Palavras cruzadas para entreter a viagem.
"Não há questões filosóficas, há questões de linguagem." - Wittgenstein
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results" - Albert Einstein
Friday, October 14, 2016
O HOMEM CERTO PARA UM TRABALHO QUASE IMPOSSÍVEL
"António Guterres is the right man for an almost impossible job" -The Economist
SIX months ago the cognoscenti of Turtle Bay, the UN’s location on
the east side of Manhattan, were pretty sure that the next head of the
nearest thing to a world government would—for the first time on two
counts—be an east European and a woman, quite likely the one who runs
UNESCO, the UN’s education and culture agency. Instead, it will be a
67-year-old man, who was a social-democratic prime minister of Portugal
from 1995 to 2002 and then head of the UN’s refugee body for a decade
from 2005. A second Bulgarian candidate, also a woman, but with a rosier
reputation as a punchy ex-dissident than her ex-communist compatriot,
caused a momentary frisson of gamblers’ excitement by throwing her fur
cap into the ring at the last minute. But she was too late and too
controversial. António Guterres, who will succeed Ban Ki-moon at the
year’s end, has been welcomed across the global board.
The final decision, as ever, depended on the White House and the
Kremlin agreeing not to block each other’s favourite (or most
unobjectionable) candidate. The surprise was that Mr Guterres so swiftly
won the acquiescence of both superpowers, even though relations between
the two are probably at their grumpiest since the end of the cold war.
It has been surmised that Mr Guterres, as part of a back-room bargain,
will appoint a Slav, indeed maybe a Bulgarian, as his deputy.
His victory was partly thanks to the novel, relative openness of the
competition. In the past the choice had been made entirely behind closed
doors, with no candidates openly declaring themselves. This time,
starting in April, a series of public hearings before the UN General
Assembly was followed by a string of straw polls among the 15 countries
represented in the UN Security Council, each one anonymously suggesting
which of the candidates should be “encouraged” or “discouraged”, or
neither. But in the sixth and final straw poll, the five permanent
members of the council (America, Britain, China, France and Russia),
each having the power to block any candidate, were to cast coloured
ballots, signifying their veto-wielding status. Mr Guterres had easily
topped each of the first five polls. In the final poll he again far
outshone his opponents, with no country casting a negative ballot, which
meant that the superpowers had all agreed to embrace him.
Various candidates had been thought to have a chance, backed by a
superpower sponsor. But none seemed to match Mr Guterres’s qualities. He
won respect as prime minister of a notable if currently beleaguered
country and as an adroit international operator; as head of one of the
UN’s most essential bodies, he understands the inner workings of the
vast and cumbersome UN bureaucracy. He is multilingual and articulate.
Moreover, he is universally considered decent and able, pragmatic and
principled, affable but steely. He knows how to communicate to the world
and knock powerful heads together.
Mr Guterres “will take charge of an organisation close to political
bankruptcy,” says Richard Gowan, a UN expert at New York’s Columbia
University. The Syrian catastrophe, he says, marks “the worst
institutional crisis the Security Council has seen since the Iraq war”.
Yet the secretary-general is a cajoler and fixer, not a global boss. He
is “not a politician with an election victory under [his] belt but a
civil servant with 193 stroppy masters”, says Lord (Mark) Malloch-Brown,
a Briton who was once the UN’s deputy head. The secretary-general is
also an accountant, overseeing a budget for an array of UN bodies that
often compete more than they co-operate.
Mr Guterres must fortify the UN’s three main pillars: economic
development (especially for the poor); human rights; and making and
keeping the peace. This last is the biggest and trickiest: witness
Syria. However feeble the UN can seem, it is still the global body with
by far the widest reach and heaviest weight. With 100,000-plus
blue-helmeted soldiers and police on a score of missions across the
world, it has easily the biggest capacity as a neutral arbiter for
stopping death and destruction. Preventing wars before they happen will
inevitably be Mr Guterres’s intention. More often he will have to pick
up the pieces after disaster has struck.
His first task will be to recapture the UN’s primacy in world
security—devilishly hard when America and Russia are at loggerheads. The
crises in Yemen, Libya and South Sudan, as well as in Syria, need his
urgent attention. He will have no time to catch his breath.