UN Secretary-General Must Manage Trilateral Divergences Over Globalization

Portugal’s António Guterres, former head of the UN Refugee Agency, is officially the United Nations’ secretary-general as of January 1, but the agreement “should not obscure the sharp differences among the Security Council’s leading members,” suggests Richard Weitz, director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute. Weitz analyzes three speeches before the United Nations and warns that US, Chinese and Russian leaders do not share common assumptions on globalization or how to manage its processes: US President Barack Obama seeks to soften the rough edges of global integration, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang touts economic benefits of integration, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focuses on geopolitical competition. Finding common values is an ongoing challenge, as Gutteres noted in April: “In times of insecurity, when people feel uncertain about their future, when anxieties and fears are promoted and exploited by political populists, old-fashioned nationalists or religious fundamentalists, the success of the UN and the international community lies in our common commitment to our common values.” – YaleGlobal