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Friday, 23 July 2010






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Travails of the UN Secretary General and his re-election

Moon, the current Secretary General of the UN is in the news again and this time the news does not sound very favorable.

CNN news titled 'Senior UN official chastises UN Chief in parting shot' reports that the departing Swedish diplomat who headed the department charged with combating UN corruption Inga Britt Ahlenius has released a rare rebuke of her bosses performance stating that the 'United Nations is drifting in to irrelevance with the absence of strategic guidance and leadership under the present Secretary General'.

She had further stated that, 'there is no transparency, there is lack of accountability.... I do not see any sign of reform in the organization. The SG's office has been seriously damaged under Ban's oversight and the Secretariat is now in a process of decay'. In concluding her report she says that, 'We seem to be seen less and less as a relevant partner in the resolution of world problems and that is as serious as it is sad'

Uncommon criticism

The CNN report further states that, "although criticism from UN insider is uncommon, Ahlenius's memo is not the first time the current SG has faced such issues. In August 2009 a confidential memo from Norwegian Deputy Ambassador Mona Juul referred to the SG as 'spineless and charm less' and that he was 'struggling to show leadership with irresolute appeals lacking in dedication'. The CNN report then goes on to quote Stephen Schlesinger, author of "Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations" about the current mood in the UN under the present SG that, "You have to judge practically all actions that the Secretary general is taking these days in terms of his effort to win a second five year term in 2012".

 Ban Ki-moon

Schlesinger has probably put it very bluntly that the UN Secretary General's actions are no longer based on the need to maintain world peace and other such high ideals propounded by the World Body at its formation but rather on the need to please the powers that maintain the UN.

This should also explain why small countries like Sri Lanka are increasingly getting intimidated by the World Body unless they are prepared to tow the global political line of those same powers that are behind the UN. Moon probably is haunted by the fate that befell his predecessor Kofi Anan who tested the independence of his office with, not so favorable, consequences.

Affective and relevant

However the real issues connected with the UN is much more deep seated than fathomed either by either Schlesinger or Ahlenius. The UN simply can not be any more affective and relevant than the current world leaders wish it to be.

On this question of the re-election of the Secretary General however, there is a thing or two that we Asians can express during the term of the office this Secretary General because we are going through the period that is assigned to Asia to chose its candidate for this world office.

Cultural ethos

Moon is currently holding that office as Asia's representative and he will be seeking his re election too on that same grounds. The question then is how representative is Ban Ki-moon to hold that office on behalf of all of us the Asians?

To be representative of a particular region one has to represent the values and the cultural ethos of the majority in that region and these values and ethos again are based on the religious beliefs of the people in the region.

In the modern day world civilization a person's value formation and perceptibility depends on his religion and hence what matters is the beliefs than the race.

Asia's population is 3.7 billion as against the current world population of 6.5 billion. Moon hardly represents Asia and if he is re-elected he will continue to be a grotesque representation of the Asian region. That then, will prevent Asia from getting a proper Asian to represent the region in the Secretary General's office of the UN for the next 30 years.

People of Asia should ensure that at least for the remaining five years of the Asian term in the UN, a person who represents the region's civilization is elected. That will prevent the Atlantic civilization from hijacking the UN office altogether, making the UN more irrelevant, insignificant and even reprehensible.



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