Archive for the ‘Endorsements’ Category

Ban attempting coup de grace

October 1, 2006

It appears that Ban Ki-moon is rolling out the endorsements prior to Monday’s colored straw poll, presenting himself as Asia’s consensus candidate.

Sri Lankan press is reporting that Dhanapala and Sri Lanka are throwing support behind Ban.

AP is reporting that Japan will endorse at an upcoming event.  The Japanese Foreign Minister has been quoted as saying:

Assuming a summit meeting can be arranged, (Japan’s endorsement) would be offered at that point.

The only question at this point is who the sole discourage vote was on Thursday’s straw poll and whether more will occur as a consequence of allegations of corruption or improprieties in the way that Ban has fought the campaign.  Speculation is that the UK was responsible for the “discourage” as a delaying tactic. There is a chance that the news stories may solidify that, further encouraging more candidates, which has been the standard line of the UK and the US.

Tomorrow will be quite interesting.

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Washington Post Columnist Questions Ban for US

September 28, 2006

The Washington Post’s columnist Jim Hoagland:

That warning of the dangers of answered prayers applies particularly to President Bush and his support for Ban Ki Moon, South Korea’s reliably stolid foreign minister, in the highly competitive race to succeed Kofi Annan at year’s end. Bush — pilloried by Third World radicals at last week’s General Assembly opening — may be picking up a lightning rod instead of a shield.

Hoagland reports that the US has committed, at some point, to withdraw its support for Shashi Tharoor:

A shift to voting only for Ban — a move that Bush indicated he would make to South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun at a White House meeting this month — would probably doom the hopes of Tharoor and the other candidates.

Hoagland also mentions our concerns about foreign aid:

South Korea’s generosity in foreign aid and investment decisions may work in Ban’s favor with some nations, it is said in diplomatic understatement in the corridors of the United Nations.

This article suggests that the deal is done. The UK could not sustain a veto unless there was a substantially better candidate.

Uganda and Kenya support Shashi

September 4, 2006

The Indian Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs was in Africa recently and claims to have Uganda’s and Kenya’s support for Shashi Tharoor, reports the Indian press:

Two key African countries Uganda and Kenya have expressed their support to India’s claim for permanent membership of UN Security Council and Shashi Tharoor’s candidature for the post of UN Secretary General.

The support was conveyed to Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi during his visit to these countries which concluded yesterday.

Recently, Ravi has committed India’s support for Uganda’s hydro-electrical sector. It appears that he has also asked both of these countries to help get support from other African Union countries.

Note that last week, there was quite a lot of activity involving Ghana.

Cuba endorses Shashi

July 29, 2006

This can’t help with the US… From the Indian Financial  Express:

Cuba has indicated its support to the candidature of Shashi Tharoor, India’s candidate for the post of UN Secretary General, and affirmed backing to New Delhi’s bid for membership of the expanded Security Council.

With the clear support of Belarus and Cuba, Shashi is not running for the Human Rights vote….

This is also important because Cuba is the next President of NAM. But, especially if Bone is right that the US vetoed everyone in the first round, this could increase the difficulty for US support. And Belarus for European support.

On the human rights issue, our leading candidates seem like pigs in the mud…

Belarus backs Shashi Tharoor

July 15, 2006

Indian candidate Shashi Tharoor bags the first European endorsement of this race in Belarus. However, affairs aren’t so rosy for Shashi. Belarus, a noted human rights abuser, conveyed its endorsement of Mr Tharoor to the Indian Industry Minister Kumar. On the bright side, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is very close to the government of Russia. On the dim side, a good part of the world is quite aware of Belarus human rights violations – on the European level, it may be the only thing the Socialists, Liberals, and Centre-Right agree upon – all transnational parties condemn Mr Lukashenko and support the opposition (which is essentially an all-ideology pro-democracy coalition). Shashi will have to explain why he is associating with pariahs in Europe. On another level, this blog finds this development interesting – currently, all the announced candidates who have endorsements from non-home candidates have countries supporting them which have serious human rights problems (Ban has Uzbekistan, North Korea, and Egypt, while Shashi has Belarus). This is a sad development for those of us who believe that human rights is a significant topic for the United Nations.

Breaking news: India to back Shashi

June 14, 2006

India's rediff.com has the story:

India will support the candidature of United Nations Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor as the next secretary general, senior government sources in New Delhi told rediff.com today.

Indian government sources said a formal announcement of its endorsement of Dr Tharoor's candidature is likely in a "day or two."

We guess he's no longer unannounced. This puts his travels in context.

We stand by our statement that China and the US could have real problems with him.

Phillipines endorse Sathirathai

June 5, 2006

From today's Manila Standard:

The Philippines is leading efforts to obtain the support of the French government for the candidacy of Thailand’s deputy prime minister as secretary general of the United Nations.

As we have pointed out, Warren Hoge of the New York Times did not list Sathirathai on his list of candidates that are being talked about. Is the New York consensus wrong? Is this decision going to be made in the capitals?

Russia weighs in

April 10, 2006

Just days before Ban Ki-moon visits Russia, it appears that Russia is making its ideas known. There are two important parts of this. First, this article reports that Russia is actively attacking the Eastern European candidates for Secretary General. Second, this article reaffirms that they are backing an Asian.

First, the attacks:

Russian diplomats and secret servicemen started actively diffusing information that tars Latvian President's reputation, in order not to allow her appointment as the UN Secretary General. Another target of the Russian discrediting campaign in the former President of Poland

Moscow elaborated and started realizing a secret plan of discrediting the Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, reliable sources told AIA. The Kremlin shows a growing discontent with regard of Washington's alleged intention to suggest Vike-Freiberga for the UN Secretary General at the end of this year. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia has a right to veto any inconvenient candidature for that position. The Russian administration, however, decided not to bring the case up to the necessity of using this right, caring of its image in the eyes of the other members of the UN General Assembly (it is enough to recall the negative attitude of the UN members to the regular usage of veto by the USA in what concerns the resolutions condemning Israel). The Kremlin has elaborated another scenario. According to a special plan which was approved at the highest level, the Russian official institutions having contact with foreigners, and first of all the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Intelligence Service, are now deploying a propaganda campaign aimed at slandering the Latvian President.

In addition, the article says that the Russians are leaning towards Sathirathi:

Russia has already announced, through its representative in the UN Andrey Denisov, that it will support the candidate from the Asian continent. Most probably it will be the abovementioned Thai politician, whom Beijing openly favors. As for Vike-Freiberga's candidature, it is unacceptable for Moscow not just because of highly strained relations with Riga in such issues as the state border and the Russian minority in Latvia. The Kremlin was extremely negative concerning Vike-Freiberga's recent speech during the Davos World Economic Forum, when she announced the necessity to reduce the authorities of the five UN Security Council permanent members, and called to view a possibility of changing the composition of this body.

It strikes me that a position of weaking the P5 would be a difficult campaign strategy. And unlikely that that position would make her a viable American candidate.

Where is Ban on Human Rights?

April 7, 2006

We just posted on an European Parliament hearing on North Korean Human Rights, but we thought we'd break out the important question into a different post. Here is the important question:

Where is Ban Ki-moon on Human Rights?

He has been endorsed by Uzbekistan and North Korea, two of the worst Human Rights abusers in the world. Human Rights Watch has summaries of Human Rights issues in North Korea and Uzbekistan. (before Ban's recent visit to Uzbekistan to provide aid and collect endorsements, it turns out that Uzbekistan forceably closed the UNHCR office there. One suspects that Ban did not raise the issue)

So our questions:

  1. Would Ban be a spokesman on Human Rights?
  2. Would Ban work to get countries to change their policies to come into compliance with international norms?

We imagine that with issues like Iran, Darfur, North Korea, etc., the UN's chief diplomat must stand for the values in the UN Charter and other international law.

Does Ban agree?

Vote Count

April 5, 2006

Part of the reason that this blog was started was to make it easier to follow the race. Therefore, we are going to keep an ongoing list of the endorsements. This list is surely incomplete, so we urge our readers to correct and supplement it:

Ban:

North Korea (and here)

Uzbekistan

Egypt

Dhanapala:

Sri Lanka

Sathirathai:

ASEAN

Malaysia

China