US says consensus candidate needed

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.

2 Responses to “US says consensus candidate needed”

  1. Vijay Kumar R. Says:

    My guess is:

    1. US cast the sole discouraing vote against Ban
    2. China has encouraged all the Asian candidates in both straw polls.
    3. China can probably live with all the Asian candidates except Shashi T.
    4. China knows it will be blamed by Asian countries if the process doesnt produce an Asian SG
    5. US may veto Ban or at least will encourage other candidates to come foward before a formal vote.
    6. China will veto any non-Asian candidate
    7. There may be a deadlock or imminent deadlock
    8. Singapore will come forward then with a candidate who will win (or Zeid may still win)

  2. Peter Says:

    Yeah, Vike-Freiberga is the strongest candidate for sure.

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