Former Prime Minister of Portugal, antónio Guterres, approved by the ninth UN Secretary General and will assume his new position on 1 January 2017. What to expect from the world of the new Secretary General? What can we say about the identity Guterres? And whether or not the change of the Secretary-General is a significant event? Oddly enough, Yes.
Guterres, 2015 held the post of the UN high Commissioner for refugees, has joined the race for the post of Secretary General one of the first and became the winner of all six of the preliminary voting held in the security Council in recent months. In total, the elections were contested by 13 candidates, including former heads of state and acting foreign Ministers. His main rival was considered Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva is an economist, former world Bank employee and member of the European Commission’s international activities, whose candidature was supported by the European institutions and Germany. She could become the first woman at the head of the United Nations that would be considered an achievement of democracy, regardless of the appropriateness of such a choice.
“Portugal is a NATO member, and this is the reason for having to strain. But Portugal since the overthrow of the regime of Salazar “become special”, she often showed an obstinacy”
Poverty as a defect
Ten years of activities Guterres to the post of high Commissioner for refugees, nothing about him says about politics. But an administrator he showed. In case of serious reduction of the device in the headquarters in Geneva, he has significantly increased the efficiency of the assigned Commissioner and persistently knocked from developed countries subsidies to help the refugees. Another thing is that in most large-scale crisis – the “Exodus to Europe” for the last two years, Guterres showed himself weak – load was initially transferred to the shoulders of European States, and not on the specialized structures of the UN. However, some countries in Eastern Europe chased away the UN mission almost a broom, as the Commissioner Guterres demanded to equip the camp and to accept refugees, while Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria tended to just throw each other (and ultimately Germany) organized columns of people. “We can’t stop the people from fleeing. They will come. How well we prepare for their arrival, how humane we will act toward them – that is the question that confronts us today,” wrote Guterres in Time magazine last year. Humane, but not convincing.
Guterres is a devout Roman Catholic and at the same time a socialist. For southern Europe this is a killer combination, but it also allowed him to fully realize themselves that is at the head of the Commissariat for refugees. In Portugal the early ‘ 70s a young engineer started as a volunteer-volunteer in several Catholic organizations and worked in the slums. From there he entered politics, joining the socialist party of Portugal. For a while he even was Chairman of the Socialist international. Guterres familiar work poverty in terms of poor funding and corruption, and clear value prop for such a fulfillment.
As many refugees moved in, EUROPRO his political program and vision for the future of the UN, we can see mostly in his speech before the first round of voting, when many led by Germany relied on Georgiev. Paradoxically, Guterres appealed in his speech not to the experience in the UN, namely to its Portuguese period. Maybe he and his aides decided that the UN already know everything, so you better pedal experience in national government is not the most prosperous in economic terms, the countries of Europe, and in the end, Guterres focused on the fight against poverty and other crises, related. According to him, in the center of the work of the UN must become the interests of the most disadvantaged categories of the population. That is the political side of the UN’s work on a plan Guterres, becoming minor, becoming in addition to “public diplomacy,” “human rights activities” and giving African countries embossed European grants.
Deaf, grouchy opposition, in which the Commissariat for refugees of the last 10 years was in relation to ban Ki-moon, reflected in the speech Guterres. “The Secretary-General needs to build bridges, not to be preachy” – literally kicked it Korean. The basis of the new Secretary General should be “preventive diplomacy”. Guterres, however, did not explain what it is, apparently, they talked about some of the revitalization of the UN in conflict prevention and the return of the UN General Assembly the role of the global negotiation platform. How to achieve this in a crisis of confidence in international institutions and the collapse of the system, to maintain which the UN was invented, is not clear.
The shaking of the foundations
In Portugal the election Guterres reacted enthusiastically. Characteristic title: “the right man in the right place.” However, it is unlikely that he will lobby for the interests of their country, and it is not accepted and not necessary.
Portugal is a NATO member, and this is the reason for having to strain. But Portugal since the overthrow of the regime of Salazar “become special”, she often showed an obstinacy, just because of the location on the outskirts of southern Europe is not often attracted attention. Now, Guterres said that “human rights activities should not be discriminatory and cannot depend on political bias”.
For a representative of the Western world this is an amazing statement, since all of the modern concept of world order based on maximum involvement in political life and international NGOs and certain “activists”. It is believed that the nation-state in the era of globalization must die is a harmful vestige of a different historical era, and concepts like “national interests” and “patriotism”. NGOs and certain “activists” in this context, progressive only in the case if you work on liberalism and globalism. This political concept until very recently, was propagated in the Russian Higher education through the textbooks written according to the program of the Soros Foundation. Arguing with her was harmful to education and career. And suddenly a candidate for the position of head of the UN in his election speech he says something almost the opposite.
It is possible, of course, that Guterres’s just committed to the role of “planetary grandfatherly”, which it is prescribed to always recite reconcile (this role was ban Ki-moon, and extremely boring). But while what we see as the new Secretary General, on the one hand, proposes a focus on poverty reduction, and to increase the role of the UN in conflict prevention and negotiation process. The first is quite possible, if you forget that, in many cases, poverty and waves of refugees resulting from conflicts, to cope with which the UN in its current configuration is no longer able. Here lies the main danger for the new Secretary-General.
Legacy architecture is UN – cute, no one injuring mechanism. Something like moribund and about religious ritual, to abandon which is still dangerous, but to perceive it as something really significant, not Presnov in Cam, did not leave. Attempts to reform this ritual cause of shaking the foundations, that the authors of these reforms I want to see in the eye.
First, is the abolition of the veto for the permanent members of the Security Council. Such a radical proposal has many supporters, but so far it is not supported by the US, which are so busy that have not yet developed a complete picture of the views on the UN reform. Secondly, it is the total number of members of the security Council, the nominations of new permanent members and granting them the right of veto, if they persist as a phenomenon.
The most serious disputes are, of course, around candidates. The main contenders four are Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, are more likely to be elected to non-permanent member of the security Council. However, they are not satisfied with all, among the alternative candidates are Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa and the European Union (as a single bureaucratic, although in this form the EU in the UN does not, right until and if you come out of the Charter). One of the reform options of the veto proposed to be extended to new permanent members not earlier than 15 years after their “improvement status”.
To call all these projects is something common and considered impossible. It is impossible even to imagine that such a project of reform to the UN would be presented in its completed form. This organizational impasse. The UN was formed by agreement, in principle, only the four powers-the winners, and now to coordinate dozens of different vectors of interests is simply unrealistic. Could not even determine the General direction which should move the UN reform.
There is no such belief system and antónio Guterres. And we should not exaggerate the administrative position of the Secretary-General. He is also forced to maneuver between the many centers of power, itself not having power. If he does decide to go the way of reforming the system (it’s not even important how exactly), he will have someone to rely on, that is, to choose their allies and their interests, sometimes momentary. And this is not a “world Parliament” and not a “negotiating platform” and a bare-knuckle fight for influence in the bureaucratic system, in theory capable of providing a particular country or group of countries some preference.
Because focus on the fight against poverty and the resettlement of refugees – simpler and clearer. In addition, it is very attractive for the souls of Catholic and socialist. But maybe he at least try?