John Bruton, the former Prime Minister of Ireland has spoken at length about how a new world order is emerging in geopolitics at the Synergia Conclave – Security 360.
The term "new world order" has been used to refer to any new period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power.
John Bruton, the former Prime Minister of Ireland spoke at the Synergia Conclave 2017 on the subject ‘Emerging world order.’ He said, “Looking at the problems the world is facing in present times, I think the first and the foremost thing one identifies is that relative power of the United States is in decline and it is no longer able to set more or less agenda for the rest of the world and indeed is choosing not to do so. It is opting out a certain international arrangement like the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is weakening its commitment to the word trade in the organisation and is concentrating on withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran. I think all of these are the disturbing phenomenon and represent a decline in support which one might describe as a rule based international system.”
He pointed out that power now was being shifted from the United States noting, “However, the responsibility which almost has been exclusively borne by the United states is passing to other powers to share that responsibility and it will be very interesting to see whether rising powers like India, China and all the countries in Asia are prepared to continue with the rule based system which we have benefited from for the last 30 – 40 years.”
According to Bruton, the biggest challenge in the world presently is the threat of nuclear war. He said, “Obviously, the threat to the world now is that of nuclear war and this has always been the biggest threat to the world since nuclear weapons were invented because it has the capacity of destroying the planet within a relatively short space of time. It’s disturbing to see what’s happening in North Korea and it is also disturbing for the same reason to see a diplomatic effort to resolve a problem of nuclear proliferation in case of Iran being abandoned by one of the major powers. I think it’s also important to recognise that for the peaceful international order, democracy is very important. Because countries that are democratic by the nature of retaining their democracy have to learn tolerance. People who take part in the elections have to realise that sometimes their side will lose. The essence of democracy is accepting the result when you lose. It’s not accepting the result when you win.”
He also reflected upon Brexit stating, “I would like to reflect on one phenomenon which is disturbing in terms of its expression of a withdrawal from an international system. And thus, the decision by a narrow majority of the United Kingdom electorate and English electorate in particular to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union. This is the decision that was opposed in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But England, because it is bigger in population is able to proceed with this decision. What essentially the United Kingdom is saying is that it wants to have the benefits of being in the EU without paying the costs. But that is having to accept rules made collectively without having to make collective contributions. What UK is going to discover as it goes through Brexit is that having a rule base system and freedom that it gives you does not come for nothing. It requires sacrifices. Every day, every year it requires sacrifices to enjoy the benefits. We got to realise that in Politics and in International Relations, trade-offs are necessary. You have to give in order to receive and I regret to say that the United Kingdom seems to have forgotten that important lesson. I hope they will reverse their decision, but I am not very optimistic in that.”
Our assessment is that when it comes to politics and foreign policy, trade-offs are necessary. Nations must be willing to compromise in order to stay on top of their agenda. The Trump Presidency and Brexit may possibly shift world order now to developing nations like India and China