Tuesday, 14 January, 2020

How the new UN Secretary General needs to act?

By Abdolreza Ghofrani, Senior International Analyst

While the 71st session of UN General Assembly (GA) is still continuing, the Security Council is scheduled to choose one of the nominees for the office of secretary general of the world body and introducing him/her to GA for approval.

So far a few nominees from among the former politicians and diplomats have been known (of course this time around it will be European turn to lead the world body), however due to various reasons, mostly political, the Security Council so far has not been able to reach to a consensus that who should be the next highest ranking officer of the United Nations.

Reportedly, the United States supports former Portuguese, Mr. Antonio Guterres. But Russia backs former Bulgaria Foreign Minister and present UNESCO Director General, Mrs. Irina Bokova.

Nevertheless, given the present UN Secretary General’s two terms of office will come to an end on 31 December 2021 the Security Council needs to decide the nominee and come to a consensus before that time introducing him/her to GA for its approval.

Irrespective of who will take the helm, it is worthy to note that the UN Secretary General office is a powerful international post.

In addition to overseeing the affiliated agencies of this colossal international organization, politically, he or she is highly responsible for the duties assigned to the job which is political, and more importantly international. Among them are the carrying out the decisions made by UN GA , having  an important and critical role in Security Council, administrating the peace operations, organizing  the international conferences, mediation in conflicts and struggles and draws the attentions of both general assembly and security council specially when the peace and security of the world is in danger.

Unfortunately under present international situations that the crisis points all over the world are not few but are increasing as well as escalating, naturally the role of the United Nations should be far much more active.

There is no doubt that this, to a large extent, is contingent on a dynamic, experienced, tactful as well as vigor personality who takes over as the secretary general.

Now UN Secretary General is no longer considered as solely a “peace keeper”, but the “peace making” is also the most significant part of this high job. For the first time, this was initiated during the tenure of office of Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and was relatively successful.

Having said all that, in addition to the characteristics said above, the new Secretary General of the United Nations, given the present international situations, needs also to take stock of invaluable experiences and ways of his distinguished predecessors such as Dag Hammarskjöld, U Thant, and Javier Pérez de Cuéllaras well as Kofi Annan, and thus taking   initiations to resolve the international problems.

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