One of the questions that we raised in our initial posting was how the current challenges facing the UN could emerge in the UNSG race. One of the major issues has been reform.
We thought we would give one example of reform and how it could play out in this race.
The South-North Development Monitor has a story about developed country concerns about reform. Apparently a number of European countries are pushing a reform agenda:
Up to now the proposals are being championed mainly by European countries. On 23 February, the UN Ambassadors of 13 countries, calling themselves a group of 13 donor countries (or the G13) presented a letter to the Prime Minister of Norway in his capacity as Co-Chair of the Panel on UN system-wide coherence. The letter includes an Annex listing 8 “key issues for strengthening the UN operational system.” The G13 comprises Canada and twelve European countries – Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
This list includes Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom, all Security Council members. Throw in the United States, which regularly expresses strong interest in reform, and you have 3 vetos and 4 votes. With 3 more votes abstaining, these countries could block a candidate who did not take reform seriously.
Of the candidates, only Dhanapala and Deva have taken a strong stance on the issue. One wonders what Ban’s reception in Denmark was and how closely the signatories of this letter are following this issue with the UNSG candidates