The independent resource on global security

Introduction. The search for a new security system

The end of the East-West confrontation initiated an essential transformation of the international system. We are still, however, at the initial stages of the process of reshaping it. Neither a `new world order' nor any other universal security system has yet emerged. Moreover, it is difficult to envisage today the essence of a new system or what its tenets, norms and working procedures will be.


Peace, development and democracy became more closely interrelated in 1993 than ever before.


Rethinking the values of the international security system means rethinking both the structure and the substance of world politics. There is a need to re-evaluate the meaning of sovereignty, self-determination and non-intervention as part of the basic principles of international law. The new rules should be instrumental in preventing or containing internal conflicts through agreed international action; in rebuffing any attempt to legitimize a concept of special rights or spheres of interests for great powers; and in consolidating and strengthening non-proliferation. To build a new co-operative security regime, including organization of multinational forces to protect all members of the system against any aggression, implies, as a condition sine qua non, the right to legitimized intervention. Standing idly by would be tantamount to appeasement and an invitation to break the law.


From the Introduction by Adam Daniel Rothchild.