Mikhail Gorbachev

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de abril de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Illustration by Delcan & Company; Photograph by Dennis Cook, via Associated Press

Over 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan and I signed in Washington the United States-Soviet Treaty on the elimination of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles. For the first time in history, two classes of nuclear weapons were to be eliminated and destroyed.

This was a first step. It was followed in 1991 by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which the Soviet Union signed with President George H.W. Bush, our agreement on radical cuts in tactical nuclear arms, and the New Start Treaty, signed by the presidents of Russia and the United States in 2010.

There are still too many nuclear weapons in the world, but the American and Russian arsenals are now a fraction of what they were during the Cold War.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando 2014 se acerca a su fin, está claro que las estructuras políticas europeas e internacionales que han estado vigentes desde 1989 no han aprobado la prueba del tiempo. De hecho, el mundo no había presenciado un ambiente tan tenso y peligroso desde el fin de la Guerra Fría, con derramamiento de sangre en Europa y el Oriente Medio sobre el telón de fondo de una ruptura del diálogo entre las potencias más importantes. Parece que el mundo está al borde de una segunda guerra fría. Algunos dicen incluso que ya ha comenzado.

Entretanto, el órgano internacional principal del mundo –el Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas– no está desempeñando precisamente un papel ni adopta medidas concretas para detener los incendios y las muertes.…  Seguir leyendo »

En mayo, Vietnam se convirtió en trigésimo quinto y decisivo país firmante de la Convención de Naciones Unidas sobre el derecho de los usos de los cursos de agua internacionales para fines distintos de la navegación (CCAI, 1997). Como resultado, 90 días después, el 17 de Agosto, la convención entrará en vigor.

El hecho de que hayan sido necesarios casi 50 años para elaborar el borrador y finalmente completar el proceso de ratificaciones exigido, pone de manifiesto que algo no funciona bien en el moderno modelo político multilateral. En cualquier caso, históricamente han existido desacuerdos sobre la gestión de los cauces de los ríos.…  Seguir leyendo »

La nouvelle du décès de Margaret Thatcher est vraiment une triste nouvelle. Je savais qu’elle était gravement malade; la dernière fois que je l’ai rencontrée, c’était il y a quelques années. Je présente mes sincères condoléances à sa famille et à ses proches.

Madame Thatcher était un leader politique dont les paroles valaient leur pesant d’or. En 1984 déjà, tandis que je préparais notre rencontre [alors numéro deux du régime, l’auteur se rend pour la première fois en visite officielle en Grande-Bretagne, ndlr], j’en étais pleinement conscient. Cette rencontre était la première étape de notre quête d’un langage commun – une quête très difficile.…  Seguir leyendo »

The news of Margaret Thatcher’s death is very sad news indeed. I was aware of her grave illness; the last time we met was several years ago. I offer my sincere condolences to her family and loved ones.

Mrs. Thatcher was a political leader whose words carried great weight. I was aware of this when I prepared for our meeting in 1984. This was the first step in the search for a common language — a most difficult search.

Our very first conversation, over lunch at Chequers, was very sharp at first, almost to the point of a breakdown. Raisa Maksimovna, sitting on the other side of the table, heard this and was very upset.…  Seguir leyendo »

En este mes, hace veinticinco años, me senté enfrente de Ronald Reagan, en Reykjavik (Islandia) para negociar un acuerdo que redujera –y al final podría haber eliminado en 2000– los pavorosos arsenales de armas nucleares que tenían los Estados Unidos y la Unión Soviética.

Pese a nuestras diferencias, Reagan y yo compartíamos la firme convicción de que los países civilizados no debían hacer de esas bárbaras armas el eje central de su seguridad. Aunque no logramos hacer realidad nuestras mayores aspiraciones en Reykjavik, no por ello dejó de ser la cumbre, en palabras de mi ex homólogo, “un importante punto de inflexión en la búsqueda de un mundo más seguro”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Twenty years ago this weekend, a group of Communist Party Politburo members and Soviet government officials attempted a coup d’état. They created an unconstitutional “committee on the state of emergency,” isolated the Soviet president and removed him from power.

The events of that August were the result of fierce political struggle during the final stretch in our efforts to reform the Soviet Union.

During the years of perestroika, major changes transformed our country. The people supported glasnost; free, contested elections; and the beginning of the transition to market economics. But the bureaucracies of the Communist Party and the government eventually saw in those changes threats to their position.…  Seguir leyendo »

First in Tunisia and now in Egypt, the people have spoken and made clear that they do not want to live under authoritarian rule and are fed up with regimes that hold power for decades.

In the end, the voice of the people will be decisive. The Arab elites, Egypt’s neighboring countries and the world powers should understand this and take it into account in their political calculations.

The events now unfolding will have far-reaching consequences for Egypt itself, for the Middle East and for the Muslim world.

Yet a lot of anxiety has surfaced in comments by politicians and the media.…  Seguir leyendo »

Just a few weeks ago, the fate of the New Start nuclear arms treaty seemed to hang by a thread. But since last week, when the United States Senate ratified the treaty, which reduces the size of the American and Russian nuclear stockpiles, we can speak of a serious step forward for both countries. I hope this will energize efforts to take the next step to a world free of nuclear weapons: a ban on all nuclear testing.

In the final stretch, President Obama put his credibility and political capital on the line to achieve ratification. That a sufficient number of Republican senators put the interests of their nation’s security, and the world’s, above party politics is encouraging.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Russian President Dmitri Medvedev delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly I was struck by the fact that his speech seemed to be meant for an advanced, prosperous country, not the real Russia of today.

Russia will hold a presidential election in 2012. What happens in 2011 will, in my opinion, be even more important than the election itself. Indeed, the evolution of Russian society could transform Russian politics, despite those domestic opponents who deny change or those who unqualifiedly classify Russia as “incorrigibly authoritarian.” But, in order for that to happen, a new agenda for Russia must be developed this year.…  Seguir leyendo »

I spent the entire month of August in Moscow. Those who were in the Russian capital then will never forget the heavy smog from wildfires in nearby regions that choked the city for weeks. The city seemed immersed in an alternate reality. People, plants, animals — all bore the imprint of suffering, frustration and fear.

Until quite recently, many in Russia, including members of the ruling elite, spoke skeptically about global warming, with a disdain for scientific data. Today their numbers have shrunk.

Of course, this weather-related anomaly was just one among many this year. Mudslides in China, unprecedented droughts in Australia and India, floods in Pakistan and Central Europe; the list goes on.…  Seguir leyendo »

In both Russia and the United States, the “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations, to which the leaders of both countries first declared their commitment more than 18 months ago, is now being assessed. Some, often for reasons of domestic politics, are trying to belittle any achievements. Others are wondering whether a new stage in the relationship has truly begun, or whether this is just another pendulum swing in a positive direction, to be followed inevitably by a swing backward.

In assessing where we are today, it is useful to look back at the history of our relations. Even more importantly, we must consider those relations in a broader context, as part of the changes in our globalized world.…  Seguir leyendo »

The right of every human being to safe drinking water and basic sanitation should be recognized and realized.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 900 million people live without clean water and 2.6 billion without proper sanitation. Water, the basic ingredient of life, is among the world’s most prolific killers. At least 4,000 children die every day from water-related diseases. In fact, more lives have been lost after World War II due to contaminated water than from all forms of violence and war.

This humanitarian catastrophe has been allowed to fester for generations. We must stop it.

Acknowledging that access to safe water and sanitation is a human right is crucial to the ongoing struggle to save these lives; it is an idea that has come of age.…  Seguir leyendo »

A medida que la cumbre por el cambio climático de Copenhague va avanzando, cada vez está más claro que lo que está en juego es mucho más que el medioambiente.

La crisis medioambiental global subyace en prácticamente todos los problemas que nos afectan, problemas que incluyen la necesidad de crear un modelo económico global que se fundamente en el bien público. La crisis está directamente relacionada con temas como la seguridad y los conflictos étnicos e internacionales, cada vez más peligrosos; con las grandes migraciones y desplazamientos de gente, algo que ya desestabiliza la política y la economía; también con la creciente pobreza y desigualdad social; con la crisis del agua y la energía, y la escasez de comida.…  Seguir leyendo »

The German people, and the whole world alongside them, are today celebrating a landmark date in history: the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Not many events can claim their place in the collective memory as a watershed that divides two distinct periods. The dismantling of the Berlin Wall — that stark, concrete symbol of a world divided into hostile camps — is such an event. It brought incredible hope and opportunity to people everywhere, and provided the 1980s with a truly jubilant finale. That is something to think about as this decade draws to a close, and the chance for humanity to take another momentous leap forward appears to be slipping away.…  Seguir leyendo »

Veinte años han pasado desde la caída del Muro de Berlín, uno de los símbolos vergonzosos de la guerra fría y de la peligrosa división del mundo en bloques y en esferas de influencia enfrentadas. El periodo actual nos permite observar aquellos acontecimientos y formarnos una opinión menos emocional y más racional.

La primera observación optimista es que el anunciado fin de la Historia no se ha producido en absoluto. Pero tampoco ha llegado lo que los políticos de mi generación confiaban sinceramente que ocurriría: un mundo en el cual, con el fin de la guerra fría, la humanidad podría finalmente olvidar la aberración de la carrera armamentista, de los conflictos regionales y de las estériles disputas ideológicas y entrar en una suerte de siglo dorado de seguridad colectiva, uso racional de los recursos, fin de la pobreza y la desigualdad y restauración de la armonía con la naturaleza.…  Seguir leyendo »

The year 1989 was a turning point for Europe and for the world, a time when history went into high gear. This acceleration was symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the velvet revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe. Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes were exiting the stage of history.

Those events, and their peaceful unfolding, were made possible by changes that began in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s. We initiated them because they were overdue. We were responding to the demands of the people, who resented living without freedom, isolated from the rest of the world.

In just a few years — a very short time in history’s span — the main pillars of the totalitarian system in the Soviet Union were dismantled and the ground was readied for a democratic transition and economic reforms.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yesterday, President Obama presided over the United Nations Security Council meeting that passed a resolution seeking to strengthen the international commitment to limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. A week ago, he announced that the United States will not deploy — at least, not in the foreseeable future — a missile defense site in Central Europe, including powerful radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.

Is there a link between the two events? I believe there is. Yet initial comments by many political figures and journalists have for the most part ignored this key relationship.

Instead, many are asserting that canceling the Eastern European missile defense was simply a concession to Russia, which must now reciprocate with a concession of its own.…  Seguir leyendo »

Estos últimos años han constituido un periodo muy difícil en las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Rusia. Durante este tiempo de vacas flacas, los problemas se quedaban sin solucionar y, lo que es peor aún, la confianza mutua cayó en barrena. Como resultado, ambos bandos han actuado a veces sin calibrar las consecuencias, que se dejaron sentir no solo en EEUU y Rusia, sino también en otros sitios.
La reciente visita del presidente Barack Obama a Rusia ha sido un primer paso hacia una salida del bloqueo existente en nuestras relaciones. Durante el periodo previo a la visita, muchos expertos norteamericanos afirmaron que las relaciones con Rusia estaban muy alejadas de la lista de grandes prioridades de la Administración de EEUU.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las noticias de la prueba nuclear en Corea del Norte el 25 de mayo llegaron cuando yo estaba visitando la zona desmilitarizada en la península de Corea. Había sido invitado a la ceremonia de inauguración de una campana de la paz en el paralelo 38, la línea de tregua donde las hostilidades entre el norte y el sur de Corea cesaron en 1953.

Escuchando a los surcoreanos, sentí su alarma y preocupación por su propia seguridad, pero también por la situación en Corea del Norte. Vi simpatía profunda y sincera por sus compatriotas en el otro lado de la línea de demarcación, y su permanente esperanza de una eventual reunificación.…  Seguir leyendo »