Friday, January 06, 2006

Hell-en for UN Secretary General???

If Prime Minister Helen Clark could avoid an American veto of her nomination, which would be a very hard call, she would be a serious possibility for United Nations secretary-general, Green MP and former UN employee Sue Kedgley says. Well I would take what Sue Kedgley says with a pinch of salt.

Ms Kedgley, who worked for five years during the 1970s in the women's secretariat at the UN's New York headquarters, said the organisation was "well overdue" for a woman at the top. It is time for a change at the UN, but the best person for the job must be the best person for the job whether a man or lady takes the position.

Ms Kedgley has described the present secretary-general, Kofi Annan, as an old friend from her days at the UN, when she also organised international conferences. I wonder if Kofi feels the same way about Sue????

Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright and the prime minister were among 18 qualified candidates put forward by international women's group Equality Now to follow Mr Annan, whose second term ends in December.

"New Zealand has a pretty good reputation for being a reasonably independent and non-aligned nation, so the possible chances of someone like Helen Clark would be quite good," Ms Kedgley said.

The governor-general, however, probably lacked the administrative and political experience to be shortlisted. "But in the end I'm afraid it comes down to purely pragmatic politics."

Miss Clark's biggest stumbling block could be avoiding a veto by one of the Security Council's five permanent members, she said. That is an understatement.

"The way the Americans are trying to throw their weight around you couldn't get past the American veto for a start. But you never know. A woman secretary-general would be long overdue and I think somebody like Helen Clark would be a serious possibility."

Though New Zealand's nuclear-free stance would be a bonus internationally, the United States might still "have a problem with it". You think? HMMM, Sue is starting to realise the problem.

Mr Annan's predecessor in the role, Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, was blocked from a second term by a US veto, and so will Helen Clark's nomination.

According to British daily The Times, America's UN envoy, John Bolton, has said he wants to settle on a successor to Mr Annan by July. John may need to bite his tongue.

So if Sue gets her way and her beloved Helen gets the top job what would that mean to the job of PM? Would she keep both jobs or would Michael take the PM Position?

What is the time frame for changing of the UN Secretary General after a election or nomination of a new person for the job?

Maybe this is a good way to get rid of Helen after all?


Warren Warrender said...

One of the few things I like about this woman is that she hates losing, which is a thoroughly respectable trail to have.

She will go on her own terms and she would certainly make a competent Secretary General, though it pains me to say so.

Rob Good said...

Another intersting topic to keep a close eye on.