The Collapse of the Old Order

Munich Security Report: The war in Ukraine is part of the great power struggle against or for the Western-dominated global order. The Global South is beginning to shake off Western domination.

MUNICH (Own report) – The organizers of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) are urging stronger consideration of the Global South’s interests. As was reported in the Munich Security Report, published yesterday, not a single state from Africa or Latin America – and hardly a state in Asia – supports the West’s sanctions policy against Russia. If serious setbacks are to be avoided in the global power struggle against Russia and China on a long-term basis, one must win back at least a few of the Global South’s countries. After all, in many countries of the South, the “Western-dominated order” is in many states in the Global South, characterized by “postcolonial domination” which engenders sympathy for a “post-Western” global order. The Munich Security Report also states that the war in Ukraine is just the most brazen attack on the Western-dominated (rules-based) order. Accordingly, the demand that Russia not be allowed to win the war, and preferably, even lose it, serves, at least temporarily, to shore up the West’s global dominance.

The Munich Security Conference

According to the organizers, around 40 heads of states and governments, including the Presidents of France, Emmanuel Macron, and Poland, Andrzej Duda, as well as Germany’s Chancellor, Olaf Scholz are expected to attend this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC) this coming weekend, along with more than 90 ministers from numerous – mainly western – countries. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will be among those representing Ukraine. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will also be participating. From the USA, Vice President Kamala Harris will attend, from China, former Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who, as Chair of the Foreign Policy Commission of the Communist Party, is the highest-ranking foreign policy politician of the People's Republic of China. The governments of Russia and Iran have not been invited. Government opponents, from both countries, such as the Russian oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, are expected to attend. The event will no longer be chaired by the former top diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, who, until 2022 had officiated as MSC Chair, but rather by Christoph Heusgen, former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s foreign policy advisor (2005 – 2017).

“Symbol of a Post-Western Era”

At first glance, the conference will be primarily centered on the war in Ukraine, however according to the organizers, it is essentially focused on much more – on the power struggle between the states protecting the Western-dominated global order – glorified as the alleged “rules-based” order in the West – against those, who seek to shake off Western dominance. The Munich Security Report, a sort of accompaniment literature to the conference counts Russia and China among the latter group. The Russian intervention in Ukraine represents “just the most brazen attack on the Western-dominated (rules-based) order,” according to the Munich Security Report, which denounces all attempts to undermine the West’s global dominance as “revisionist.”[1] The authors approvingly quote an article from the British journal New Statesman, which prophesied already last year that a Russian victory in Ukraine would be “a powerful symbol of a new post-Western era” – a symbol “of the collapse of the old order.” From this derives the demand, Russia cannot be allowed to win, preferably, even lose. With this in mind, the Munich Security Conference is focused on the war in Ukraine.

“Postcolonial Dominance”

The authors of the Munich Security Report place particular emphasis on the Global South. This is not due to the poverty and difficult living conditions in many of the Asian, African, and Latin American countries, but rather to the fact that even though the countries of the Global South criticize Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, considering it a breach of international law, they do not participate in the West’s economic war against Russia nor even its arms buildup of Ukraine. While public statements from politicians and think tanks, as well as from the media have been nebulously repeating that a very ambiguous “international community” is punishing Moscow for the war with sanctions, the Munich Security Report frankly admits, for the first time, that in fact, “not a single state from Africa or Latin America is part of the loose coalition that has imposed sanctions on Russia.”[2] Also in Asia, there are only three countries,[3] along with the Chinese island of Taiwan taking part in the sanctions policy – and thereby, in efforts to stabilize the old western-dominated global order. The Munich Security Report admits that, to many states in the Global South, “the Western-led order” has been characterized by “postcolonial domination, double standards, and neglect for developing countries’ concerns.” Thus “in many parts of the world,” there is sympathy for a “multipolar” or “post-Western” global order.

Engaging the South

The authors of the Munich Security Report argue that this fact should – unlike previously – no longer be largely treated as a taboo, but rather to confront it and attempt to win over the Global South. The report states that, “Beijing’s model falls on fertile ground in many developing countries,” however this is mainly due to “dissatisfaction with how the current order” does not meet the needs of many developing countries.”[4] Therefore, “success must be achieved in better engaging those countries that previously have had little say” and “ensure that the current order benefits everyone equally.” If this is attained, “the order could win new supporters.” More specifically, and rather helplessly, the Munich Security Report argues for effective development aid and, therefore, that “Europe and the USA keep their promises to provide global public goods.” At the same time, they must overcome the “donor-recipient relationship” and make “cooperation on equal footing” possible. However, the latter has been among the proudly proclaimed official objectives of German foreign policy, for years, without ever having been implemented.[5] In fact, it has never been in the interests of the West’s policies to have the former colonies rise to the same level as the former colonial powers.

The South Resists

Whereas the Munich Security Report urges the integration of the Global South, threshold countries of the South are beginning to resist, not only passively – through their refusal to join the sanctions policy against Russia – but even actively, by opposing the transatlantic Ukraine war policy. Thus, late last week, in the course of his visit to Washington, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reiterated that he is continuing to work with other non-Western countries, on reaching a negotiated solution to the war in Ukraine.[6] China is considered a cooperation partner. Lula announced that he would be visiting China in the next few weeks and would consult with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. China’s government is “one of the few on the international stage, that Moscow cannot ignore,” Wolfgang Ischinger, former director of the Munich Security Conference, admitted yesterday. “Alone, or with others, China would possibly be able to make a peace proposal.”[7] At the same time, Ischinger pointed out that “this would probably not inspire great joy in the United States.” In fact, a negotiated settlement achieved by China would merely be another confirmation of the West’s historical decline, which the West is seeking to prevent – by all means.


[1], [2] Re:vision. Munich Security Report 2023. Munich, February 2023.

[3] Japan, Südkorea, Singapur. Hinzu kommen Australien und Neuseeland.

[4] Re:vision. Munich Security Report 2023. Munich, February 2023.

[5] See also “Neighbors at heart”.

[6] Caroline Arkalji: What came out of the Lula-Biden meeting? 10.02.2023. See also “On the Side of Diplomacy”.

[7] Gudrun Dometeit: „Für Diplomaten ist eine Welt zerbrochen“. 13.02.2023.