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author: Fausto Arturo Vergara Leiva

The Role of Small States in the Multilateral Framework

2011

The current world geopolitical configuration shows how after the end of a bipolar world set by the top superpowers (United States and the Ex Soviet Republic) along with other major players (such as Germany, Great Britain, France, Japan and China, the P5 United Nations Security Council members + 1 with the full capacity of veto power in all world top decisions and procedures) set up a new world reconfiguration that has emerged since the end of the twenty century and mainly in the beginning of this 21th century standing driven from some centers of power and in parasailed with the political and economical framework driven mainly by the United States and Europe. This new geopolitical emerging map shows not to exclusively a unipolar world but the cluster of countries described before, plus other new emerging powerful states that become main new actors (such is the case of Brazil and India), adding to the equation of the traditional middle powers (such as Canada, Mexico, Chile, Scandinavian Countries, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and recently the Baltic States, etc), with the United States as the unique remaining superpower in world economy and politics followed up by Great Britain, Germany , the European Union, Russia , China and Japan among other new ones (India, Brazil, South Africa).
This new reconfiguration has left a very small room for the small states in the geopolitical scenery and sphere of action and mainly in their unique international positioning. Along with the weak opportunities and small states in the international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), their Regional Organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the African Union (AU) and mainly within the the Breton Wood financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) and others that provide the financial framework of funding donations and loans to reduce the historical gap between developed and developing nations and the shared use of technology from the north to the south to achieve a certain and acceptable degree of development compare to the stronger states and powers. As a result of all of this, small states in modern times do not want to be left behind in the concert of nations and their international positioning therefore more than ever they are also small but relevant actors that face day to day the imperative need of to explore traditional diplomatic mechanisms and strategies which in turn can be effectively used bilateral and multilateral, for instance the bandwagon strategy or block support by building key alliances (bringing other powerful states and close allies to support a government initiative of a small state in the international agenda or world political forum such as the United Nations General Assembly and all its subsidiary specialized agencies by being a state member), to consider a few. Small states frequently need to introduce the adequate and efficient use of information and technology by its ministry of foreign affairs and other, embassies, permanent missions and consulates, considered as an essential element of adaptation for the 21th century diplomacy. At the same time the effective and smart use of technology becomes a vital tool for small states to overcome obstacles such as limited human resources and short budgets limitations. If it is not possible for small states to send their special envoys (diplomats or representatives) to world political forums and key debates in the main topics of the international agenda under discussion technology can definitely help to reduce costs and as a channel of communication between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (Capital) and its diplomatic representation and work coordination by sending the reports and recommendation after permanent missions or embassies attend key multilateral meetings or political debates of important themes and agenda points that benefit a state. This study fundamental goal is to show how small states from the Latin America, the Caribbean region and other regions have had a limited but important historical influence acting as state members within the United Nations context and its different subsidiary bodies, also through important regional organizations in order to overcome budget limitations or having far less power than the developed and powerful states in the geopolitical chess game with the final end of reaching development. Also the common need to restructure and transform their own poor reality by keeping a good and transparent governance and international cooperation in developing integral programs and combating common national threats such as civil wars, criminality, poverty, unemployment, the need for education, foreign investment , natural disasters and the recurrent need to reduce the exiting gap between developed and underdeveloped nations this by bringing technology from the north to the south and other modalities that catapult development by the different and continue searching for channels of cooperation in the bilateral or multilateral level. Also important is to highlight the necessary incorporation of information and technology as essential elements of the diplomatic efforts done currently by small states. ITC effective use becomes a major tool for effective international positioning and focalization of state bilateral and multilateral relations that in the long term can derive in great contribution for national government policies at local level and its promotion regional and abroad in the international agenda.

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