Top News

Is Angela Merkel going to succeed Ban Ki-moon?

On the ground floor of the UN General Secretariat building in New York, seven portraits of men are hanging on the wall.

The space is not sufficient to accommodate an eighth portrait, that of the current UN chief Ban Ki-moon. Even less of a woman. In its seventy years of existence, the international organization installed along the East River has never been led by a woman.

Between June and September, it has yet to choose a successor to the South Korean who completes his second term at the end of 2016. Of the seven candidates announced that all come from Eastern Europe with the exception of Portuguese Antonio Guterres, three women: the current director of UNESCO, Bulgarian Irina Bokova, the Moldovan Foreign minister Natalia Gherman and the Head of the Croatian diplomacy Vesna Pusic. The regional group is European has never had a secretary general. It believes it is his turn.

Former Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey did not comment on the value of the candidates in contention. But if it could influence the process, her choice would quickly go to Angela Merkel. As she goes through a difficult period, buffeted by sex abuse scandals among the contingents of peacekeepers and marginalized in the Syrian conflict, the United Nations needs a boss capable of restoring the role and credibility of the organization on international stage.

“Angela Merkel has over ten years experience as German Chancellor trusts to Micheline Calmy-Rey Time. In the refugee crisis, she has shown a moral stature that few European leaders have demonstrated and the UN which could greatly benefit. “While in Germany the Chancellor is adversely affected by her courageous position decision” she held on, adds the former head of the federal Department of Foreign Affairs. This is a woman who shows a real will to find solutions. I remember a scene. As President of the Confederation, I sat at table with her in Davos. In her message, she did not stay in his chair. She was about to speak directly to people. “

The problem Angela Merkel says Micheline Calmy-Rey, “is that she’s a strong woman. She can be scary. ” The five permanent members of the Security Council, which so far have always selected the Secretary General in the greatest secrecy, often chose, as is the formula, rather a secretary than a general. Or stuck in their inability to reform a Security Council that reflects an exceeded international order, the United Nations need more than ever a general. In UN backstage Irina Bokova seems to be the favorite. But William Pace, director of the Global Policy Institute and promoter of the campaign “1 for 7 Billion” for a transparent process for appointing the future secretary general points out: “Eastern Europe is not a monolithic whole.

It goes without saying that Russia will be reluctant to support a candidate from an Eastern European country that is part of the EU or NATO. “A moment interested in the position, Kristalina Georgieva, current Vice President of the European Commission and close to George Soros, has no chance.

Angela Merkel, who is now not candidate would be in this sense an interesting contender.She grew up in East Germany, speaks Russian, she has been an effective go-between between Brussels and Moscow, particularly in the Ukrainian crisis. She is also appreciated by US President Barack Obama. Her accession to the UN Secretary General post, confirm that both Washington and Moscow would turn the international forum as effective organization.

One factor will influence the appointment of the successor Ban Ki-moon. For the first time since 1945, the five permanent members of the Security Council have agreed to introduce some transparency in the process. At the UN level, this is a small revolution.

Under the leadership of the Danish President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft and the civil society, Member States were asked to publicly announce their candidates. The General Assembly refuses to be just a rubber stamp. An informal dialogue took even place in the General Assembly 12-13 and 14th April with the seven candidates. Head of the UN Department liaison with NGOs, Susan Alzner points out: citizens of the world were solicited through the Internet and Twitter. “We received over 1,000 questions for the candidates. We will select thirty for the General Assembly. ”

William Pace would not be surprised that there are other candidates that appear between April and June, when the Security Council should consider the nominations. The director of the Global Policy Institute adds: “Member states also seem very favorable to limit to six or seven years the term of office of the future secretary general. One way to make the function independent by the great powers. “But the threat of the veto remains.

To be confirmed, the popular Kofi Annan had to overcome in eleven consecutive …

Translate from the French
Read the full article on Le Temps website

Related Articles

Syria: ‘Glimmers of humanity’ overshadowed by brutality of attacks on civilians, says UN aid chief

04/27/2017. The top United Nations humanitarian official today urged consolidation of the nationwide ceasefire, most importantly a pause in fighting on the outskirts of Damascus, to enable the delivery of aid.

Good Foreign Policy Is Invisible

02/28/2017. The problem is that successful foreign policy is largely invisible. Sometimes, successful foreign policy even means keeping real victories quiet.