May the next UN secretary general be a woman?
Ban Ki-moon, the eighth and current UN secretary general announced his retirement. When he took office in January 2007 I wasn't really sure if he was a good choice. After all, it is hard to be the replacement of Kofi Annan. I have to say, 9 years later, he did a good job, especially on peacekeeping and UN employment practices, even though he won't be, in my opinion, greatly remembered as Kofi Annan or Nelson Mandela.
But now the time have come to choose his replacement, and Ban Ki-moon surprised me again by publically encouraging it to be a woman. He made this a personal mission and maybe that would become his greatest achievement during office.
The position of UN secretary general is one of the most important jobs in the world. That being said, one of my critics to Ban Ki-moon is the fact that holding one of the top 5 most important jobs in the world, he would never be even in the top 10 most influential people. He did make the list in Forbes 2013 Most Powerful People in the 32nd position. Angela Merkel, for example, was listed 2nd Most Powerful Pople in 2015.
it is passed time for the UN to have a female secretary-general even though I don't think someone should ever be chosen by their race, sexuality, nationality or gender for this position. But maybe the gender should be considered this very first time to start a brand new story in the UN, and there are very good options on the race (twelve to be more precise).
Of course, some of them have in my opinion a far better chance to be elected than others, so I would like to talk about 5 candidates I think to have the greatest chance.
First and I believe the candidate with more chances is Helen Clark. She is the former New Zeland Prime-Minister for three terms (from 1999 to 2008) and the current United Nations Development Programme Administrator for the second term. She has the support of the New Zeland government along with Australian and United Kingdom. She also has the support of five other board member countries: Iran, Serbia, Netherlands and Tanzania. In 2013, Forbes listed her as the 21st most powerful woman in the world. She has a solid career with great success as Prime-Minister developing New Zeland economy and achieving a great improvement in salary raise for its citizens (5% every year).
The second candidate with best chances of being elected is Irina Bokova. She is a powerful woman, who served in Bulgaria, among others, two terms as a member of the National parliament, and deputy minister of foreign affairs and minister of foreign affairs ad interim under Prime Minister Zhan Videnov. One advantage she has over Helen Clark is being the Bulgarian ambassador to France and Monaco and Bulgaria's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, as diplomacy is the most important ability the UN secretary-general must have. At UNESCO, Director-General Bokova advocates for gender equality, improved education and preventing funding for terrorism, especially by enforcing the protection of intellectual goods. Her latest and most difficult challenge has been the Syria issue with terrorist and her fought to protect ancient artefacts from jihadi violence.
Next on my list would be Natalia Gherman, Vesna Pusic and Susana Malcorra, in that order. Natalia Gherman is a Moldovan politician, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova. She has a good support of Europe, due to her role in the European Integration, but not as much recognition and political or diplomatic leverage as the first two candidates. Vesna Pusic is a Croatian sociologist and politician who serves as Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament. She's also seen among the European countries as a good choice, but it is clear the advantage the other candidates have over her in political experience. Vesna greatest triumph is her academic career, which is impeccable. She lectured at the University of Chicago, Cornell, Georgetown University and MIT, just to mention a few. Last we have Susana Malcorra. She was nominated by Mauricio Macri (Argentina President) foreign minister of Argentina being for 10 months now in the office. Before holding this position she served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, nominated by Ban Ki-moon. Prior to that, she had been chief operating officer and Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Program. Another positive point is that she is from Latin America which would indicate an even more diverse choice, but in my opinion that would maybe against her.
Who do you think the next UN Secretary General will be?