UN chief appears set for re-election as challengers face lengthy possibilities

The work of United Nations Secretarygeneral is up for grabs once more, however up to now there is just one formally certified candidate for the publish – the present Secretary Common – regardless of quite a few others seeking to shake issues up at Turtle Bay.

Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres, who took the publish in 2017, appears like a candidate for a second five-year time period beginning subsequent January, except somebody who meets the UN standards for the publish enters. on the final second.

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Guterres Wednesday publish a vision statement for his subsequent 5 years on the helm, calling on the UN to “act as a catalyst and platform for extra inclusive, networked and efficient types of multilateralism”.

“Our path of journey is evident on peace and safety, local weather motion, sustainable improvement, human rights and the humanitarian crucial,” he mentioned within the assertion.

Emma Reilly, a human rights lawyer who works for the Workplace of the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Switzerland, is somebody who seeks to qualify as a candidate and shake up the United Nations system.

Reilly blew the whistle on her bosses for what she mentioned was their handing over the names of Chinese language dissidents who had come to talk on the UN Human Rights Council on the behest of Communist China.


For her efforts, Reilly says she has confronted retaliation from her bosses for being a whistleblower and continues to hold on to her job for talking out towards the observe. Reilly advised Fox Information his determination to problem the publish was to get the worldwide physique to finish nepotism and corruption so it will probably fulfill its mandate.

She’s hoping that working for secretary common will imply she will get an audition and may compete within the race – however that’s provided that she will be able to get a nomination. Thus far, Reilly and 6 different candidates have but to be authorized by a Member State.

The method to qualify as a candidate is sophisticated, and it’s shared between the President of the Safety Council and the President of the Common Meeting (PGA).

“As to the distinction between a candidate and a candidate, that’s the query we face proper now,” Volkan Bozkir, president of the PGA, advised reporters. “I believe it is just when the President of the Common Meeting and the President of the Safety Council signal a joint letter {that a} candidate can change into a candidate.”


He added that there have been nonetheless grey areas and famous that he believed the Safety Council noticed the foundations as being that solely candidates or candidates “backed by a rustic will likely be thought-about by the Safety Council.” .

Whereas Reilly credited Guterres for ordering his protection as a whistleblower three years in the past, she mentioned he was merely ignored by senior managers. This, for her, makes him a lame candidate.

However she hopes an appointment would permit her to grill the UN chief on a variety of points – together with the UN’s relationship with China, which has come below additional scrutiny and criticism. amid the coronavirus pandemic final yr.

“If I can get a rustic to call me, I can ensure that Guterres is requested about corruption, waste, abject failures in tackling sexual exploitation and abuse or endangering rights activists human rights, and the growing violation of the foundations to please some Member States. , particularly China, ”Reilly mentioned.

Except for Reilly, a UN worker from Canada and a former president from Ecuador are among the many candidates, however for now all stay candidates – not candidates as described by the President of the Common Meeting. United Nations.

However, regardless that one other prospect might make the listing, Guterres would nonetheless be the favourite. He can cite his dealing with of the UN throughout COVID-19, in addition to protecting the physique collectively below fierce criticism from the USA throughout the Trump administration.

Even former UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, who served below Trump, had type phrases for the previous Portuguese prime minister.

“Antonio Guterres is a person of substance. He is an efficient man, a powerful man, with very robust ethical convictions. He’s additionally a deeply empathetic particular person,” Craft advised Fox Information.

She additionally mentioned it was not shocking that different member states didn’t ask for their very own candidates, calling it “a testomony to Secretary-Common Guterres’ place on the planet”.

She cited not solely her management in recent times as SG, but in addition as director of the United Nations Refugee Company earlier than that.

“Her work as Director of UNHCR has clearly proven this ardour and concern in motion,” she mentioned. “And he introduced that target humanity to the position of secretary common. His name for a world ceasefire throughout the pandemic displays the management and sincerity of his dedication to enhancing the lives of those that want it most.

Craft additionally says he took the administration’s criticism of the physique and the necessity for reform critically.

The Secretary-Common rightly noticed criticism of the UN as a helpful option to power the establishment to take its mandates critically. He’s totally conscious that the USA is the most important contributor to the UN as a result of [he] understands that US taxpayers, and world taxpayers, want the premier worldwide group to be dependable stewards of their cash, ”she mentioned.

However the former ambassador additionally spoke positively about whistleblowers like Reilly.


“Whistleblowers cringe to battle for good governance and expose corruption and different wrongdoing. The United Nations, like most bureaucracies, is inclined to such abuses,” she mentioned. declared. “I do know Secretary-Common Guterres takes the safety of whistleblowers critically and he’s conscious of Ms. Reilly’s state of affairs. The UN paperwork runs deep, leaving room for systemic failures and unscrupulous people praying for whistleblowers. From prime to backside, the establishment should assure the very best safety for whistleblowers. “

The primary interplay with the candidates for Secretary-Common and UN member states will happen on Might 7 when Guterres units out his imaginative and prescient for a second time period earlier than the Common Meeting.

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