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World will return to era of 'age of empires' in which 'might makes right' - Estonian Foreign Minister

World will return to era of 'age of empires' in which 'might makes right' - Estonian Foreign Minister Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The international legal system, in particular the UN and the International Criminal Court, needs urgent and fundamental changes, otherwise, it could collapse, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna tells The Guardian.

In his opinion, Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has exposed flaws in the international system that risk fatally undermining people's faith in it.

"Russia’s ongoing and barbaric war of aggression against Ukraine did not just break the system. It exploited some of its many flaws to degrade its apparently unenforceable norms and values. If that continues, we will all eventually lose interest in saving the system.," the Estonian Foreign Minister says.

Estonia has been considered an opinion leader in the EU throughout the war in Ukraine, putting forward proposals for the purchase of ammunition and the prosecution of the Russian leadership through a special tribunal.

Now, Estonia is expanding its calls for fundamental change, with Tsahkna arguing that "the only certainty" in the world "is that the existing international system cannot survive unchanged much longer."

"International institutions now too often seem powerless, at best, to deal with the most serious challenges of our time. At worst, they are complicit in enabling them. With confidence rapidly fading, the entire system risks collapse. That would mean the return to an age of empires in which “might makes right”, and everyone suffers," the Estonian Foreign Minister emphasizes.

He also believes that Russia's use of the veto in the UN Security Council has revived global interest in reforming the organization.

"The security council needs additional permanent members to better reflect our modern world. It must also be reminded that it has primary, not exclusive, responsibility for international peace and security. We must protect the world from abusive veto users," Tsahkna says.

He also calls for a revision of the fundamental Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to ensure that the crime of aggression is included.