The race continues in two fora into uncertainty

In the last week, two important meetings have occurred. Perhaps the simplest summary is from AFP:

None of the three [Ban, Dhanapala, and Sathirathai] are highly fancied and there is no certainty that an Asian will be chosen — the United States has said that the best candidate should get the job regardless of where they come from.

First, in Putrajaya, the ancient capital of Malaysia, the Non-Aligned Movement met. NAM will be critical as its membership is a majority of the General Assembly, which, under Canadian, Indian, and other leadership, may express a stronger position. And NAM represents the interest of the developing world, which views itself as getting the short end of the stick in the fight over UN reform. Indeed, in recorded remarks, Kofi Annan said:

“Giving voice to the developing world, to advance a just and democratic international order, have always been NAM’s underlying goals,” said UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

Second, there was also a meeting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Qatar. One of the topics on the agenda was unifying behind an Asian candidate:

Another issue likely to be discussed is the next secretary general of the United Nations, which the present incumbent, Kofi Annan, has said should be an Asian.

No affirmative news yet about the discussions. Needless to say, the race is entering a stage in which the leader, Ban, will either succeed or fail. If he fails, as the AFP quote indicates may be happening, it is unclear what the next step will be.

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