¿Las Naciones Unidas siguen siendo importantes?

Con 192 miembros y un mandato que abarca todo desde la seguridad y los refugiados hasta la salud pública, las Naciones Unidas son la única organización global del mundo. Pero las encuestas en Estados Unidos demuestran que las dos terceras partes de los norteamericanos piensan que la ONU está teniendo un desempeño deficiente y muchos creen que se vio salpicada por la corrupción durante el programa de petróleo por alimentos de Irak bajo el régimen de Saldan Hussein. Muchos también culpan a la ONU de no poder solucionar los miles de problemas de Oriente Medio.

Sin embargo, estas opiniones reflejan un malentendido respecto de la naturaleza de la ONU. La ONU, más que un actor independiente en la política mundial, es un instrumento de sus Estados miembro.

Es verdad, el secretario general de las Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki Moon, puede dar discursos, convocar reuniones y proponer acciones, pero su papel es más secretario que general. A veces comparado con un “Papa secular”, el secretario general de las Naciones Unidas puede ejercer el poder blando de la persuasión pero escaso poder económico o militar duro.

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