Surakiart Sathirathai gave an interview to Channel News Asia about his candidacy for UN Secretary General. First of all, he says that the political chaos in his country will not effect his candidacy. Why, you might ask?
I am an ASEAN candidate, I am not a candidate of Thailand. Leaders of ASEAN have endorsed my candidature in December 2004 and the reason that ASEAN countries decided to put up a candidature early is because we believe in global good governance and transparency. As ASEAN candidate the politics of only one country in ASEAN has no bearing to the candidature as such.
This line seems like a response, contrast, and invocation of Shashi’s line about being an “Indian Secretary General” not “India’s Secretary General”. It is also reminiscent of Ban’s statement about his own candidacy, which we also found deeply disappointing.
It would also seem that he would have to be accountable for the problems of ASEAN. Indeed, the Malaysian press has argued that Sathirathai has suffered over his country’s relationship with Myanmar and ASEAN’s silence.
Sathirathai also discussed his position on reform:
The UN cannot do everything. UN can do something. Whatever the UN is going to do, the function of the UN has to be effective, accountable and transparent. The UN has to be the paragon of good governance so that it can be the place that people have faith in. In order to be that, the UN has to go through a serious management reform so that the work of the UN can be transparent and accountable.
As the Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of a deeply, deeply corrupt government, how can he do this? He cannot possibly have any credibility on this issue. Silence from the interviewer.
In addition, the interview did not address recent Human Rights and competency criticisms (here and here) that have been layed at Sathirathai.
Channel News Asia reports that they will interview Dhanapala this week. We are looking forward to that.