James Cleverly quotes Modi in his first major speech

Wednesday 14th December 2022 08:07 EST

In his first major speech as Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly outlined new future partnerships policy for the next twenty years and beyond.

He said, “We are at peace, we are prosperous and we live on an island– so why do we bother doing foreign policy at all” Speaking about his visit to Kenya and Ethiopia last week and Poland and Romania the week before that, he argued why ministers of this department travel around the world, why do we have officials across the globe. 

“As Foreign Secretary of a former imperial power, I know that in the past we succumbed to the temptation of will and appetite. And none of us can forget how, in the 20th century, aggressive tyrants made the globe their prey, starting two world wars and leaving over 100 million people dead.

And afterwards, our predecessors realised that humanity would not survive another catastrophe of that scale. So a generation of far-sighted leaders built an assembly of international rules and institutions designed to make law – not power alone – the arbiter of relations between states,” he said. 

According to him, Britain joined hands with the United States of America, France and nearly 50 other nations to create the United Nations. And the UN General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights without a single dissenting vote, proclaiming – and I quote – the “inalienable right of all members of the human family”. In the same era, 23 nations founded what would become the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank began to fund reconstruction and recovery across the globe. For all the tragedies and bloodshed of the last eight decades, the remarkable truth is that by historical standards, that system has worked.

He further mentioned that between 1946 and 2020, the number of deaths in state conflicts as a share of the global population fell by 95 per cent. And only once since the foundation of the UN has a member country been wiped off the map, with its entire national territory annexed by another.

That act of aggression, by Iraq against Kuwait in 1990, was swiftly reversed. The volume of world trade has multiplied 40 times since 1950, generating countless jobs and livelihoods in every corner of the earth. And in recent decades, the fastest economic growth has been concentrated in the developing world.

“In fact, the UK wants to welcome Brazil, India, Japan and Germany as permanent members of the UN Security Council, alongside permanent African representation. Our aim is to uphold a historic shared achievement that benefits everyone,” Cleverly said. 

Speaking about Putin’s goal, he believed that it is to turn back the clock to the era when might be right and big countries could treat their neighbours as prey. Cleverly believes that Putin is waging a 19th-century war of imperial conquest, deliberately debasing international conduct, utterly contemptuous of today’s values. And by attacking one of the world’s biggest producers of food and fertiliser, he is driving up global prices and inflicting still greater hardship on some of the poorest people around the world.

The Foreign Secretary further added,” ‘Hence it was Prime Minister Modi who told Putin to his face, and I quote: “I know that today’s era is not the era of war.’ The only route to peace in Europe is for Putin to end his war and withdraw his troops.

"As we stand against the Russian invasion, the United Kingdom benefits beyond measure from our rock-solid friendships with the United States of America, with France, Germany, Canada, Australia and many others."

The minister feels that now the UK must work with its international allies and new partners to sustain the best of this achievement, which seeks to protect every country and create a setting for everyone to prosper.

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