Global development today has reached a critical juncture where our country must clearly define its strategy for evolving current institutions and creating new structures and mechanisms to facilitate economic, financial, and investment ties globally and regionally, in both multilateral and bilateral formats.

The present state of economic interactions between nations and efforts to foster development cannot be deemed satisfactory.

Speaking on February 21, 2024, at the G20 Ministerial Council meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov highlighted the extremely dangerous and destructive role played by the US and its allies in global and regional affairs, including in economics, trade, and finance.

“The collective West,” he said, “uses any methods to advance its own goals…. Criminal methods are being devised to seize sovereign assets and private property. The emphasis is placed on extraterritorial sanctions, economic discrimination, unfair competition, ‘green’ barriers, and restrictions on the effective flow of technology and investment.”1

The Russian foreign minister called for open and equal trade and economic cooperation. He stressed the need for global banks and funds to finance not militaristic goals and aggressive regimes, but countries in need, in the interests of sustainable development.

The Russian foreign minister recalled that the G20 has repeatedly called for strengthening the role and importance of developing countries in global governance institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Trade Organization. However, no positive changes in this direction are apparent.

The lack of progress is because the US is hampering reform of the IMF’s assessment and quota system. The US wants to preserve its blocking minority and is reluctant to relinquish the unlawfully retained percentage of votes, essentially so that it can singlehandedly lead this key international organization. The IMF occupies a crucial position in the system of international financial and economic relations, which has been shaped in accordance with the vision of Western countries.

The Russian vision of overcoming the current situation is to more fully unleash the potential of new centers of power and associations of the Global Majority, including the SCO, ASEAN, and the EAEU. It is important to expand contacts between these economic associations in the context of the initiative put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a Greater Eurasian Partnership open to all countries of the continent without exception. The African Union and subregional organizations play that role in Africa. In the Middle East and North Africa, that role is played by the League of Arab States, and in Latin America – by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries.2

Russia calls for all these organizations to contribute to reforming the governance of global institutions.

The first shifts are already taking place. For example, the African Union has joined the G20. It would be useful for the relevant pan-regional organizations of the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America to follow this example, representing their continents and their regions of the Global South and Global East.

Putin’s visits to the UAE and Saudi Arabia in December 2023 demonstrated the enormous potential of our country’s interaction with the Arab world.

Of particular importance is the use of the potential of BRICS, which the Russian Federation chairs this year.

At the end of 2023, the share of the BRICS countries in global GDP at purchasing power parity increased to 35% and exceeded the share of the Group of Seven (30.3%). According to IMF forecasts, economic growth rates in countries with emerging markets will exceed the world average (3.1%) and will amount to 4.1% in 2024 and 4.2% in 2025. Meanwhile, many Western economies, especially European ones, have been stagnating.

May 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order at the initiative of developing countries – the countries of the “collective South,” as they are called today.3

That document set the task of forming a qualitatively new international system of financial and economic relations based on the unconditional implementation of the principles of justice, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interests, and cooperation of all countries.

At that time, the Soviet Union clearly formulated its approach to this problem in a corresponding statement by the Soviet government voiced by USSR Foreign Minister Andrey Gromyko in his speech at a UN General Assembly meeting on October 4, 1976.

The goal was declared to overcome the existing world economic order that served primarily the selfish interests of Western monopolies and contradicted the interests of Afro-Asian and Latin American countries.

However, most of the goals set at that time were not achieved. Today, new ones have been added to these tasks, including the issue of sanctions and the Western course aimed at denying developing countries access to the advanced technologies of the 21st century.

Under these conditions, developing countries are attempting to revive the idea of a new international economic order. A special role in this project today belongs to Cuba, which is chairing the Group of 77 this year.

A notable event in this context was the congress of countries participating in the G77, held in January 2023 in Havana, where an attempt was made to develop an updated platform of action related to the new economic world order.

It is important to note that the People’s Republic of China played an active role in preparing and conducting the congress. In Havana, plans were announced for the extensive launch of the operations of a new international association – the G77 plus China.

The final statement of the congress, largely influenced by the Cuban hosts, was drafted in a strongly anti-Western tone. The document praised the Cuban Revolution and its role in the struggle for the unification of the southern countries of the world and in the adoption in 1974 of the UN Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order.

The document also noted that the decolonization project remains unfinished, the North and South are continuing to diverge, and many tasks to rectify the unequal nature of international economic relations outlined five decades ago have not been resolved.

The statement emphasized that “the potential for southern unity is perceived as a threat by the northern powers, which, as before, seek to maintain their position in the hierarchy of the world system using the mechanisms of economic isolation, political coercion, and military aggression.”

The document reaffirmed the goal of giving the collective South “a major role in building a new world order based on justice, equality, and peace.” In this context, plans were discussed to adapt the international economic order concept to the realities of the 21st century, including the issues of digital technology and environmental protection.

The statement noted the need for collective action by the South and for new, alternative institutions to be formed to protect national sovereignty over natural resource extraction.

The G77 decided to prepare and submit a draft of a corresponding UNGA resolution. Based on available information, the document currently under development aims to achieve greater consistency in implementing measures within the international community designed to adapt economic and financial activities within international organizations, aligning them more closely with the interests of the G77 members.4

That course was further outlined in a speech given at the UN on April 25, 2023, by Gerardo Portal, permanent representative of Cuba to the UN (former Cuban ambassador to Moscow), on behalf of the G77 plus China.

As a representative of the G77, he raised the issue of digital inequality – a new form of infringement on the rights of developing countries. He called for the international community, led by the UN, to take necessary steps and to correct the imbalances in the current development of information and communication technologies, making the global media space more just, equitable, and impartial. Portal proposed that this issue be included in the UN 2030 Agenda in the field of information.

In September 2023, the G77 plus China summit was held in the Cuban capital. As a result of the discussion, a final document was adopted that spoke of the urgent need for “comprehensive reform of the global financial architecture,” and called for the complete rejection of the practice of unilateral sanctions bypassing the UN Security Council.

The Forum participants proclaimed the day of adoption of the final statement, September 16, 2023, as the International Day of Science, Technology and Innovation for the South, emphasizing that the new international order must also provide developing countries with real opportunities to use the latest achievements of science and engineering.

We can say that today the agenda of the new international order is largely driven by the active position taken by the G77, which traditionally speaks on behalf of all developing countries.

However, this group is heterogeneous. Since the adoption of the New International Economic Order as a slogan in the early 1970s, important changes have taken place in the collective South. We must note a high degree of differentiation and at least four groups differing in their characteristics and interests.

First, a set of the most financially wealthy countries has emerged. These are primarily the oil-producing states of the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia is developing ambitious plans related to new technologies and “cities of the future.” It expects to become a recognized technology leader in the world in the coming years.5

The second group is formed by states that have an impressive population size as well as a large (global scale) industrial production and economy in general: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, and Argentina. These states stand alongside the traditional great powers, the members of the UN Security Council. Potentially, Turkey could also belong to this group, but it is a member of the NATO military and political bloc and is counting on “individual advancement” into the next, more prestigious “class” of a leading regional, and in the future, global power.

The third group includes the bulk of the countries of the Afro-Asian and Latin American world, including states that have advanced quite far along the path of economic development.

The fourth group (about 50 countries) consists of the least developed states. This status, assigned by the UN and international organizations, makes the states of this group eligible for various additional, targeted types of assistance.

This differentiation within the G77 makes a platform for joint action quite difficult to develop. However, at the moment, the common desire to promote their interests in the world allows us to reach agreements, including those addressing key areas of the struggle for a new international economic order.

This year, during the 2024 events at the UN dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, the G77, most likely together with the PRC, is expected to reiterate its demands.

The Western countries are closely monitoring these developments and preparing for a battle. As counterclaims to the countries of the collective South, they are developing arguments about the need to move away from “undemocratic” methods of economic management. The West also insists on taking into account the “green” agenda, in the spirit of the position inflexibly asserted during the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow in 2021.

The main focus of the collective West’s efforts in this area is still the defense of its positions in the key sector of finance. In this context, the policy of sanctions, primarily related to finance, becomes a major element of the West’s efforts to maintain its position.

Another area is the transition to limiting the “outflow” of production to the countries of the collective East and collective South.

Further “dumping” of environmentally “dirty” industries, as well as the use of cheap “third world” labor today seems to many in the US and European countries to be potentially dangerous, since Asian and African states are beginning to acquire “unacceptably large” industrial capabilities. Donald Trump most clearly articulated this logic during his term as US president.

The traditional desire of the West to influence the policies of countries that produce and export energy resources in recent years has led to new forms of pressure under the pretext of meeting requirements of the environmental agenda. The West aims to impose an additional tax on developing countries to reduce their income levels and gain leverage for lasting impact on the governments and industrial structures of Afro-Asian, Arab, and Latin American countries.6

For decades, the US has used its positions in the WTO and financial institutions, most notably the IMF, to directly or indirectly influence the policies of other countries.

Now, with the emergence of China as a powerful rival, the US, without abandoning the course of dominance in these organizations, is working on a backup option allowing for the involuntary parallel existence of two systems – the Western one and an alternative one mainly oriented toward the PRC. Under this arrangement, the second, alternative center of influence will be subject to various forms of pressure.7

In the US, plans are being developed to consolidate the positions of the collective West. For example, an article by two major American experts, Ivo Daalder (president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs) and Gen. James Lindsay (former head of US Special Operations Command), published in Foreign Affairs, proposed a new association: the “Group of 12” consisting of the seven leading powers of the West, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, as well as representatives from the EU and NATO. The experts commented that this association would appear powerful in the economic sphere. In this sphere, the group, in their opinion, could coordinate and jointly promote Western interests in international trade, investment, and digitalization.8

Today, Russia finds itself at the epicenter of efforts by the US and Western countries to protect their positions in the military sphere, world politics, finance, and economics.

Our country has become something of a “winner” when it comes to the number of sanctions imposed against it. The unacceptability of this current situation shapes the Russian Federation’s special role in forming a new political and economic system.

Do we have the capacity to take on this burden? That question can be answered in the affirmative.

Russia is the largest country in the world by territory and possesses almost the entire range of necessary minerals. We have centuries of experience in independent state development and stable ties with most countries in the collective South and collective East.

Russia is a member of the OPEC+ association and is ready to move further along the path of harmonizing the interests of various groups of countries with respect to energy supply and in all other areas of economics and finance.

The Russian Federation has a powerful, rapidly growing defense potential and an advanced Army equipped with the latest weaponry. The Russian military-industrial complex is self-sufficient both in terms of its ability to develop and use the latest technologies and in terms of resource potential.

Russia is pursuing an independent foreign policy dictated by its national interests and awareness of its responsibility for maintaining peace and security at the global and regional levels in accordance with the fundamental principles of the UN. At the same time, it unconditionally recognizes the right of each country – large or small – to independently determine its domestic and foreign policies and the development of its foreign economic relations and financial and investment relations with other states.9

Based on the above, the Russian Federation intends to actively and persistently promote its vision of the principal ways to form a new and just international financial and economic world order.

Currently, a lot of expert work in Russia is pursuing the goal of developing an optimal platform of action to fight for an international economic order that corresponds to Russia’s interests.

In particular, a group of young researchers has been formed as a project of the Faculty of World Economy and International Politics of the National Research University-Higher School of Economics.10

Discussions about the new international political, financial, and economic order are a key focus of consultations with experts from countries of the collective South. Lately, there have been particularly active engagements with experts, public figures, and politicians from Arab and Middle Eastern nations regarding these matters.

For example, political consultations took place in December 2023 in Riyadh and in February 2024 in Moscow under the auspices of the Khakimov Club – an organization of political scientists with the participation of Russian and Saudi experts. The Moscow round of negotiations produced a decision to consider forming a bilateral group of experts on issues related to the new international political and economic order.

The new international order was discussed during the Middle East conference of the Valdai Discussion Club and the meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council in February 2024. This topic was also discussed during conversations with prominent representatives of expert circles in Arab countries – in particular, with Nabil Fahmi (former minister of foreign affairs of Egypt, honorary dean of the School of International Relations and Public Policy of the American University in Cairo) and others.

The approach of most specialists, experts, and politicians from this group of states can be characterized as very cautious, but generally focused on supporting Moscow’s initiatives and the course that new international associations, primarily BRICS, develop collectively.

Arab experts believe that the structure of international relations formed after World War II has entered a period of crisis and needs major adjustments. In their opinion, considering recent processes, the crisis could be based on three main factors.

The first factor is the lack of adequate attention and regard for the viewpoints of Afro-Asian, Arab, and Latin American nations within existing multilateral interstate frameworks. Additionally, organizations like the IMF, IBRD, and certain other international bodies persist in maintaining a neocolonial stance toward crucial issues of global economics, international trade, and investment.

The second factor involves the use by Western countries of sanctions as a pressure tool without approval from the UN Security Council.

The third factor pertains to the ongoing challenge of adequately addressing the interests of Arab, Afro-Asian, and other nations amid the rapid proliferation of new technologies, particularly in the digital realm. This includes ensuring the legal rights and sovereignty of Arab, African, and other states within the Global Majority concerning information exchange, protecting the confidentiality of their citizens’ personal data, and facilitating access to cutting-edge scientific and technological advancements.11

Arab countries are expressing their interest in joining associations with the participation of the Russian Federation, primarily BRICS, as well as the SCO and EAEU. They consider these associations very promising and consistent with their ideas about the criteria that should guide international and regional organizations.

At the same time, they clearly note that they do not yet see the possibility of a rapid “departure” from the established formats of international financial, economic, trade, and investment interactions, which are still under the control of the US and the countries of the collective West.

The Arab states accept the possibility of a rather long “coexistence” of various trends in the development of the world economy and international trade, financial and investment relations. Representatives of several other countries of the collective South and collective East express largely similar assessments and approaches.

What course might the Russian Federation take regarding the evolution of the global financial, trade, and economic system, given the aforementioned factors? Under the current circumstances, it appears necessary to pursue a strategy based on simultaneous, complementary progress in two directions.

The first direction involves making adjustments to the operations of existing international mechanisms and organizations, such as the IMF and the World Bank, in favor of the Global Majority. Presently, Russia’s involvement with these institutions is at a standstill. However, there is a possibility that once the policy of sanctioning Russia reaches a dead end, the West might alter its strategy. This could entail adopting an alternative strategy aimed at reestablishing relations with Russia while persisting in attempts to influence our country’s policies, primarily through “soft power.” Russia’s task would then be to outmaneuver the West in these confrontational formats.

The second direction entails creating, strengthening, and broadening new international organizations that complement, rectify, or provide an alternative to existing international financial and economic structures and organizations (such as BRICS, SCO, etc.).

This strategy enables us to keep doors open to everyone, leveraging the potential of the “inclusivity” principle to create a new international economic, trade, and financial order. Simultaneously, it unlocks the potential of new associations founded on principles prioritized by the Global Majority.

The positions among Global Majority countries on issues related to the new international order could be coordinated through Russia-Arab, Russia-Islamic, Russia-Far East, and Russia-Latin America summits, following the example set by the Russia-Africa summit.

Additionally, efforts should be made to convene the Russia-G77 forum. In the future, initiating dialogue with the G77 plus China forum and other similar structures will be important.

Based on the results of these meetings, a global congress could be convened to discuss regional approaches to the challenges of the new world economic order.

Thus, the Russian Federation could assume the role of a mediator and initiator of interaction between regions, thus adjusting the prevailing model that places heavy emphasis on the relationship between the collective West and the UN as the central component in this domain.

Progress in this direction should be supported by Russia’s successful and impactful projects in Arab countries and other regions representing the Global Majority.

Leveraging these accomplishments can serve as “guiding points” for implementing ideas aimed at constructing an international order founded on mutual respect among partners.

Projects involving cooperation on nuclear energy can serve as a model for such interaction. This sector is a unique tool for the Russian Federation to advance its interests globally. Russia is successfully building nuclear power plants in developing countries.

Russia’s position in this field can be further reinforced by the success of the ongoing construction of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt. This plant is the first of its kind in Egypt, designed according to Russian specifications and located in El Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast, approximately 300 km northwest of Cairo. The nuclear power plant will consist of four power units, each with 1.2 GW of capacity, equipped with generation III+ VVER-1200 type reactors (pressurized water reactors).

Under its contractual obligations, the Russian side will not only build the station but also supply Russian nuclear fuel for the entire life cycle of the nuclear power plant. Russia will also provide Egyptian partners with assistance in training personnel as well as support the operation and maintenance of the station during the first 10 years of its operation. As part of another agreement, Russia will build a special storage facility and supply containers for storing spent nuclear fuel.

The El Dabaa project has the potential to become a symbol of friendship and effective cooperation with our country, much like the construction of the Aswan High Dam was in its time.

Our country’s cooperation with the states of the Arab world, Asia, Africa, and Latin America is expanding in other areas, including modern means of communication, peaceful space exploration, and medicine. These projects demonstrate our readiness to implement principles of mutually beneficial partnership as part of the new and just economic world order.

The academic community, and potentially our diplomats in the future, could spearhead the development of a specific “Action Plan” for the Russian Federation concerning the formation of a new international financial and economic order. This plan could involve organizing international meetings to facilitate discussions among the international expert community, specialized agencies within the UN system, and national government and civil society organizations dealing with trade, development, finance, and investment.

At the final stage of this work, a World Forum on a New Economic Order should be convened. This forum could adopt a Code of Conduct in economics and finance relevant to 21st-century realities and establish a New Economic Order International Contact Group to coordinate efforts aimed at implementing the principles outlined in the Code of Conduct.

The draft Code of Conduct in Economics and Finance could include the following provisions:

  • All states’ economic and financial interests must be universally respected, regardless of size, military and economic potential, or range of foreign policy opportunities.
  • Each state’s sovereignty over its resources and the economic potential necessary for development must be respected.
  • Transnational corporations should be limited in their ability to economically influence states. Work on regulating the activities of transnational corporations and other international and regional organizations should continue and evolve.
  • The role of producers from developing countries in matters of pricing the final products they supply to the market should increase and strengthen. International law must ensure the right of producers of raw materials to form associations in defense of their interests as suppliers of these goods to world markets, akin to OPEC.
  • In this context, the possibility of creating a World Association of Basic Commodity Producers, similar to OPEC, should be considered.
  • An effective mechanism must be established for providing financial assistance to developing countries, which would not only help overcome economic difficulties but also contribute to the long-term development of national economies by promoting the growth of production and business income.
  • Reform of the current international financial system is necessary and must include a larger role for new global reserve currencies and reducing dependence on the currencies that previously dominated international finance, economics, and investment.
  • Conditions must be created for the widespread and unhindered export of modern technologies to developing countries to more fully unlock their economic potential.
  • It is advisable to advocate for the rejection of any form of diktat in the realm of politics, economics, and finance, along with sanction practices that are implemented without the consent of the UN Security Council.
  • The equal right of all states to access advanced technologies without any discriminatory restrictions must be internationally and legally recognized.

Overall, it is now crucial to expedite the development of specific proposals aimed at addressing the challenges that have emerged in international political and economic relations largely due to the actions of Western countries.

This work must be done in close contact with our partners from the Arab, Middle Eastern countries and other states of the collective East and collective South.

The role of our country in establishing a new, more balanced and fair international economic order has received wide international recognition.

A book on the significance of Russian efforts to change the current situation in global trade and economic relations was published in Pakistan in 2023. Muhammad Athar Javed – a prominent political figure, scholar, and president of the Pakistan Foundation – noted in his article included in that publication that “Russia’s role in the new economic order is of key importance. Many countries see Russia as their potential partner. Without a doubt, the Russian Federation is a major player in the global economy, and Moscow’s role will increase in the coming years.”12

Considering the growing recognition of our country’s potential, we should intensify our diplomatic, economic, and financial activities to promote Russia’s interests in correcting the current imbalances in the world economy and in forming a new, more effective, and fairer economic order.


1 Speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov during the G20 Ministerial Council on the G20’s role in overcoming current international tensions. Rio de Janeiro, February 21, 2024

2 Ibid.

3 Resolution 3201 (S-VI) of the UN General Assembly of May 1, 1974.

4 Sneyd A. “The New International Economic Order stumbled once before. Will it succeed a second time around?” Phil’s Stock World, New York, February 19, 2023.

5 Almoaibed H. Living and Working in Riyadh: Building a City of Global Talent. King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, 2023.

6. Dr. Mohammad Al Sabban. The Blame Game: Industrial States vs Oil: The Agenda-driven Fight Over Climate Change. KSA: Universal Publisher and Distribution, 2022.

7 Politico, US, May 25, 2023.

8 Daalder I., Lindsay J. “Last Best Hope. The West’s Final Chance to Build a Better World Order,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 101, No. 4 (2022), pp. 124-125.

9 see: The Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation.

10 Project participants: Baklanov A.G (project manager), Imamkulieva Ye.Ye. (Deputy Project Manager); members of the expert group: Abramov I.N., Arutyunov A.A., Bugina V.Ye., Dorofeeva A.V., Ivushin I.M., Kostychov A.P., Meshkov I., Makarov A.S., Nefedova O.A., Strukova Ye.A., Nikolayev P.V., Shangarayev Y.R., Sherchalov Ye.D., Yanitsky Ye.A., Apostolov V.K., Koteneva A.O.

11 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khalaf. “Digital Diplomacy,” The Diplomat. Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies, Issue No. 79 (May-June 2023), pp. 7-11.

12 Russia’s New Economic Order: Connectivity, Energy Security and Stability. Pakistan House, 2023, p. 12.