Global Security Initiative: People-centric security initiative-I

Idea is unique and has a rationale for the world’s future and sustainable security needs

By Shakeel Ahmad Ramay
April 15, 2024
Chinese President Xi Jinping poses for a photo in Berlin during his visit to Germany. — AFP/File

Chinese President Xi Jinping presented the idea of Global Security Initiative (GSI) during his speech at the Boao Forum. The idea is unique and has a rationale for the world’s future and sustainable security needs. It not only talks about equality and a sense of togetherness but also presents viable options for traditional and non-traditional security challenges. Hence, it has a rationale for acceptance, as the world has entered an era of higher uncertainty and a complicated security environment due to traditional and non-traditional security threats (climate change, technology, pandemic, environmental degradation, etc).


The four pillars of GSI, 1) common, 2) comprehensive, 3) cooperative, and 4) sustainable security have all the elements and instruments that can help world combat old and new security challenges and secure sustainable peace.

These pillars of GSI represent the desires of weak and less developed countries. The existing model of security is based on alliances, cold war mentality and hegemonic aspirations. Hegemonic aspirations have led to compromise on the security needs of many weak countries and gave birth to the slogan of my country’s security first or Monroe Doctrine by the US. This slogan is an irritant for international order, security and peace.

Powerful countries are using it to justify wars. It also encouraged strong countries to capture the resources of weak states in the name of free economy, human rights and democracy. On the other hand, the cold war mentality is sowing seeds of conflict across the world. Western countries are hell-bent on sustaining their power by hook or by crook. It has converted the world into the home of multiple conflicts.

The existing security model has steered the world towards sharp division among countries. It has paved the way for alliances with and against each other, like North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and many others. It is unfortunate these organisations have become the source of constant uncertainty in the name of security. Self-assumed responsibility for peace, greatness and righteousness has triggered many conflicts across the world. The world had witnessed Western countries bombarded Libya in the name of responsibility to protect and turn a prosperous country into ruins. People who had access to quality education, health, housing and food are suffering now.

The hegemonic and self-righteous behaviour of NATO has thrown Eurasia into conflict. Ukraine was used to play strategic games.

In this context, the world, especially the Global South, was in search of a new system that could ensure their safety and pave the way for sustainable security. The analysis of the four pillars of China’s idea of GSI shows it can answer the questions of weak countries and ensure sustainable peace.

The first pillar of GSI considers security a common responsibility and right of all countries without any discrimination in terms of status of development and military might. It also discourages the alliance mentality and urges everyone to work together. It further strengthens the notion all are equal and no one’s security is more important than others.

The second pillar of GSI is very interesting; it not only talks about present security needs of the world but also focuses on the future needs. It is the first time any security initiative of global relevance is giving equal weight to traditional and non-traditional security challenges. China is cognizant without securing people’s basic needs of people, peace can never be achieved. Therefore, China considers food security, poverty alleviation, energy security, health and safe water to be equally important.

Moreover, climate change, technology, artificial intelligence and pandemics also need dedicated focus to ensure a safe and prosperous planet for future generations. So, China proposed traditional and non-traditional security must walk hand in hand to secure sustainable peace. China believes the world needs to work more on these areas than investing in weapons of mass destruction.

The third pillar of GSI cooperative approach and methodology to devise instruments of peace and security is extremely important. It has been designed to overcome the challenges of exclusiveness and segregation among the countries. As we know, the current system is deeply divided and exclusive. Countries with muscles make decisions and ask the rest of the world to follow them. They can also impose sanctions and deprive weak countries of economic opportunity and connectivity. United Nations Security Council, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other institutions are being used to secure their objectives. The UN Security Council is the most exclusive platform, which gives powers to five countries to decide fate of rest of the world.

Moreover, most of the time weak countries are not consulted, or powerful states do not share any information with them before making decisions. This is against the dignity of humans and the respect of nations. It is hoped GSI will help solve this problem and bring equality to all the countries.

The fourth pillar of GSI is sustainable security. The idea is to not only talk about symptoms but also take appropriate steps to tackle the real issues. The sustainable security pillar gives equal importance to people’s social and development needs. It emphasises peace cannot be secured without securing rule of law and social and economic development. It is an established fact food-insecure and poverty-ridden areas contribute to conflict and threaten global security. The world cannot teach a hungry man morals or rule of law. He needs food first to live; then, we can talk about morals, rules of law, and ethics. This is exactly in line with the Maslow Pyramid. The world must put more focus on sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Global Development Initiative goals, and take practical steps to create a fair world.

China believes any initiative or programme has no value without actions. Therefore, since the launch of GSI, China has been working to deliver on the vision of GSI. It has taken multiple steps, which show China is serious about global peace and sustainable development. It started the campaign to secure world peace by adhering to the principles of dialogue and development, and by keeping common interests at the heart of all actions. It adopted the tools of a comprehensive and coordinated philosophy to ensure transparency and a win-win outcome.

China initiated the campaign to make development accessible to everyone, which is a fundamental requirement for building a peaceful society. President Xi stressed the importance of this by saying, “Development holds the master key to solving problems”. In a bid to achieve this objective, China accelerated its efforts to share prosperity by creating economic development opportunities. China speeds up the process of comprehensively opening up its markets to offer economic opportunities to help less developed countries.