El nuevo rostro de las Naciones Unidas

El 1 de enero de 2007, Ban Ki-Moon, ex primer ministro de Corea del Sur, se convertirá en Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, tras una década de mandato de Kofi Annan, quien sirvió de inspiración al mundo con su diplomacia y liderazgo en torno a la reducción de la pobreza y los derechos humanos. Sin embargo, la guerra de Irak dividió al planeta y. como consecuencia, se desvió hacia ella parte de los recursos financieros y la atención que debieran haberse centrado en otras regiones en crisis y problemas graves de largo plazo, como el cambio climático, el control de enfermedades, la energía sustentable y el acceso al agua. Con las últimas elecciones en Estados Unidos y el aumento de la influencia global de Asia, se abre una oportunidad de tornar la atención mundial hacia los retos más críticos que enfrenta nuestro planeta.

Además de los desafíos de largo plazo relacionados con la pobreza, el medio ambiente, la proliferación nuclear y la reforma a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas, el nuevo Secretario General heredará un largo listado de lugares conflictivos: Irak, Irán, Afganistán, Palestina, Líbano, Somalia, Myanmar, Sudán, Corea del Norte, y otros. Han fracasado los intentos recientes por influir sobre los acontecimientos de estos países mediante amenazas y sanciones, o incluso la guerra. La mayoría de ellos son hoy menos estables que hace cinco años. No hay duda de que se necesita un nuevo enfoque.

Los principales países asiáticos, incluidos la Corea del Sur de Ban, desde hace mucho han preferido un equilibrio de acercamientos diplomáticos e incentivos económicos como la manera de solucionar retos complejos. En lugar de basarse en sanciones y amenazas del uso de la fuerza, la idea es sentar los cimientos de una prosperidad de largo plazo en las regiones que en la actualidad son inestables. Este enfoque equilibrado es importante, porque la mayoría de los puntos en conflicto del mundo lo están no sólo, o siquiera principalmente, debido a la política, sino a causa de los problemas subyacentes relacionados con el hambre, la enfermedad y la crisis ambiental.

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