The international order was shaken to its core the day that Russia announced its “special military operation” in Ukraine, which immediately turned into a full-scale war that is now going into its eighth month. This was not only dangerous for the obvious implications of armed conflict, but also because it challenged the basic principles and values that legitimise the entire norm-based international order, and with it, the foundation of the legitimacy of various international institutions, such as the United Nations.
Faced with this challenge, the world mustered a response that had diplomacy as one of its main weapons. While sanctions represented the core of the material response to the violation of international law, international forums became another arena in which not only Russia was pressured diplomatically, but also countries that were in an ambiguous stance were forced to take sides and make their positions clear. Diplomacy then, became an important tool to rally support for Ukraine and to isolate Russia even further.
We are still seeing the implications that the war is having – and will have – on the way that international relations work, but we can already notice the effect that a mobilised international community is having on one arena: Human Rights. Over the last month, two important events took place: First, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released its first comprehensive report on the situation of human rights in Xinjiang, denouncing officially for the first time that serious human rights violations have been committed by China against the ethnic minorities of the region, putting an end to the untouchable status that China had enjoyed from UN human rights officials until now. Second, as María Alejandra Aristeguieta predicted, a new High Commissioner was chosen without following the established rotation. While it was the turn of Eastern Europe to choose, the conflict in Ukraine made a compromise impossible, and an Austrian (representing Western Europe) was chosen instead.
So what role does Vision 360 play in this scenario? We ask the following question: what do these news have in common? They reflect a world that has become increasingly concerned for accountability for human rights, they show what can be achieved when the international community – including the transnational civil society – can do, and it underscored the relevance of being able to understand diplomatic moves, trends and language to foresee and take advantage of the multiple opportunities that international forums offer, which is exactly what we can help you with.
The world will keep fluctuating and adjusting to the new international dynamic, and knowing how to immerse yourself in the world of diplomacy and international organisations can make the difference in staying on top of events and making the most of your engagement with officials and colleagues. Vision 360 can help you learn these skills, giving you and your organisations the tools to adapt quickly to the changes in the global landscape, to plan ahead and to blend into the complicated world of international politics, diplomacy and organisations.