This year, uncertainty has been the main feature of international relations.

Uncertainty has been the main feature of international relations this year. We find ourselves in a multipolar world which has failed to strike balances to ensure that we function in a reasonable manner. Meanwhile, political crises multiply, and old and new conflicts across the globe are becoming worse. Although the weakening of American supremacy and the emergence of new geopolitical powers has been prominent in global policy for the last decade, the consequences have become increasingly more visible in recent years. The strategies of key players such as the United States have become unpredictable, while the influence of new leaders such as Russia and China increases. Conflicts are arising where consensus is not being reached, as is the case with the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East.

Rightly or wrongly, the foreign policies of many countries have reinforced a policy of unilateralism, regardless of the instability that this may cause. The U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem or Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and Syria are examples of this. At the same time, the capacity for mediation has been weakened in almost all multilateral institutions in our hemisphere such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Union of South American Nations to the point where ad hoc alternatives to treat certain conflicts are flourishing, as is happening, to some extent, in Venezuela.

It seems that we are in a period of transition, in which the old world of Western hegemony, led by the United States and regulated to some extent by the multilateral dialogue structures created after World War II, is ceasing to function without specifying the outline of a new multipolar system in which certain actors will have greater power and which will require a readjustment of international dialogue mechanisms concordant with this new reality. And in the absence of a "new order," the uncertainty increases and conflict management is losing its effectiveness, thus increasing the risk of violence as a reaction to controversies.

One might believe that the decline of Western hegemony is positive and even fair, as it opens up the game to actors previously excluded from the standpoint of small countries such as Bolivia, which has seen its sovereignty violated by external powers on numerous occasions. But the emergence of a world without institutional space for group dialogue and with governments that act only on the basis of their selfish interests or their leaders’ impulses is not good news. In a time of so many risks, the country should continue waging battle for the renewal of multilateralism and, above all, build a foreign policy with a sophisticated and realistic view of these scenarios.