Ambassador Abhyankar will speak about themes from his recently published book. The book focuses, through multiple levels of international reality, on the pervasive and widespread effect of the Syrian civil war on the unravelling of established norms – both global or national – which have determined international relations during the last seven decades. It postulates that since 2011, the Syrian situation has catalysed the breakdown of the international system based on the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions. The core international values fostered by that system now laid waste, among others, are sovereignty, non-interference, sanctity of UN Security Council approval for waging war, human rights, protection of civilian populations, and the right of people to choose their own governments/leaders. By making the UNSC powerless in providing humanitarian assistance or fostering cease-fire and peace-making it has called into question the principles which have been held immutable for seventy years. More importantly, these norms have been breached by their originators.
The book takes a wider perspective melding together the civil war’s international, regional and national consequences to understand how and why this one event has radiated profound consequences for the international system.