‘Vladimir Putin, Donald J. Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and the right honorable Boris Johnson MP all raised valid points. Whether they will match the legacies of Stalin, Roosevelt, Quezon and Churchill, only time and historians will tell.’
THE 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations is a celebratory milestone in the 21st century because the good guys won the Anti-Fascist War.
As the leader of the inheritors of one of the Big Three told the United Nations General Assembly last September 22, 2020: “This year, the international community celebrates two, without exaggeration, historic anniversaries: the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and establishment of the United Nations. The importance of these two forever interlinked events cannot be overemphasized. In 1945, Nazism was defeated, the ideology of aggression and hatred was crushed, and the experience and spirit of alliance, as well as the awareness of the huge price that had been paid for peace and our common Victory, helped construct the post-war world order. It was built on the ultimate foundation of the UN Charter that remains the main source of international law to this day.” [http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/64074]
The President of Russia said further: “Forgetting the lessons of history is short-sighted and extremely irresponsible, just like the politicized attempts to arbitrarily interpret the causes, course and outcomes of the Second World War and twist the decisions of the conferences of the Allies and the Nuremberg Tribunal that are based on speculation instead of facts. It is not just vile and offending the memory of the fighters against Nazism. It is a direct and devastating blow to the very foundation of the post-war world order, which is particularly dangerous in view of the global stability facing serious challenges, the arms control system breaking down, regional conflicts continuing unabated, and threats posed by terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking intensifying.” [Vladimir Putin delivered a pre-recorded video address to the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly; https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1073152]
For his part, the leader of another member of the Big Three said: “Seventy-five years after the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle. We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy — the China virus — which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries.” [US delivering ‘peace through strength’: President Trump tells UN; https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1073002]
Further: “If the United Nations is to be an effective organization, it must focus on the real problems of the world. This includes terrorism, the oppression of women, forced labor, drug trafficking, human and sex trafficking, religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.” [https://www.stripes.com/news/full-text-of-president-trump-s-speech-to-the-un-sept-22-2020-1.646018]
And from the nation once presided over by Manuel L. Quezon, the incumbent Chief Executive asked “whether or not we have remained true and faithful to the United Nations’ principles and ideals” and affirmed the commitment (to the Charter of the United Nations and as amplified by the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes) in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”
“We firmly reject attempts to undermine it.” https://pcoo.gov.ph/presidential-speech/statement-of-president-rodrigo-roa-duterte-during-the-general-debate-of-the-75th-session-of-the-united-nations-general-assembly/]
Finally, from the last member of the Big Three: “And now is the time above all to look ahead and think now about how to stop a pandemic from happening again. How can we stop another virus from coming along and again smashing that precious Ming vase of international cooperation? How can we avoid the mutual quarantines and the brutal Balkanisation of the world economy?”
“Never again must we wage 193 different campaigns against the same enemy. As with all crises, it is crucial not to learn the wrong lessons…it would be insane to ignore the insights of Adam Smith and David Ricardo.” [https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-speech-to-un-general-assembly-26-september-2020]
Vladimir Putin, Donald J. Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and the Right Honorable Boris Johnson MP (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTMwedPy6L0) all raised valid points. Whether they will match the legacies of Stalin, Roosevelt, Quezon and Churchill, only time and historians will tell. Yes, details, specifics and concrete recommendations. No to namby-pamby motherhood statements (like “continue to be a builder of world peace”), especially from that hegemonist-chauvinist whose great firewall frustrates the freedom of expression.
Incidentally, American librarians and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom are leading Banned Books Week (September 27–October 3), an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, because librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types can, do and should support the “freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”
The younger generations (Y and Z) could have and will learn that it was the Nazis who indulged in book-burning and the Red Guards of the Chinese Cultural Revolution who sacralized vandalism. The global struggle against Hitlerism continues even during the pandemic.