This article appears in the June 25, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
BRICS FMs: COVID-19, Reforming the Multilateral System
The BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting, chaired this year by India, held a virtual meeting on May 31. Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar presided. The meeting focused to a large extent on COVID-19 and the need to get vaccines to the countries most in need. They also issued a joint statement supporting a political solution in Syria, calling for a halt to the conflict in Yemen, greeting the peace talks in Gaza, the need for African development, and other points. There was a general sense among the parties that BRICS has been playing an important role in its last 15 years and has much to contribute to the world community. The parties also issued a lengthy “BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System.”
In his opening remarks to the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took aim at London’s geopolitical operations that are “eroding the foundations of the multilateral system created after World War II. The cornerstone of this system is respect for international law, that is, the UN Charter, and not the so-called ‘rules’ invented by our Western colleagues.” Jaishankar also noted the BRICS group’s intention to adhere to the UN Charter.
Argentine President to SPIEF: Capitalism as We Know It Has to Be Revised
In remarks that cry out for the establishment of a new paradigm in global economic and strategic relations, Argentine President Alberto Fernández told his audience at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) June 4, that “capitalism, as we’ve known it up until the time of the pandemic hasn’t produced good results” and has left only “injustice and inequality.” Therefore, he concluded, the “logic that has persisted for so long must necessarily be revised,” as the pandemic has made clear there is a real need for solidarity among nations, Página 12 reported him as saying. Fernández continued: “If we’re going to build a different kind of capitalism, it has to be one that doesn’t leave out the concept of solidarity, because if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that no one is saved alone and that there could be a moment in which the most powerful [nations] and the weakest ones tremble and are felled together by the virus.”
Fernández went on to reference the “concentration of wealth in few hands, but distributed poverty among millions,” and concluded by discussing the difficulties experienced by developing nations, which are crippled with “astronomical debt” and “huge [interest] rates.”
Royal Family at G7 Summit: Prince Charles Peddles Malthusian Green
It should come as no surprise that the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England provided a venue for the senior members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, herself, as head of state, to be all over the event. Malthusian Prince Charles sought a private meeting with President Joe Biden, as well as organizing a soirée for his Eden Project. Charles’s pet Eden Project is home to one of the largest rainforests in captivity, housed in giant bio-domes, to which Charles brought G7 leaders and business CEOs for a reception, and to discuss the “climate crisis and biodiversity loss the world is currently faced with,” Tatler reported June 11. The Queen, Charles, and his wife Camilla, and William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were all in attendance.
An exceptionally nasty side event was the visit to a local school, where First Lady Jill Biden and Duchess Kate met with young children, being taught the lessons of the life of Greta Thunberg.
On the eve of the Summit, Charles hosted a meeting at St. James Palace of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, attended by Biden’s climate czar John Kerry and CEOs of major global businesses that manage over $60 trillion in assets, and are the core of London’s Green Reset: HSBC, NatWest, State Street Bank, EY consultancy, and AstraZeneca, among others.
WFP’s David Beasley Sounds the Alarm on Famine in Ethiopia, Mozambique
On June 10, David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), confirmed that though the WFP is “deploying more than 180 staff and increasing food distributions to reach 1.4 million people,” these are less than half of the estimated 4 million people in the Ethiopian region of Tigray facing severe hunger. Of those, 350,000 are threatened with famine, representing the highest number in a single country over the past decade. A report issued June 10, co-authored by the WFP, stresses that the conflict between Addis Ababa forces and the regional forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, is hindering delivery of emergency aid.
On June 15, Beasley was in Maputo, inaugurating the new WFP office, set up to expedite aid to some 1.9 million people in Mozambique. He then traveled to Cabo Delgado, the northern province where some 700,000 people have been displaced by terrorism.
Meantime, food prices are rising everywhere, under the London and Wall Street financial impact. The monthly world Food Price Index kept by the UN FAO, issued June 3, saw a rise in May of 39.7% over May 2020. Just from April to May this year, the index rose 4.8%.
Russia and China Announce Major Nuclear Power Projects
On June 7, the China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) company announced it had received approval to build its small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration plant, the APC100. The multi-purpose 125 MW pressurized water reactor, also referred to as the Linglong One, will producer power, heat, steam and do seawater desalination.
In the works since 2019, the APC100 is a miniaturized version of the company’s commercialized APC1000, according to the World Nuclear News. The SMR will be built in Changjiang on Hainan Island.
On June 8, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom inaugurated construction of the 300 MW lead-cooled BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor, part of its “Proryv” (Breakthrough) project to close the nuclear fuel cycle. Through the high-energy neutrons, the BREST 300 will be able to “recycle” used fuel rods. “The nuclear power industry’s resource base will practically become inexhaustible thanks to the infinite reprocessing of nuclear fuel. At the same time, future generations will be spared the problem of accumulating spent nuclear fuel,” Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev said, quoted in World Nuclear News.
Prominent Policymakers Call for Nuclear Dialogue, Diplomacy
On the eve of the G7 meeting, and before the Putin-Biden Summit, two significant Trans-Atlantic organizations called for dialogue and diplomacy to avert the threat of nuclear war.
The European Leadership Network published a new statement June 6 by the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG), entitled “Advancing Strategic Stability in the Euro-Atlantic Region, 2021 and Beyond.” The EASLG statement was followed by an on June 10 by the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord (ACURA) under the headline, “A Call for a New Era of Diplomacy and Engagement between the U.S. and Russia.” Both EASLG and ACURA refer to the agreement between Reagan and Gorbachev “that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” as central to any present dialogue and diplomacy. Notably, that phrase was included in the U.S.-Russia joint statement following the Biden-Putin June 16 Summit.
The ACURA letter is signed by 13 members of their board, including Ambassadors Jack Matlock, Donald F. McHenry and William J. Vanden Heuvel, as well as Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editorial director of The Nation, among others. The conveners of the EASLG document include Des Browne, former U.K. Defence Secretary; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Foundation, Germany; Igor Ivanov, President of the Russian International Affairs Council, and former Foreign Minister; Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Energy Secretary; and Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator.
Rogozin Urges Global Cooperation Against Space Threats to the Planet
At the Global Space Exploration Conference 2021 (GLEX-2021) which took place in St. Petersburg June 14-18, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s State Space Corporation, Roscosmos, called for international cooperation to address the dangers posed by asteroids and comets that could collide with the Earth.
Rogozin is a close ally of President Putin, and his remarks were well-timed to issue this call for U.S.-Russian cooperation right before the Biden-Putin summit. “There is no technology that would make it possible to change the trajectory and ward off the danger for our Earth,” Rogozin stated. “It is necessary to create these technologies, but not a single country will be able to do that alone. This is a common task to protect our planet.... The most important task is how to protect the planet from hazardous collisions with celestial bodies that may ruin civilization.”
Rogozin’s call for cooperation to address threats coming from space, recalls Russian-U.S. discussion of a Strategic Defense of Earth in 1993, endorsed by LaRouche, and raised again by Rogozin in 2011.