Franco Frattini: Creating world order “for three” today is impossible

02 March 2015

Franco Frattini, President of the Italian Society for International Organizations (SIOI), former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy and participant of the International Conference “The 70th Anniversary of the Yalta Conference of Heads of the State of Anti-Hitler Coalition”, which took place at MGIMO-University on February 25-26, spoke about key principles of the Yalta system and if they need to be reviewed.


What do you think about the Yalta Conference: has it become just history or is it still a factor in the modern international life?



I think, both. It was, obviously, an extremely important historical event, one of the most meaningful in the newest history. However, heritage of the conference does not have a lesser meaning, especially in light of events happening in the world today. And nowadays we can draw very important lessons from the Yalta Conference.


Which ones exactly?


—One needs to understand that a situation nowadays, similar to the one in Yalta, is ultimately impossible. In order to solve global challenges of modern world it is insufficient to have three leaders of superpowers. If such conference were to take place now, there would have to be representatives of not just three, but thirty and more countries present at the table.


The world has changed. What was possible then, i.e. establish global world order on behalf of three leaders, is impossible today. The world of today requires considerably broader cooperation, better understanding and stronger mutual trust. This is why one of the most important lessons, perhaps, consists of the fact that politicians of today need to be prepared in advance to a higher level of cooperation and lesser extent of confrontation than 70 years ago.


Then, the leaders of the three states were able to create the new world order. And today several myths surround this event. For example, one of them is that consequences of these agreements were merely negative and led to dividing the world into two camps. However, this is only a part of truth. The Yalta Conference is also an example of how the three leaders could achieve an agreement due to which the United Nations, which aimed at working in the name of cooperation and peace, was born.


There is, by the way, a directly opposite extreme, supporters of which tend to see in this conference only positive moments. This is not true as well.


— Many people say today that the Yalta Conference has outlived itself and needs to be reviewed. Do you agree with this perspective or do you believe it to be a mistake?


— I do not think that the results of Yalta need to be reviewed. I believe that they need to be more deeply comprehended. A deep, not superficial analysis is required of which results were positive and which negative. Moreover, I would say that today it is more than ever important to analyze well experience of the past before making decisions affecting our future.


— What do you believe to be the main value of the Yalta Conference nowadays?


— This was the first and the only meeting, when three leaders discussed in detail principles of creation of the United Nations, which today should be considered as a source of international legitimacy. Now the whole world experiences huge lack of trust, including to the UN. Perhaps, now is the time to turn to the period of history, when the UN was planned to be established as a self-sustainable, but not decorative organization and understand what needs to be done to make it comply with the principles defined in the very beginning.


Besides, principles of fundamental importance for today – denial of war, discipline in the use of power and cooperation instead of confrontation – were built up precisely in Yalta.


Interviewer – Tatyana Khruleva


ROSBALT – for the Gorchakov Fund


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