How can the United Nations adapt Donald Trump
Guterres started off with a professional, low-key start. He was almost invisible to the media. Trump’s first term was marred by scandal. It made the front pages of all newspapers.
It’s not just that. The isolationism of the new American president and his protectionist policies are in direct opposition to everything that is UN: free trade, openness, international cooperation. Trump’s comments, such as that torture is effective, refugees should not be allowed entry, and Muslims should undergo extreme vetting, contradict global principles accepted by the United Nations more than 70 years ago.
Trump called the UN a place where people ” talk and have fun,” much like a businessman switching his deals from one large corporation to another.
It’s not how international relations work. Trump’s emotional, often-changing statements are not only raising eyebrows, but they’re also damaging US relations with a number of countries, including China, Muslim nations Ara,b nations, Mexico, and Australia.
The wave of anger and terror that has swept through Ukraine, the Baltic States, and other Eastern European countries is a result of the close relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, as well as Trump’s changing view on NATO.
In just a few short weeks, the “America First” policy has placed America at the bottom of the global ranking.
Donald Trump’s White House may be the greatest challenge that the UN has faced. This puts Guterres in a delicate situation. Guterres will be mocked for his cozy relationship with Trump if he is seen as a spineless secretary general. A confrontation with the US would impoverish the UN iso, late it, and upset both the UN member states and the international civil servants.
What is the role of a Secretary-General?
Relationships can be difficult.
Guterres was a diplomatic and experienced dealmaker who had previously run the UN High Commission on Refugees. He served as prime minister of Portugal between 1995 and 2002.
These previous posts have given him confidence in his ability to lead and ensure that not only does he know the world well, but he is also aware of all it takes for an international organization to be managed efficiently.
Guterres and Trump both want to see the United Nations become more efficient, well-managed, and cost-effective. Guterres could find a way to cooperate with Trump if he can portray himself as a reformist who is open to doing business in a different manner and without ideology.
Washington will show its support by cutting unnecessary expenditures, reducing special representatives, and quietly tackling issues like anti-corruption and sexual assault of peacekeepers.
Nikki Haley – the new US Permanent Representative at the UN – met Guterres two times in her first week of office. , her call for reform in peacekeeping, a key plank in Guterres’ campaign for this job, may receive support.
Newly appointed US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presented her credentials to Antonio Guterres in New York. Stephanie Keith/Reuters
Guterres also operates from a relative position of strength in relation to the US President. His win as UN chief was steady and solid without any serious competition. He avoided making any deals with the member states in exchange for financial aid or high positions.
Guterres’ appointment of three female in the top positions has been praised by many (who were protesting that a male again led the UN).
Guterres will be able to maintain a relatively un-pressured position due to the wide support. He does not need to bow down to Donald Trump.
Guterres may find himself in a new leadership role by the time he begins to think about a second five-year term – his only reason for being obedient to the five permanent UN Security Council members, including the US.
Gutteres may lose face with some voters if he bows down to Trump.
Bon ton, understanding
Guterres, instead, can use his wisdom, experience and knowledge to fill the gaps that Trump leaves in global governance with his antagonistic, ill-advised and unwise foreign policy. Guterres, in contrast to Trump, who may shout and offend people, can offer a level of understanding and reasonedness that the French call Bon Ton.
This is a scenario that is almost opposite of the one 25 years ago when US President Bill Clinton was a global mediator in contrast to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali’s arrogance and narcissism.
Guterres already has an action plan in place for his mandate. He will support efforts by the permanent member of the Security Council on counterterrorism, ISIS, sanctions, nonproliferation, and North Korea. At the same time, as Secretary-General, he will lead efforts in preventing conflicts, mitigating climate change, eliminating poverty, and pursuing other items from the 2030 Agenda.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres makes remarks at a Security Council Meeting. Stephanie Keith/Reuters
It is a fair division of labor, with the UN focusing on prevention and “soft” issues of security, which are best suited for the UN, and Trump, Putin, and Theresa May, as well as the next French President, tackling “hard” issues of security, such Iran, Syria and North Korea.