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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Determined leader in the fight for the post of UN Secretary General

The election of a successor, ban Ki-moon on the post of the UN Secretary General distinguished by the fact that in the struggle for this post is a serious chance had representatives of almost all the republics of the former Yugoslavia and six female diplomats. But, it seems, when voting gender and “territorial” diversity prefer a verified representative of the elite of the European Union – former Prime Minister of Portugal, antónio Guterres, who oversaw the issue at the UN for refugees.

The election of the new Secretary General of the UN decided the leader. The most votes among 12 candidates scored former Prime Minister of Portugal, antónio Guterres. We will remind, the post of Secretary General, which since 2007, is a South Korean ban Ki-moon, will become vacant on 1 January.

“There are voices that the UN Secretary General was not representative of Eastern Europe. And there were no women”

António Guterres, 2015 held the post of the UN high Commissioner for refugees, has received 12 votes (from a possible 15) and a single “against,” notes The Wall Street Journal.

67-year-old Guterres (5 years younger Ki-moon) is a prominent European politician, left-wing, “the flesh of the” elite of the EU and at the same time a specialist in one of the most acute international problems. In particular, in the last year of his tenure as high Commissioner was in charge of hosting refugees from Syria in the territories of Lebanon and Jordan. Within 10 years, from 1992 to 2002, was head of the Portuguese socialist party, in 1999-2005 he was Chairman of the socialist international.

In 2000, as Prime Minister of Portugal, presided at the Council of Europe and the Premiership “passed” Jose Manuel Barroso – future of the multi-head of the European Commission. A member of the influential non-governmental actors – the European Council on foreign relations (ECFR) and the Board of the club “Friends of Europe” (which also includes, for example, the former WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and the recent Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti).

He Guterres in discrediting communications is not seen”, but at the time of his work as UN high Commissioner for refugees (2005-2015) had two high-profile scandal involving UN personnel, which the Commissioner had to make a statement. In 2011, the independent Commission of experts the UN has admitted that the cholera epidemic in Haiti was caused by a strain of the pathogen, most likely caught in river water from the camp of Nepalese UN peacekeepers. And in August last year, Amnesty International reported on the rape of children in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the country by peacekeepers from the UN mission MINUSCA.

Was looking for a woman

Third place was taken by the UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova (Bulgaria). Her candidacy was approved by nine votes, four voted against it. Bokova is the only woman included in the top three, despite the fact that most UN members stated preference to see on this post the woman, said The WSJ.

In General, as noted by The New York Times, the fight for the post of Secretary General is interesting on two factors: intense discussion of female candidates who want to take over the helm after 70 years of “male leadership”, and a slight ajar veil, how did the security Council makes the choice.

Note that the foreign Minister of Croatia Vesna Pusic, also claim to participate in the elections, has not only declared its intention to fight the “cynicism in modern international relations, national and international politics,” but also called herself a feminist.

In addition, as candidates were mentioned: the administrator of the UN development Program Helen Clark of New Zealand, foreign Minister of Argentina, Susana Malcorra, the former acting Prime Minister and former foreign Minister of Moldova Natalia Gherman, the daughter of the first President of Moldova Mircea Snegur) and costaricana Christiana Figueres, to June 6, held the post of Executive Secretary of the UN framework Convention on climate change.


Guterres, the closest rival in the fight for the post of new Secretary General was the former President of Slovenia Danilo Turk. He got 2 votes against and 11 votes for.

In General, the list of contenders also quite a few people from the former Yugoslavia. In addition to the aforementioned Danilo türk, the Slovenian and the Croatian Spring Pusic, is the foreign Minister of Montenegro Igor Luksic, former foreign Minister of Serbia Vuk jeremić and Macedonia, Srgjan Kerim (chaired at the UN General Assembly in 2007-2008).

The Slavic world is also acting Minister of foreign Affairs of Slovakia Miroslav lajčák.

“The inherent security Council secrecy was preserved”

However, diplomats say that the results of the vote say the desire to choose “strong, experienced and charismatic leader who is able to give new impetus to the UN position in the world,” noted the publication. “It is noteworthy that one of the candidates was the clear leader. We expect it will be somewhere in between,” said The WSJ one of the diplomats in the security Council.

However, the official results of the vote in the security Council will not be announced. According to the results of a closed-door meeting of the security Council, which lasted about one and a half hours, presiding in the security Council the Japanese diplomat Koro Bessho, reported only the fact of the election. According to him, all “went smoothly”. “Despite claims about openness, inherent in the security Council, the secrecy is preserved,” – said the publication.

For the first time on television

According to its statutes, the final selection will be approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The permanent members of the security Council (Russia, USA, France, UK and China) have the right to veto the candidate, however, security Council members traditionally are unable to nominate a candidate from their country.

Earlier, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the UN Secretary General can call in October. He recalled that the then presidency in the security Council is Russia, but the special value it has. In the process of determining recommendations to the General Assembly from the security Council on the nomination of the Secretary General, the Chairman of the SB plays a technical role and any influence on the outcome of the vote has not.

Before that, the UN passed the first ever televised debates of candidates for the post of General Secretary. This innovation allows you to make the electoral process of the ninth General Secretary as open as possible. In the debate held by the Qatari channel “al Jazeera”, was attended by ten candidates for the post of General Secretary. Each of them was fifteen minutes for a short presentation of their candidacy, and then one minute on the answers to the questions from members of the UN General Assembly and the moderator of the discussion.

The candidates were asked questions regarding face today’s challenges facing the world and the UN, on the subject of global development and the specific crises in different regions, according to UN reform and Security Council, personal qualities that should be possessed by the head of the world organization, the involvement of women in solving the world’s problems.

“The requirements for a gender and geographically

“The issue before the election of the UN Secretary General was quite private and take place inside the security Council. Of course, the dominant role played by the permanent members of the security Council”, – noted in conversation with the newspaper VIEW head of UNESCO chair, MGIMO, Deputy Chairman, Russian UN Association Alexei Borisov. He explained that the President Mogens Lykketoft, as a European, decided to bring more transparency and openness in the procedure for the election of UN Secretary General. Was announced a tender put forward by the requirements of a new Secretary General, including gender and geographic lines,” said the source.

So, there are certain unofficial rules that needs to be geographical representation: voices that the UN Secretary General was not representative of Eastern Europe. In addition, the General Secretary was a woman. “It is the position of Secretary General of the UN, and many countries: for the 70th anniversary of the UN secretaries-General are only men,” – said Borisov.

“It does not mean that he will win Guterres”

The open procedure of the debate shows what a candidate. “As a politician, Guterres is better made at these hearings, he has great experience in UN work with refugees. Of course, he could gain more votes, ” said the other. – However, Bokova is a strong candidate who possesses many of the qualities that would allow her to become a Secretary General of the UN.”

“The fact that now a greater number of votes scored by the Portuguese, does not mean that he wins,” – said Borisov. He explained that the decision taken by General discussions, long negotiations between the two countries. The candidacy of Secretary General should approve all members of the security Council, especially permanent ones. Thus, select the optimal candidate, which satisfies all members.

“Gaming and agreements with the main countries – members of the security Council have underlying value. The procedure remains the same. The UN Charter has not changed about the election of the General Secretary. It’s up to the members of the Security Council. Must be a common position,” – said Borisov.

He added that the one voting against, and may veto to use, but this situation has not yet reached. In addition, the Charter can two or three applicants to provide, and the General Assembly will decide, but in practice for several decades, the security Council always comes out with one candidate.

Thus the procedure of openness Borisov said very useful. “Candidate because can suit all because he is weak,” – said the source. “Now, candidates are forced to openly declare their positions, the programme of action in the case of elections. That is, they are not that secret games held, they have to perform. The speech is broadcast on television and the Internet. Competition, of course, has increased. The candidate must understand that he can’t be weak, he needs to get with the programme, to be prepared and more effective”, – concluded the expert.

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