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Grave New World

The world is changing more profoundly and rapidly than ever before. Maintaining global stability will demand renewed multilateral institutions in which countries defend their principles while respecting those of others – and never lose sight of their shared interests and objectives.

MADRID – Global transformations are nothing new. But, with globalization and technological advancements, the pace and scale of such transformations have accelerated considerably. In the coming decades, this trend will only intensify – bringing with it significant potential for instability.

It has been more than 20 years since Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait, prompting the near-unanimous adoption of United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces. When Saddam defied the resolutions, a 34-country coalition, supporting the United States-led air offensive known as Operation Desert Storm, drove his troops out of Kuwait.

That was in 1991, when the Soviet Union’s collapse had left the US as the world’s only superpower. But that is no longer the case – a reality that is reflected in the international community’s muddled responses to similar territorial breaches today.

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