India’s foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, summed it up succinctly in a recent interview: “Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.” He is referring to the many challenges that developing countries face whether they relate to the aftermath of the pandemic, the high cost of debt service, the climate crisis that is ravaging their lives, the pain of poverty, food shortages, droughts, and high energy prices. The West has barely given lip service to the Global South on many of these problems. Yet the West is insisting that the Global South join it in sanctioning Russia.
Those b*stards! After all we have done for them!
Many countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia view the war in Ukraine through a different lens than the West. Many of them see their former colonial powers regrouped as members of the Western alliance.
By contrast, many countries in Asia, and almost all countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America have tried to remain on good terms with both Russia and the West, and to shun sanctions against Russia. Could it be because they remember their history at the receiving end of the West’s colonial policies, a trauma that they still live with but which the West has mostly forgotten.
Move along people nothing to see here.
The war in Ukraine is seen by the Global South as mainly about the future of Europe rather than the future of the entire world.
Furthermore, the war is seen by the Global South as an expensive distraction from the most pressing issues that they are dealing with. These include higher fuel prices, food prices, higher debt service costs, and more inflation, all of which have become more aggravated because of the Western sanctions that have been imposed on Russia.
Soaring energy prices not only directly impact energy bills, but they also lead to upward price pressures on all supply chains and consumer items, including food and other necessities. This hurts the developing countries even more than it hurts the West.
The West can sustain the war “as long as it takes” since they have the financial resources and the capital markets to do so.
Several countries in the Global South increasingly see their future tied to countries that are no longer in the Western sphere of influence.
The U.S. share of global output declined from 21 percent in 1991 to 15 percent in 2021, while China’s share rose from 4 percent to 19 percent during the same period.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa) had a combined GDP in 2021 of $42 trillion compared with $41 trillion in the G7. Their population of 3.2 billion is more than 4.5 times the combined population of the G7 countries, at 700 million.
The “rule based international order” is a concept that is seen by many countries in the Global South as one that has been conceived by the West and imposed unilaterally on other countries. Such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan & Syria. Few if any non-Western countries ever signed on to this order.
The recent UN vote calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russia from Ukraine resulted in141 countries in favour, and just seven against, with 32 abstentions.
China, India and Pakistan abstained. Those 3 countries represent 3/8ths of the world population.
The world is moving from a euro-centric view & economic control. Gone are the days where we just told them to sit down and shut up. Interesting days ahead. Will there be a price to the West’s hubris?