We are perilously near to a new international anarchy
Beatrice E Rangel
With these words , Javier Perez de Cuellar former UN SG who passed away last week launched his UN shake up when elected to the post. His election was a Hail Mary pass when member countries could not reach an agreement between re-electing Kurt Waldheim or electing the Tanzanian Foreign Minister Salim Abdel Salim. And as every compromise choice no one expected much of him.
The UN was undergoing a colossal financial crisis; the Arab lobby had mustered enough votes to expel Israel from the organization and war was raging between Iran and Iraq while Afghanistan had been invaded by the USSR , Cambodia had staged the most horrendous genocide the world had ever seen and the totalitarian regime in Poland had cracked Solidarity down with fury.
But Perez de Cuellar soon rose to the occasion. He launched a restructuring plan for the peace keeping operations’ . In pectore he was in favor of streamlining the organization to reduce the useless spread into activities that render themselves to a better performance at the national level and to do away with a number of agencies while strengthening others. But master of diplomacy as he was he knew that to take public positions on matters that had failed to enjoy consensus within a multilateral body was the best way to kill any idea.
He thus tackled the Iran- Iraq war with energy and utmost diplomacy . and he got results in every front. He brokered the Iran-Iraq cease fire; negotiated a set of principles to allow Solidarity to continue defending the rights of shipyard workers in Poland; he persuaded the Arab Lobby to desist on the campaign against Israel, brokered the Central American peace treaties and streamlined some UN operations.
After finishing a first mandate he was the consensus candidate for reelection , Among his supporters was Ronald Reagan who became rather close to the SG. “Pérez de Cuéllar took an organization that had almost self-destructed and become irrelevant, and found a role for it that no one expected,” said the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who served as President Gerald R. Ford’s U.N. ambassador. Also in 1988 UN Peacekeepers were bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize.
As his second mandate ended January 1st 1992 he warned about future challenges to international security and world peace including those arising from abusive conducts displayed by international actors in many regions of the world including his own: Latin America. Absence of rule of law and disregard for human rights bore to strong an impact upon development to be disregarded as it seemed to be the case in Latin America. He further thought that without significant economic growth all political gains could be at risk.
Indeed, Central American nations needed to reflect upon the economic consequences of peace and accelerate integration. He was also aware that should El Salvador fail to muster the financial support of the international community to create jobs for the demobilized guerrilla and army troops the country and the region could fall prey to organized crime.
He also feared that Latin America would fall short in the accomplishment of institutional reform. This could trigger economic paralysis which could in turn nurture political instability. In short , Perez de Cuellar described the current regional nightmare that has taken over most of Central America; Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina and threatens with impacting Colombia and Brazil. And in this chaos we have lost the single most important crisis quencher the region ever produced.
Published by laht.com Monday, March 9, 2020
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador. You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.