Má ještě OSN význam?

Organizace spojených národů je se 192 členy a mandátem zahrnujícím vše od bezpečnosti přes uprchlíky až po veřejné zdraví jedinou globální organizací na světě. Výzkumy veřejného mínění provedené ve Spojených státech však ukazují, že podle dvou třetin Američanů odvádí OSN mizernou práci, a mnozí respondenti se domnívají, že během programu Ropa za potraviny v Iráku za Saddáma Husajna se OSN ušpinila korupcí. Řada lidí viní OSN také z toho, že se jí nepodařilo vyřešit myriádu problémů na Blízkém východě.

Podobné názory však odrážejí nepochopení podstaty OSN. Ta je spíše nástrojem členských států než nezávislým aktérem světové politiky.

Jistě, generální tajemník OSN Pan Ki-mun může pronášet projevy, svolávat schůzky a navrhovat akce, avšak jeho rolí je být spíše tajemníkem než generálem. Někdy bývá přirovnáván k „sekulárnímu papeži“, neboť generální tajemník OSN může disponovat měkkou přesvědčovací silou, ale zároveň má jen málo tvrdé síly ekonomické či vojenské.

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