Friday, September 15, 2006

Who will replace Kofi Annan?

The term of Kofi Annan as the United Nations Secretary General, runs out on December 31st, 2006.

The race is already on to find a replacement. According to the U.N. an unofficial system of regional rotation, it is Asia's turn to field a candidate for the prestigious job in the world. To win the Secretary-General's post, a candidate must have the backing of all five permanent members of the Security Council: USA, UK, France, Russia and China. The current front-runners so far:

  • Prince Zeid al Hussein, Jordan's ambassador to the U.N., (Jordan)
  • Shashi Tharoor, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information (India)
  • Ban Ki Moon, Minister of Freign Affairs and Trade (South Korea),
  • Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister (Thailand)
  • Jayantha Dhanapala, Senior Advisor to Sri Lankan President (Sri Lanka)
Other potential canditaes:
  • Niranjan Deva-Aditya, Sri Lankan ambassador-at-large
  • Anwar Ibrahim, former Malaysian deputy Prime Minister,
  • Goh Chock Tong, former Singapore Prime Minister .
The new Secretary General will inherit a lot of world problems: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Darfur, North Korea, volatile Israeli/Palestinian issues, HIV/AIDS, global warming, you name them.

An Arab UN SG seems plausible, but it seems the Americans are not yet happy with the current list. They want more candidates. Judging from how Kofi Annan himself got the position, it is going to be an interesting race. Let the fun begin.