17 October 2006

UNSG contest done. Epilogue in la Minore

Greetings. To the Chinese and Russians (but mostly to the Chinese). For China this election was a question of honour. For Russia it turned be the matter of principle, self-efficiency, and also giving a lesson to the disloyal Eastern Europeans and an act of revenge to the amerikosy (is it Russian for gringos?).

Brits. Obviously, tried to play open-mindedly. Tried hard. – Not enough.

French. Hah?

Americans. First impression: what kind of comedy was that? Last impression: this ambassador didn't make any better than his earlier predecessor, Bush, during the infamous selection of Kurt Waldheim.

We admit, we failed. Failed to provide our readers with the detailed reports (though it wasn't necessary - Tony at UNSG.org and Chapter15 did a marvelous job), failed to produce an analysis of these races (it's not over) and, what's important, failed to post out our scenario on a frontrunner.

Perhaps, this is not only our fault. Perhaps, we failed because... the election failed?

We have nothing to say about the "winner", or "his" victory – we're sort of inclined to the Qui sunt iudici? approach. The views on Ban are being spread everywhere in the Web now. The point is how soon these views will change after the Korean takes up to his post. – In this regard, the Economist's article seems to be very symptomatic (though the opinion of the well-respected magazine is totally neglected by its rather insipid conclusion "He deserves to be given a chance" - Of all seven contenders, who doesn't?). Another question is what's going to push the media to get back on the Seoul's campaign methods and for the NGOs to dig on the possible chain Ban-Park-Strong.

A few words on outsiders.

THAROOR. Not for a single moment, since his nomination till the last straw poll, no one thought of this candidate as a serious one. People acquainted with the way-too-ambitious Indian, clearly knew about his reasons to push the Prime Minister, omitting the Foreign Minister, for his nomination. It is not clear, however yet, whether author Shashi Tharoor will be able to find a place in the UN system under Ban, at least as an SG's envoy. We'll see.

VAIRA. The case of the outgoing and thus having-nothing-to-loose Baltic president was a copy of the Mary Robinson scenario in all aspects. Including the failure. Kudos is and will be expressed from the Eastern Europeans and women’s empowerment activists.

SURAKIART. The solidness and persistence of his campaign through the dire straits was indeed remarkable. We don't believe Surakiart will be part of the Thai provisional administration, he would rather become the leader of the body that was consistently endorsing him, especially as the next turn for ASEAN SG goes to Thailand.

Prince ZEID. The heir to the Iraqi throne is young and might have another chance. Still, no guarantee can be given that he (as one of our readers quite interestingly observed) would not duplicate the fate of another prince, who also failed, twice.

GHANI. The dark horse wasn't able to come out of darkness. Ghani's destiny is of concern for his devoted fans.

DHANAPALA. The whole story with the Sri Lanka ambitions for the UN top job was just a mess – first, Tyronne Fernando, then Dhanapala. To the loss of this post we would add the Lankans' defeats at the races for Commonwealth SG-2004, UNESCO DG-1999 and IAEA DG-1997. So, may be the problem is in these ambitions?.. As to Dhanapala himself, chances are he will return the UN system. Probably, the post won't be that high - for that he should have withdrawn in favour of Ban at least after the second straw poll.

As the appointment ceremony is being passed over, everyone is preparing. Coyly. UN senior staff is thinking of the ways to avoid the resign (or to be re-appointed). Asians are thinking over the recommendations for "their" SG, including on the UN senior staff. Eastern Europeans are drafting awkward letters for the SG-designate to recognize their turn for his successor and to accommodate their nationals (practically, the current and former heads of New York missions) within the UN senior staff, targeting at no less than the post of DSG. Everyone is keen to meet Ban who "will listen attentively to your concerns, expectations and admonitions". P5 are waiting...

And us? We are going to look back and analyze these campaigns, and will try to come up with the best practices in running for UNSG.

We trust that having such guidelines is a good idea. After all, the elections for the top international posts have indeed transformed into a major business…

No comments: