Archive for the ‘Deva’ Category

Niranjan Deva-Aditya nominated by Fiji

September 6, 2006

From a press release from one of Deva’s aides:

It is announced today, 6th September 2006, that Niranjan Deva-Aditya has become an official candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as Secretary-General of the United Nations when he retires at the end of this year. Ambassador Deva-Aditya was nominated by the Republic of Fiji.

It includes excerpts from the letter itself:

I am writing to request you to add the name of Niranjan Deva-Aditya, Ambassador-at-Large of Sri Lanka to your list of Candidates. Ambassador Deva is a unique Candidate – a Sri Lankan citizen with family, roots, and businesses in Sri Lanka – he has become a global personality, making a significant contribution to global politics, aid and development at the multilateral level.

Regarding Dhanapala, a fellow Sri Lankan, Deva says:

Although I am an Asian and a Sri Lankan citizen, I do not seek to be a Sri Lankan nominee, as Sri Lanka fielded an excellent candidate as long ago as December 4th 2004.

Note that Deva claims to have more support and he has recently been to China.

Who else is out there? Annan has been talking about a female successor again.

Immediate consequences:

Dhanapala’s candidacy is even more impossible. To do this, Deva has to have evidence that there has been a collapse of Dhanapala’s support. He already has some support inside his own country.

Three South Asian Candidates. Why? And why have two more candidates entered? What do they know about Ban Ki-moon’s support and Shashi Tharoor’s support that others do not know?

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Sri Lankan leader suggests Dhanapala should drop out; Supports Deva

August 19, 2006

From an interview with the leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya, a Buddhist coalition party in the Sri Lankan’s government:

Q.: Moving onto a different matter, you may be knowing that Niranjan Deva-Aditya who is a member of the European Parliament is presenting himself as a contender for the UN Secretary General post after the failure of Jayantha Dhanapala to secure the necessary support of the Security Council. It is learnt that the JHU had earlier presented Deva-Aditya honours. Would you like the government to nominate him now?

A: The thing is Jayantha Dhanapala had come last in the Security Council vote. Also his age is against him as well. Niranjan Deva-Aditya has a better chance of going through. Niranjan Deva-Aditya is a good patriot and if the necessity arises the government should support him.

Like Sathirathai, the domestic press has totally lost support for Dhanapala. And now a leading coalition party is pushing Deva. Note Deva is a Catholic, not a Buddhist. Fireworks!

In Shashi’s SAJA Forum Skypecast (covered by UNSG here), he predicted that candidates (plural almost certainly meaning Dhanapala and Sathirathai) would drop out after the September straw polls. He predicted that other candidates wouldn’t have the support to enter. However, Deva has claimed to have the support of other countries.

Deva campaign continues

August 14, 2006

Niranjan Deva-Aditya told the press in Sri Lanka last week that he has 5 nominations:

received Asian, Pacific, Caribbean and European assistance to nominate him as the UN Secretary General post.

Speaking to media Mr.Deva Adithya declined to disclose countries, which backed to him, but assured to disclose all details in an International press conference, which is to be held shortly in UK or EU‘s …
However I have not forwarded my nomination papers in yet. I have direct links with 103 countries, which come under the UN flag. On a daily basis I deal with them.”

Deva also reported, “I have special connection with the Chinese government.” This is probably a reference to his recent trip to China.

Note that this was done in Sri Lanka. It is clear that his entrance is dependent on Dhanapala’s backing out, and it may be that his public statements hurt Dhanapala. As we have pointed out, this is also Goh’s strategy to a viable candidacy.

The Debate on Deva and the Goh-Deva Strategy

July 21, 2006

There is a quite amusing debate emerging on the candidacy of Niranjan Deva-Aditya over at UNSG. Apparently one of Deva’s Sri Lankan supporters put up an over-enthusiastic website in Sri Lanka, getting some of the details wrong. UNSG pointed out some of these flaws. The Deva campaign clarified.

The interesting questions are, of course:

First, will Deva get nominated? The press release posted on UNSG seems to suggest that they think it is a real possibility. There was also a recent article in the gossip section of a British magazine lists specific countries who support him. What to make of this? Of course, without a formal nomination, from Sri Lanka or another country, it is impossible for him to be a candidate.

Second, Mr. Fleming, over at UNSG argues that there is a “long shot” way for Deva to emerge as a candidate:

“Deva does have one (long) shot. If the straw polls to be taken this month reveal low support for Dhanapala, …”

This is, of course, also the Goh strategy vis-a-vis ASEAN. It goes like this:

  1. The first straw poll happens. Sathirathai’s support is vanishingly small. (as our sources in New York indicate is the case)
  2. ASEAN tries to push Sathirathai out and submits Goh’s name. If that fails, supporters in other countries do this anyways.
  3. At this point, the debate is reconfigured and real compromise can take place.

For this to work for Deva, Dhanapala will have to fail on the first straw poll, which we fully expect. If Dhanapala is taken seriously a week from now, then Deva would have little basis for continuing.

The lesson here in these strategies is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It is our analysis that the Goh-Deva strategy is viable and that none of the 4 currently nominated candidates will have job on Secretary General on January 1st. But we could be proven wrong next week when the first straw poll happens.

More Process information

July 7, 2006

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?

Two former PMs nominate Deva

July 7, 2006

Sri Lankan press reports that Niranjan Deva-Aditya has been nominated by two former PMs:

Ambassador Niranjan Deva-Aditya has been nominated by the former Prime Ministers of France and Poland as a candidate for UN Secretary-General.Michel Rocard and Jerzy Buzek have both written to the President of the UN Security Council requesting that Deva?s name be added to the list of candidates.

Formally, only member states are eligible to nominate candidates. Surely Deva knows this and is up to something innovative. Indeed, the creativity of his candidacy appears as a theme in the letters submitted by the two former PMs:

His life and achievements truly span East and West; North and South. The challenges faced by a globalised world require the next Secretary-General to be a 21st century personality, one who is a global citizen and well versed in multi-lateral relations, and who is above any particular national interest.

In this regard Mr. Deva-Aditya is unique, he is above all else a consensus builder as his life achievements show. As an Asian impacting upon the multi-lateral political environment worldwide, he is ideally placed to be the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

As we have indicated, this only makes sense if some country puts forth his name. Either a member state can submit a name formally, or a Security Council member can submit his name informally. Who will it be?

Road to Turtle Bay: The Multilateral Parliamentarian

June 21, 2006

The last candidate that we will be profiling in our series is both a Sri Lankan Ambassador and a Member of the European Parliament, Niranjan Deva-Aditya.

Deva was born in Sri Lanka and is active in Sri Lankan politics and business. His grandfather was a Sri Lankan Senator and businessman. Deva himself has been active in the peace process in Sri Lanka, and in promoting Sri Lanka abroad.  For that service and others, he was awarded in 2006 the Vishwa Keertha Sri Lanka Abhimani by the Buddhist clergy of Sri Lanka.

Deva also has business links throughout Asia, as a Director of DCSL, a large Sri Lankan-based conglomerate with over 140,000 employees worldwide.

He is Budget Coordinator in the European Parliament with responsibility for some $11 billion in development funds. This brings him in close contact with leaders throughout the developing world. In this capacity, he is one of the leaders of the  joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, which is meeting this week in Vienna. Yesterday, he, along with a Mauritian MP, published a report on energy policy for the developing world, a long-term interest of his.

Within Europe, he is seen as a bridge between Europe and Asia. He is Chairman of the Europe-India Chamber of Commerce, founder and Vice-President of the European Parliament India Group, Chairman of the EU-Afghanistan Parliamentary Liaison Group, and Chairman of the European Parliament Indonesia Group.

He is also not unknown at the UN. In April 2005 Deva led the European Parliament's delegation to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and delivered a paper on the future of the United Nations at the US Council on Foreign Relations. In July 2005 he led the Parliament's delegation to the UN High-level Conference on global aid funding. In September 2005 he was Co-Chairman (with Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France) of the Parliaments' Delegation to the World Summit at the UN General Assembly. 

Is Deva a viable candidate? Shashi Tharoor mentioned him in a recent discussion about the next UNSG, when Shashi himself was on a tour for his own candidacy. We believe that the leading candidates are unacceptable for fundamental reasons and that new ones will continue to emerge. Deva has been quite active and his name will likely appear in discussions once the current crop is knocked out. That's how Kofi got elected.

Deva calls for Energy Policy for Developing World

June 20, 2006

Sri Lankan Ambassador and MEP Niranjan Deva-Aditya (aka Nirj Deva) is one of the unannounced candidates for UNSG. This week, he is in Vienna with the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, where he is the head of the EU delegation.

He issued a report, along with Mauritius MP Nita Deerpalsingh on the need for an energy policy in the developing world, a theme that we have heard he has hit repeatedly in his stump speeches as he has toured New York and national capitals.

Deva says:

Our report is not the Bible of solutions of the problematics of energy in ACP countries: this is a continuous process, also due to the unpredictable price of energy. This report is a starting point, it provides specific indications of the energy potential in the ACP States, so that strategies can be directed towards optimally developing this potential, thereby allowing these states to secure the cost and volume of their energy supply.

Incidentally, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an interesting multilateral parliament:

The JPA brings together 78 Members of the European Parliament and parliamentarians from the 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific States which are signatories of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is the only international assembly where the representatives of different countries meet with the sole aim of promoting North-South co-operation. The plenary sessions are held twice a year, alternating between an EU Member State and an ACP country.

Shashi Tharoor tips Deva for UNSG

June 9, 2006

This one is from The Colombo Times and we'll let it speak for itself:

Shashi Tharoor tips Deva for UNSG

Shashi Tharoor, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information was in the European Parliament 6 June for meetings with the Foreign Affairs Committee.

In the course of his remarks, Tharoor, a UN insider for twenty eight years, referred to the UN as a body that "reflects the hopes and convictions" of the international community.

Despite rumors circulating about Tharoor's own possible candidacy, his praise was reserved for fellow-Asian Niranjan Deva-Aditya, a Sri Lankan Member of the European Parliament, who is also being considered for the job, and who was at the meeting.

Responding to a question from German MEP Karl Von Wogau regarding the candidates to succeed Kofi Annan, Tharoor responded that those present may need "look no further than this Parliament or this room" to find the successor."

Deva is an outside candidate who has been mentioned more in recent days. Reports are that he had a day of meetings in New York last week.  Only time will tell.

More information on Ambassador Deva at his website.

More candidates?

April 5, 2006

UNSG.org cites a Japanese article and says:

This announcement likely sends a strong signal that China is not enamoured of Surakiart, Dhanapala or Ban. Regardless, it remains committed to supporting only an Asian national for the job, though Ambassador Wang reportedly did not rule out nationals from Arab nations, included by the UN in the Asian regional group.

Who? Well, here's one theory. Dhanapala came to the states because Nirj Deva, a fellow Sri Lankan whose name has been raised also, did last week. He spoke at the Hudson Institute. Sources in Washington indicate that he also attended the UN Foundation/Better World Campaign's Helms Lecture.