December 6, 2021

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Interview with Marcelo Flores: “Sovereign superpowers should mediate between US and EU”

For two days Roma It will be the “cupboard” of international politics. In a super armored capital, today and tomorrow are the leaders of the country and the heads of government G20. Italian PM to chair summit Mario Tracy. A few hours after the action began, Il Riformista discusses with one of the most authoritative Italian historians: Marcello Flores. Professor Flores taught comparative history and history of human rights at the University of Siena, where he directed the European Master of Human Rights and Genocide Studies. In his books: Century of betrayal. From Mata Hari to Snowden 1914-2014, (Mill, 2017), The genocide of the Armenians (In Mulino, New Edition. 2015), Traitors. A political and cultural history (Mill, 2015) History of human rights (In Mulino, New Edition. 2012), The end of communism (Bruno Montadori, 2011) e 1917. Revolution (Einaudi, 2007), All the violence of a century (Feltrinelli, 2005) The strength of the myth. The Mirage of the Russian Revolution and Socialism (Feltrinelli, 2017) and more Genocide (Il Mulino, 2021).

Earth’s elders gather in Rome for G20 summit The two-day agenda is very dense. Lots of meat on the fire. Maybe more, Professor Flores?
It is worth pointing out that all this “meat” has been burning in the fire for some time. It was the last decisive moment of the G20 summit series in Rome, all of which were so important that they took place, often without even being noticed by the press or being remembered with the depth it deserves. Banks, finance, tourism, etc. – Meetings on aspects that appear to be secondary. – But it also helped to understand the nature of the international cooperation that the G20 represents. Of course there are some basic points that could put him in danger …

Which?
Everyone stressed that the theme of the environment, the climate, the differences are great. I do, however, take the liberty of suggesting whether or not the G20 should emerge as a potential for success, but not the political context in which it can be established in that case. Because of course there will be splits and some things will be postponed until later. Don’t forget that the COP26 climate summit kicks off in Glasgow, Scotland shortly after the G20 summit in Rome. Emissions should be eliminated by 2030 and completely by 2060, while other world powers are urging Beijing to move forward by ten years. The problem is, will an opposition emerge that takes on other conflicts in this issue, for example, think of Taiwan between China and the United States, or is it limited? Ability to find a deal. From the point of view of the political context, it does not express talent here, as it has been shown many times, but it is Tracy’s charisma that has paralyzed those countless conflicts or different positions a little. Are between the United States and Europe and have manifested themselves on several occasions between Beijing and Washington. It should not be forgotten that India is also a sovereign country. Just as the United States and China have sovereignty, sovereignty is essential …

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I mean?
No superpower can exist without becoming “sovereign”. At a time when there are many subtle conflicts such as geopolitics, tariffs, trade and the economy, this will not help to make things difficult. In Europe itself, we have difficulties with Poland and Hungary … to create a relaxation in the debate and to win with the clarity that Drake often imposes, and to understand the fixed points at which we can move forward. They are not failed or bankrupt, but they must be constantly investigated.
You are one of the most empowered scholars in the field of human, civil and minority rights. Starting from your experience, this issue has been placed on the edge of the agenda of the so-called greats of the earth, do you not believe that of course not today?
At this historical stage it is a little sideways. Unfortunately even in Europe, it is a stage where everyone calls for the strengthening of human rights in the name of other needs such as political stability and economic development. As far as immigrants are concerned, Europe is moving in a dimension that is completely contrary to any culture, although human rights are very low. On the other hand, the culture of human rights can never be a declaration of principles. In this, there will be an important test for Afghanistan. Because there, a humanitarian intervention capable of dealing with the tragic situation facing the people of Afghanistan is necessary and urgent. From this point of view, some experiential agreement must be found with the Taliban government, because the Afghan people cannot be helped regardless of the government in power at this time. A solution must be found to help, but at the same time a regime that does not prioritize human rights must continue to press for a standard, even if respect for human and civil rights is minimal. This intrusion between inseparable policies and the pragmatism necessary to achieve results seems to me to be the focus of human rights today, rather than the tendency to tell me: regardless of what we do. Policies, those who worry that we will tread well, or rather we will defend the policies and get something.

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One of the basic and most important rights is the right to health. Will take on the planetary campaign against the G20 epidemic in Rome. What does it say about the world today that there are only 2% of vaccines on a continent like Africa compared to the West where there are street vendors against the “health dictatorship”?
On the health issue that is one of the hubs of the G20, existing countries can detect certain levels, although it is not entirely common, but they are moving in a significantly shared direction. As for other countries outside the G20, especially in the whole of the African continent, as you mentioned, there is instead a problem, with its various impacts, a lack of integrity approach, and so on. Europe. It shows how the G20 was called to determine whether it should be the advanced point of a new global vision, which is not only of concern to the strongest nations, and therefore supports the actions of the UN, which, instead, almost happened. It contradicts the recommendations and indications of the United Nations, which underscores the importance of involving poor countries, especially Africa, with aid, vaccines, and so on from the outbreak. A more just and balanced world cannot arise from the perpetual conflict between the G20, the small circle of major powers, and at least the world body UN, which has the most representation on paper.

You pose a crucial question. Can these variable numbers solve the much-talked-about diversity with “Gs” or do we need a wider and more democratic sharing of options that will affect the entire planet?
In theory, this broad action would certainly be necessary. This can only happen within the United Nations. The United Nations has been debating global reform for decades, however, we do not see what the cornerstones are. There are two significant counter-visions: the view of those who believe that the United Nations can really have not only a global vision, but also the tools needed to achieve it, both financially and in terms of human resources, in terms of transnational power. Should be implemented, and those who see the United Nations only as the soundboard of their own national geopolitics. And when these powers look at the United States and China, they tend to ignore or drastically reduce the role that the United Nations can play. G20, G16, G7, are some intermediate positions between a new role that should be for the United Nations, for better purposes or for the current ineffectiveness that the United Nations has on continual territories.