The independent resource on global security

Introduction. The emerging international security agenda




'The essential characteristics of the present strategic environment are often identified as uncertainty and change . . . Since the threats which the security system was to meet in the past have changed fundamentally, consequently, the driving forces, dimensions, forms, procedures and mechanisms of operation of the process must change as well . . . In the bipolar system, the options were limited and non-great powers had to reconcile themselves with the existing state of affairs. In the multipolar world, small and medium-size states are gaining in significance. . . . The process of shaping a new security system, initiated in the early 1990s, is taking place on many planes . . . If the regime of global and international security that is emerging as a result of trial-and-error processes and new experiences is to adhere to the declared democratic values—the rule of law, pluralistic democracy, respect for human rights and market economy—it cannot be based on the hegemony of one or several powers. Such a system should give expression to the interdependence of states, where mutual relations are governed by generally accepted principles of international law.'