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The handling of the Iraq crisis by world powers confirms that
unilateralism, rather than multilateralism, has become the dominant
tendency in world politics, President Thabo Mbeki said on
Writing in the African National Congress' on-line publication, ANC
Today, he said this confirmed the painful truth that economic,
military, technological and other power constituted the political
engine that determined the fate of all humanity.
"They make the statement, practically, that the voice of the people
is not the voice of God.
"They tell the billions, whose representatives gathered in Kuala
Lumpur at the 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit (at the end of
February), that their dream that they would cease to be 'the
invisible people of the world' must, perforce, be deferred," Mbeki
The continued deployment of troops in the Middle East by the United
States and the United Kingdom suggested these two countries "are
determined to go to war against Iraq, at all costs".
The current situation suggested that even as the representatives of
two-thirds of humanity, including those in the immediate
neighbourhood of Iraq, were urging a peaceful resolution of the
Iraq question, a few countries were determined to make the
statement that war against Iraq was inevitable.
"This indicates that the 13th NAM Summit meeting was justified to
draw attention to the global imbalance of power, when it said 'the
rich and powerful countries exercise an inordinate influence in
determining the nature and direction of international
"In practice the point has been made that this issue will be
resolved solely and exclusively on the basis of what the countries
of the North decide, regardless of what more than two-thirds of the
world's population, the citizens of the countries of the South,
think or feel.
"The fact that some of these countries serve as members of the
Security Council is little more than a small and irritating
distraction," he said.
Unipolarity and unilateralism meant that one power, with a little
help from its friends, took decisions about what happened in the
world, "including our countries, without our participation".
"This represents an undemocratic 'new' world order that turns us,
once more, into 'the invisible people of the world', living in fear
of the consequences of responding to our consciences because of our
dependence on the wealthy and developed world."
Multilateralism and an effective UN meant that "we would have the
possibility to contribute to the solution of the problems facing
humanity, including ourselves".
This would mark the emergence of a new world order, characterised
by the democratisation of the system of international relations and
the availability of the space for the poor and powerless freely to
speak their minds, in a world that is being integrated and made
more interdependent by the unstoppable process of globalisation,"
Mbeki said - Sapa.