“I think that the soft power of the United States … is being reduced at the present moment,” Guterres said during an interview with the Atlantic magazine.
Guterres warned the development poses unique challenges for the international community because without Washington there “is no way to solve most of the problems in the world.”
“The United States is today involved in a number of conflicts of different natures—in relation to trade, in relation to other situations—and indeed that means that the … attraction of American society that was a dominant factor in international relations just a few decades ago is today less clear,” Guterres said.
Guterres did not refer to the Trump administration by name, but his comments reflect an increasing number of trade spats the US under President Donald Trump has become embroiled in, as well the US’s withdrawal from major international accords and UN bodies.
Guterres suggested the world today is “in pieces,” moving away from a US-led order to a multi-polar system that has yet to fully settle.
“It’s inevitable that mono-state leadership of the international order will be more and more put into question,” he said.
“Both the United States and the rest of the world need to be able to adapt to this new situation,” added Guterres.