Solana: �Failure can be the beginning of a success of tomorrow�

Basler Zeitung (Link) - Von Luciano Ferrari & Richard Diethelm (April 30, 2010)

Translated from German by Google translate: He is regarded as Europe�s answer to Henry Kissinger: top diplomat Javier Solana to the new world order, for euro-crisis and the affair between Switzerland and Libya.

Javier Solana welcomes the conversation in a salon of the Geneva Villa Plantamour. Through the open windows penetrate the glistening light from the nearby lake, and bird song from the old trees in the park surrounding this relaxed atmosphere set in the first time rebel leaders and representatives of the government at a table at ways to bring peace to Burundi by Hutu and Tutsi explore. Since then met at the villa on Lake secretly opponent in many other conflicts. The terrain was preparing each of the Henri Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD before). Founded in 1999, non-governmental organization has its headquarters here. It comes into action when the traditional forms of mediation have failed.

Among the approximately 70 employees, many former diplomats. You have direct access to foreign ministries and heads of state around the world. Currently, CHD-mediator in 14 active conflicts, so in the Philippines, Burma, East Timor, Somalia, Kenya, Central African Republic and Sudan. The activities in other countries, considers the center a secret out of consideration to the rival camp. Javier Solana in early March became the honorary chair of the CHD. He also teaches at the London School of Economics and head of the department for foreign policy research at the renowned U.S. think tank The Brookings Institution.

Looking at your career, you were always at the right time, right place: after the end of the Cold War they were NATO Secretary General, and brought the relationship between Nato and Russia back in order ...

In history, the signing of the NATO-Russia Act of 1997 in Paris is probably as my most important achievement will be recorded.

Then you switched to the EU, as it was about the eastward expansion.

I could put the EU foreign policy in the world if you will. We have established a common foreign and security policy. Nothing like this has not before. Today the EU is active on every continent in crisis management. If I wanted to be immodest, I would say that I have brought all organizations I have managed to their highest level.

What logic is behind it now that you have entered a non-governmental organization in?

What do you mean by logic? Since no logic behind it. When I was 30 years in public office and have the last 13 years has never slept more than three nights in a row in the same bed, it was time to start something new.

What does your wife to this impressive bed rotation actually said?

You must ask yourself. No, seriously, I could fill in my long career major foreign policy positions: first as foreign minister later in my home country of Spain, as NATO Secretary General, then as High Representative of the EU. I have not looked for these positions. I am by profession a professor of theoretical physics, not a trained diplomat. Only me the policy is in the blood. For me, politics is a way to serve the community. That was always my motivation. Now my office in Brussels had expired. But I had no desire to retire completely. Therefore I have made the commitment to CHD.

Are you a real peace negotiations involved in?

No, I advise the diplomats of CHD. I help to make contacts, develop ideas and imagination in the negotiations. The Center has an excellent international reputation.

The success is not guaranteed. You yourself have unsuccessfully mediated in the Middle East and Iran. How does one deal with such losses?

Mediation and conflict resolution are lengthy processes. They require exceptional strength, energy and tremendous dedication.  Nevertheless, the success is not guaranteed. But even if you fail, you have to keep trying. Because a failure today may be the beginning of a success of tomorrow. I do not think that was all the energy we have invested in these two cases, useless. It has laid a foundation of trust created elements to build on the later processes.

As the financial crisis has changed the world order?

It has accelerated trends that were already under way. The most important trend is certain the impressive power shift from West to East, specifically to Asia. This will fundamentally change the management of the world without doubt. The power shift will be accompanied by a transfer of resources, wealth, and even of the population shares. Europe�s share will fall. The structures of world order will be adjusted accordingly.

Is it difficult to coordinate a multi-polar world such?

We do not yet know how we need to organize this multi-polarity, so that they will for multilateral cooperation. The political legitimacy and material resources are still very committed to national. We urgently need to strengthen the international organizations to act and do: This happens already to some extent. In the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund has become much more active.

What makes you think it will succeed at the end?

I come from an organization that is multinational and multilateral working simultaneously. The EU has shown that a voluntary transfer of power and sovereignty is possible from national to an international organization. Even in such sensitive fields such as in the monetary area. I am not saying that the EU is a model for future world order. But she has shown that one can move in that direction.

What role can the Switzerland of the changed world order play in? We have called many times since the end of the Cold War had their good offices less in demand.

In my work I have experienced mediators in Geneva and Zurich always hospitality, support and assistance in resolving conflicts. I do not even remember how many times I met in Geneva, representatives of Iran and have benefits from the informal contacts of Swiss diplomacy. Switzerland has also helped to mediate the agreement between Turkey and Armenia, was allowed to attend the signing in Zurich I. It is therefore not disappeared from the stage of a mediator.

Switzerland is currently under international pressure - in the U.S., the EU, especially in Libya. Already head of state Khaddafi?

I used to do with him.

How do you best with him around?

In many, many meetings (laughs). In very long sessions (still laughing). It takes lots of patience. He is no easier negotiating partner.

What makes a good mediator in such a situation from?

To be successful in his negotiations, it needs a lot of preparatory work. You have to know very much about the culture, power structures, the history of the counterpart, everything plays into it. It will achieve nothing without winning the confidence of the other side. It does so in particular perseverance and optimism.

Was it wise to use the Schengen Agreement, the EU, the Libyan affair implicate in?

A solution to this difficult conflict is not a question of the size of the party to the conflict or the money. The difficulties stem from the fact that the personalities involved are very difficult and come from different cultural backgrounds. Switzerland has overcome difficult situations without EU assistance. Others with EU assistance. I am convinced that it is very helpful for Switzerland in the Schengen to be there. But I do not want to continue to express Libya affair.