In a press briefing, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Kristen Silverberg said:
“There is not a consensus Asian candidate right now and I don’t see signs of one emerging, honestly, right now. There are five Asian candidates and they all enjoy some support, so we don’t expect a consensus.
But if there’s an Asian candidate who’s the strongest candidate and meets our criteria, then we are obviously prepared to support that person.”
Silverberg is responsible for vetting UNSG candidates. She also rejected the rotation as necessary. She continued:
The UN isn’t a talk-shop anymore. It’s not just a political organisation in New York. It’s an organisation that has more than 70,000 peacekeepers deployed. It has development and humanitarian programmes all over the world.
So we want somebody who’s going to be a good manager and committed to continued reform of the United Nations. We also want somebody who’s going to share our values – the importance of promoting democracy around the world and a commitment to human rights.
Obviously, this can be seen as boosting the candidacy of Vīķe-Freiberga. However given the Chinese insistence — and the widespread support — of the rotation, this may be instead threatening a veto of Ban. And, again, inviting more candidates into the race.