until October 2022, when its Pre-Trial Chamber authorized the Prosecution to resume its investigation of war crimes. This move has been first rejected in 2019, and then deferred in 2020. Likewise, the ICC Preliminary Investigation team has been halting the prosecution of war crimes committed in Syria for more than three years despite the ample evidence.
At the same time, reasonable grounds against Vladimir Putin for organizing an unlawful deportation of children were found in less than a month – an unprecedented speed. The disclosure of the ICC warrant on March 17, 2023 suspiciously coincided with the announcement of Xi Jinping’s official visit to Moscow. The announcement was made only on the 17th of March, 2023, with the agenda reported by both Chinese and Russian sources. It is hard to believe in such a coincidence, especially after subsequent remarks by the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed that the warrant targeted Chinese leader’s visit. While some media claimed Putin’s days are now numbered, the others were more skeptical referring to the West’s “deafness” for their own atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ICC warrant sends several signals to the Russian state, society, and beyond. The first one is to oust Vladimir Putin from the office to improve relations with the West. The second one is for the Russian elites: as long as Putin is in power, their assets will be always under threat of sanctions and even confiscation. The third one is for the other world leaders: leaving Putin alone at the table will not be enough – legal actions should be taken against him. The Russian leader should become a pariah. One may argue, that such a strategy could be partially successful in 2014, but an open Chinese criticism of the warrant demonstrates that it will have serious limitations in 2023.
Vladimir Putin will not willingly step down, but the warrant will push his government to build parallel institutions with friendly or non-aligned countries. Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin proposed to pass an act similar to the “Hague Invasion Act.” In addition, he prompted the Russian government to sign bilateral agreements which will guarantee the denial of the ICC authority. Moreover, the depth of the issues discussed between Putin and Xi suggest that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) could become an “umbrella” for alternative global institutions, including the judiciary branch. The SCO already hosts regular meetings between the chairs of the Supreme Courts. As more countries are willing to join in, it may become a respected institution of transnational justice. This development, amplified by U.S. unaccountable posture, will bury the once noble idea of global judiciary in The Hague. The ICC will remain what Rwandan President Paul Kagame called it, “the court for Africans and poor countries.”
*Alexey Ilin, Ph.D. candidate at Shanghai Jiaotong University.
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