A damning comment today in tabloid Correio da Manhã contrasts with news that UN secretary general António Guterres – a former Socialist prime minister of Portugal – has won the 2022 edition of the ‘Premio Universidade de Coimbra’, backed by Santander bank and the Global Media Group.
Whatever kudos this prize implies has been hugely diluted by the words of Carlos Rodrigues, who suggests the UN is one of the ‘principal casualties of the crisis that affects Ukraine’.
“The (UN’s) total inactivity and incapacity to influence the course of events shows how (it) is on the verge of irrelevance in a world with increasingly complex risks and dangers”, he writes.
“The absence of António Guterres from the main stages where the last hopes for diplomacy are playing out is symptomatic.
“Putin seems to have both the cheese and the knife in his hand in the face of a Western Europe needing heat provided by Russian gas and unable to adapt…”
The text goes on to wonder at the weakness of US President Biden’s response so far, and predict as is becoming increasingly obvious that the world is not facing easy days.
Almost on cue, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has declared “we have war in Europe on a scale that we thought belonged to history…”
NATO “will do everything necessary to defend its allies”, a number of which are now seeing Ukrainians stream over their borders into neighbouring countries in search of safety.