Security Council Report has a very helpful analysis of the memo circulated by the Security Council on the appointment straw poll process. We believe that the most important points are:
First, the Council seems to have decided to proceed cautiously. Rather than setting out a fully defined set of guidelines, it seems to be leaving open the possibility of successive refinements of the process, as events unfold.
Secondly, the Council has established a clear requirement for nomination of candidates. Candidates will only be considered for inclusion in the “straw ballot” if the name of the candidate has been presented to the President of the Security Council by a Member State. (It is understood that at time of writing three of the four announced candidates have been so nominated)
Fourthly, at this stage the straw ballots will not differentiate between permanent members and elected members. Accordingly, the impact of the veto will remain veiled.
Fifthly, there is nothing in the note from the President of the Security Council which suggests that the field will be limited to the candidates whose names are in the first straw poll. It seems that it will be possible for additional candidates to be nominated. This is another matter which seems to be deliberately left open.
Several thoughts occur to us in response to this analysis. They are proceeding cautiously. This is not surprising because there is no guarantee that the current list of formally announced candidates contains someone who will garner the support of the UNSC.
We find it interesting that vetos will be hidden this time. Surely this is an attempt to emphasize equity in the process, at least initially? And surely the P5 are talking? The interesting question is what they do when they get 8 or 10 votes, which would be enough if there is no veto. When do they convert to a process that uses vetos?
Lastly, there are two things in the report that pick out particular candidates. First, Shashi, Dhanapala, and Sathirathai have all been officially nominated. Ban Ki-moon has not. Is he not running any more? If not, what happens to Egyptian support? Egypt is important in both the Arabic world and in Africa.
Second, this makes Deva’s nominations, so far, invalid. What will he do about that?