Western double standards a source of troubles

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hit the bull's eye when he offered a reality check on the West's double standards in a speech in Berlin on Monday, attributing the reluctance of some influential countries such as India, Vietnam and South Africa to criticize Moscow for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, to the fact that they believe international principles are not applied equally.

"When I talk to leaders from those countries, many assure me that they are not questioning the underlying principles of our international order. What they are struggling with is the unequal application of those principles," he said. "What they expect is representation on equal terms, and an end to Western double standards."

His remarks are revealing, given that examples of Western countries resorting to double standards on such issues as free trade, human rights and democracy to advance their own agendas abound. The practice has become a major source of global instability and frictions on economic and geopolitical fronts.

Take the United States for instance. While it constantly criticizes China for challenging the rules-based international order, the country itself has grossly violated the World Trade Organization rules governing the multilateral trade system by unilaterally imposing tariffs and sanctions on other countries.

And comparing the way Europe has dealt with Ukrainian refugees over those fleeing from conflicts in the Global South, CNN's correspondent Arwa Damon observed that, "We are painfully seeing that refugees are selectively welcomed, and war criminals are selectively punished. It's not just the Western media that is biased; it's the Western world."

Such bias, often born out of Western arrogance and hypocrisy, has also eroded the trust that exists among nations to enable them to work together to deal with the real challenges that confront humanity, such as climate change.

Even though many European countries are seeking to revive coal projects to prioritize energy security, they have pointed an accusing finger at African countries, the least responsible for global warming, for not doing enough to meet their climate obligations. That's despite the fact that the continent has not received the full amount of promised funding and technologies from the developed world to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy.

The time has gone when the West could claim the high moral ground and dictate to the rest of the world what they should do based on the Western standards. It would be a boon for the world if the Western countries took a look in the mirror before passing judgment on others.