The Candidature of Bulgaria for the Next UN Secretary-General Twenty “Endnote Comments” On a Biased, False and Misleading “Negative PR” Article Печат
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Неделя, 20 Март 2016 22:18

The Candidature of Bulgaria for the Next UN Secretary-General

Twenty “Endnote Comments”

On a Biased, False and Misleading “Negative PR” Article

Introductory remarks by Dr Radoslav Deyanov, Independent Consultant*/

 

It is time for international election campaigns again. This time it is in the UN, which will soon start selecting its next Secretary‑General (UNSG). Readers can find numerous professional analysis offering competent and honest reviews comparing objectively the UN-related qualities of the nominated candidates.

These publications help political observers and interested readers to orient themselves as to “where the UN will go next”. There are also few incorrect and openly biased publications that seek to throw as much “political dirt” as possible on the most competitive candidates and to play down their UN-related merits.

The International Policy Digest article on the candidacy of Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, written by Tatiana Christy belongs to the second category of such publications. The author describes herself as “media & PR consultant, which already explains why the article contains so many biased qualifications, unfair assessments and some honest falsifications. It looks like Tatiana Christy is indirectly promoting - with her “negative PR campaign” vis-a-vis Ms Bokova’s candidacy - another candidate having much slimmer chances for UN success.  The actual value of Tatiana Christy’s “contribution” could be assessed in the light of the 2o+ comments included in footnotes addressing various parts of her article.

What is the real impact of such biased, often slanderous, publications on positions that will be taken by important UN member-states at the forthcoming UNSG elections? Ambassador Mathieu Sudders of the UK to UNESCO implicitly answered this question in his written communication of 11 September 2013 to all missions in Paris warning them about the false authorship of a similar article by an alleged “U.K. journalist”, named Patrick Dawson, who is one of the “authoritative sources” for conclusions about Ms Bokova in Tatiana Christy’s publication. The UK Ambassador wrote that “in the course of election campaigns, this kind of things is not unknown, but in our view, it has no place in a UN election campaign”. “The UK position remains that we make our election choices based upon vision, values, performance and potential”. Soon after this, Ms Irina Bokova was successfully reelected for a second term as Director-General of UNESCO

 

International Policy Digest

Controversial UN Candidacy Stirs World’s Past and Present

By Tatiana Christy 14 March 2016

The global community once again is searching for the best candidate for the post of UN Secretary General to replace the current head of the UN Ban Ki-Moon. At the end of 2016, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council will pick a candidacy that is most acceptable to all the countries, who are the decision makers in this process – China, France, Russian, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Since no Secretary-General has ever come from Eastern Europe, many speculate this will be the region from where the next candidate will come. In addition, the United States insists that the person who will lead the UN for the next term must be a woman. However, the East European region and its historical complexities may create additional tensions between the East and the West, when choosing a candidate for the highest UN post.

One of the women considered for this position is the current head of UNESCO – Irina Bokova, 63, a Bulgarian. She also happens to be the favorite candidate of Russia[1]. According to many analysts, this might be the main problem with her candidacy along with her communist background. Although she was officially nominated for this post by the Bulgarian government, her candidacy remains very controversial in her own country and abroad. What makes Bokova vulnerable is her being a former member of the top communist nomenclature[2] in Bulgaria during the Cold War. Therefore, her candidacy is quite unacceptable to many people [3].

Her background is traced back to the most oppressive circles of the former communist regime in her country. Bokova is the daughter for Georgi Bokov, a prominent communist-era politician and the chief propagandist of the regime. For years, he worked as the Editor-in-Chief of the paper Rabotnichesko Delo (the Bulgarian equivalent of the Russian paper Pravda). Her father has been implicated in brutal repressions of dissidents in Bulgaria. Although he died before the fall of communism, his dark legacy is still very present in this nation’s psyche, where he is perceived as the Bulgarian Goebbels.

Like every child coming from the highest strata of communist aristocracy, Irina Bokova received a top education in Bulgaria. Most children of the communist elite were prepared to serve as diplomats [4].

They were sent to study at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, an exclusive institution dedicated to creating the top diplomatic brass of the Eastern Bloc and other Soviet Union satellites [5].  After graduating in 1977, Bokova started her career at the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. In 1982, she was sent to work at the Permanent Bulgarian mission at the UN.

Between 1984 and 1990, she worked at the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in Sofia, where she witnessed the fall of communism. The new times became a blessing for many of the former communist elite because they had had a head start and unsurpassed leverage to enter the new political arena during the difficult transition period. Bokova entered politics, serving as a Member of Parliament, a deputy-foreign Minister in 1995 and later an acting foreign minister in the socialist government of Zhan Videnov – a period considered to be the most disastrous in recent Bulgarian history. Later, she continued to be a MP for the socialist party – that is the former communist party with a new name. Between the years 2005-2009, she served as the Bulgarian Ambassador to France and Monaco and, at the same time, was given the post of the Ambassador of Bulgaria to UNESCO. In 2009, she was appointed[6] to the vacated post of the Director-General of UNESCO.

Bokova turned out to be a polished bureaucrat, politician and diplomat. However, she owed her career entirely to her strong communist party connections before and after the fall of communism[7] . “Even the remote probability for Irina Bokova becoming the head of the United Nations is disturbing,” says Dr. Lubomir Kanov, Board Certified Psychiatrist, who was a former political prisoner in Bulgaria and a political refugee, currently living in Long Island, NY. “Bokova’s nomination will show the amorality and the uselessness of the United Nations, if the organization even considers such candidacy,” contends Dr. Kanov. His opinion is shared by many and it poses the question of whether the burden of historic events and general perception of “morality” should be taken into account when choosing a candidate for such an important international post[8].

This issue is being addressed with an increased intensity by the international media as well. According to the Spanish source Infobae, the only criterion that matches Bokova’s candidacy is that she is a female. The article claims that Bokova’s “red” candidacy is unacceptable because of her close ties to Putin and goes on to mention the controversial decisions at UNESCO that happened during her tenure – some of which include the acceptance of Palestine as a full member state of the organization, which caused a temporal withdrawal of the US funding[9]. The article also mentions questionable hiring practices such as recruiting a person associated with the Sudanese genocide to a position as a humanitarian expert.

Recent reports from the Bulgarian investigative journalism site Bivol implicate Bokova in several incidents of corruption and other scandals. Bivol published a report about properties she had acquired in New York City for which she paid $2.4 million in cash with no confirmed source of income. The report says that after examining her official income documents and other property transactions in Bulgaria, it is impossible to understand where this amount of family wealth comes from. Declarations of conflict of interest and income by UN personnel are not public record and the site Bivol claims that the UN failed to respond to a request for information on Bokova’s declarations [10].

The site also states that Bokova tried to cover up a confidential audit report by the Internal Oversight Service Audit & Investigation Sections, describing her role in the hiring of a key Deputy Financial Director at UNESCO – the Brazilian, Anita Thompson-Flores. The report says that her appointment was in gross violation of the hiring procedures at the organization. Bokova is being blamed for manipulating the process, conflict of interests, and acceptance of a false diploma. The employee, who is considered to be a friend of Bokova, was removed[11] eventually from this post, but was never fired. Instead, she had been reassigned to an UN office in Venice, Italy.

One of the biggest critics of Bokova is Great Britain[12]. Sources from Bivol claim that in March the UK will release a very critical report of the government, assessing the UNESCO performance as “poor value for money for UK aid.” The Multilateral Aid Review has had previous negative evaluations of UNESCO’s performance under Bokova’s watch[13] and had branded her in 2011 as one of the worst managers in the entire UN system.

“Bokova, the first ever female in the role, has unfortunately completely failed to rise to the hopes placed upon her. Instead, her term in office has been a woeful mix of amorality and amateurism, which has led the worthy organization to the brink of disrepair and disrepute,” wrote the U.K. journalist Patrick Dawson[14] in 2013 in a report published on politics.co.uk.  A few days ago, the British paper, The Sunday Times, quoted a top diplomat from the Western Security Council saying that “If the Bulgarian Prime Minister wants a Bulgarian woman to be the next UN Secretary-General, then he’s picked the wrong one.”

Daniel Kadik, the Director of the Southeastern European Project (a German non-profit foundation) said recently on Deutsche Welle that the nomination of Bokova is a mistake. “For me this choice sends the wrong signals not only to Bulgarians but also to international observers. Officially Sofia stood by a pro-Russian candidacy.” He contends that Bulgaria failed to present a widely acceptable candidate to the international community.

Russia, on the other hand, has been pushing hard for Bokova. For months, it was putting huge pressure on the Bulgarian government – mainly through Moscow’s political proxies from the left to approve the nomination. One of the pro-Russian fractions in the parliament –the party ABV– went as far as threatening to leave the fragile coalition, should her candidacy not be supported. The multiple Russian-sponsored media outlets in the country have been pounding for months on the issue of Bokova’s candidacy as the only inevitable choice for Bulgaria. The hysteria reached even the mainstream media, where she was portrayed as the only “patriotic choice.”

The Russian representative at the UN – Vitaly Churkin, said that it is mandatory for the new Secretary General to be from Eastern Europe. According to him, among the many good candidacies from that region, one woman really strands out and that is Bokova. Russian media, like Gazeta.ru and Nezavisimaya Gazeta have also reported that sources from Kremlin unanimously stand by this choice [15].

However, many Bulgarian and international observers consider Bokova to be a huge PR disaster for the country and for the UN. Many petitions have been initiated against her nomination in Bulgaria and it has been reported that another Bulgarian woman – Kristalina Georgieva, who is a current European Commission Vice President, would have been a more acceptable choice to the international community[16]. Among other short-listed nominees [17] for the post are Croatia’s Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, also a woman. Men vying for the job include Vuk Jeremic, a former Serbian foreign minister, Danilo Turk, a former Slovenian president, and Srgjan Kerim, a former Macedonian foreign minister. There is also speculation that Angela Merkel will not be pursuing a new term in office and that her candidacy might also be on the table—as a person who comes from former East Germany.

As far as the United States – the race for the UN might become a part of Clinton’s presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Bokova is a close associate of Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law – Marjorie Margolies, a former Democratic Member of Congress. However, it is unlikely that Bokova will receive widespread support in the US, especially from the Republicans[18]. Having the history of the US-UN relations in mind, including that with UNESCO, it would be unwise to think that Hilary Clinton will endorse Bokova’s nomination as it might severely hurt her presidential race[19].

Regardless of the many ambiguities in the upcoming political chess game surrounding the election of the next UN Secretary-General, there has been growing criticism of the opacity of the selection process, with calls for a more formal selection in which candidates engage in more public discussions and debates over their views and platforms. Simon Chesterman, of the Singapore’s Straits Times has argued that for an organization as important as the UN “having its leader chosen by the lowest common denominator of what the P5 finds acceptable is not good enough.” And bottom line is whether the UN can allow itself to be omnivorous when it comes to its biggest posts? Should the candidates’ past and political inclinations matter and should they be a factor in the selection process[20] ? The people, whom the UN is supposed to serve, will surely say “yes.”

 


[1] This assumption remains unsubstantiated, even frivolous! Ms Bokova is often considered as “favorite candidate” of France or of China, and the U.S. has openly expressed appreciation of her managerial style as Director-General of UNESCO. If Russia, which is an important Eastern European country with the right veto in the Security Council, supports her as well, this would be beneficial for Ms Bokova’s chances to succeed in the UN race.

[2] Wrong analysis and misleading statements! There is nothing vulnerable in being a former member of the communist nomenclature in “totalitarian Bulgaria”. Many politicians in the whole Eastern Europe were members of the communist party before 1989. This was a prerequisite for intellectuals to acquire good education, managerial experience and to receive an opportunity to get actively involved in building a better society. Some communists have become decedents and worked from within the party structures to change the system for the better. Most of these party members have developed and become “genuine democrats” who are now building free market economies. Ms Irina Bokova, who was a “low to middle” level diplomat in 1989, was one of them and led the reorientation of Bulgaria to EU and NATO membership. She never belonged to the “top communist nomenclature” of the totalitarian regime.

[3] Yet another biased exaggeration! Yes, there are people with some reservations to Ms Bokova but many more have expressed admiration for her exceptional qualities and international achievements, which supports her official nomination. All main political parties represented in the Parliament have expressed satisfaction upon her nomination by the current “center-right” government! The “governmental selection” of the UN nominee should not be perceived as national election. It is based on evaluation of the UN-related qualities of the candidates and their chances to succeed under internationally agreed rules! Ms Bokova’s performance in UNESCO is appreciated by many member-states, which elected her twice as UNESCO’s leader.

[4] Biased and grossly twisted description of reality at that time! Many diplomats at that time did not come from the “communist elite” (the author of these comments is one of them!) but some did. They were all required, however, to be members of the communist party, which was the inevitable “work environment” of all leading intellectuals of the time. Many children of the “communist elite” had to serve in other, non-diplomatic fields, for example in economy, trade, security, armed forces, culture, etc.

[5] Factually incorrect and misleading statement again! Not all Bulgarian diplomats studied in Moscow, some studied in Bulgaria (e.g. the author of these comments!) and others did in East European and even in some West European countries (e.g. in the Austrian Diplomatic Academy).

[6] Ms Irina Bokova was not appointed but rather elected as UNESCO’s Director-General by the majority of member-states. This followed her secondment by the government of democratic Bulgaria but was also due to the decisive political support by a number of partners of Bulgaria from the EU and NATO.

[7] This is also an incorrect statement – Ms Bokova became indeed “a polished bureaucrat, politician and diplomat” but this was thanks mainly to her hard work and personal determination to pass successfully through all levels of her diplomatic career, which is one of the prerequisites for exceling in diplomacy. It needs to be recalled that, in any society throughout the world, many excellent people owe their education and career to their family background, hard work and personal connections. The results are what eventually matters. Envy cannot possibly be a factor of objective judgement in considering cases of personal development!

[8] This is yet another incorrect and unsubstantiated statement. Many people do not share the opinion of this psychiatrist who might have gradually developed his biased view due to some sort of “professional deformation” resulting from his prolonged dealing with abnormal people. Unfortunately, those who understand the international role and basic functions of the UN are not many, and this psychiatrist is likely to be one of them. In addition, “morality” in general is a subjective (ideologically burdened) concept, which depends on family origin, academic background and personal experience. The UN cannot possibly be based on unclear categories that might divide rather than unite different people. The UN is rather expected to work for the objective of bringing people together and bridging controversial approaches, in order to secure peace and international security. Otherwise, the UN would be unable to fulfil its basic functions. In this context, it should be noted that Ms Irina Bokova has committed no criminal offences and her “general morality” record seems perfect by normal public standards. She cannot possibly be judged for being the daughter of her father, whose “alleged offences” have been strongly refuted as untrue. Ms Bokova has also a solid record of public service for human rights and freedoms. She has contributed decisively to the smooth transition of the Bulgarian society from a totalitarian political system to democracy.

[9] This statement shows incompetence and incomprehension of UNESCO’s rules! The admission of Palestine as member of UNESCO has nothing to do with the Director-General. This resulted from a sovereign decision taken by the majority of UNESCO’s member-states. The Director-General is only obliged to implement administratively such decisions. Ms Bokova had no power to influence this political process. The ensuing financial crisis in UNEESCO was no fault of the Director-General either. It resulted from the application of an outdated U.S. law introduced long time ago by the Republican majority in the Congress. This happened contrary to the wish of President Obama’s administration. Compelled to work in conditions of financial austerity, Ms Bokova has found ways to replenish the reduced budget (by $ 170 mln.) through extra budgetary resources provided by other member-states. Thus, her leadership skills succeeded in preserving all major UNESCO’s programmes, including programmes on education of the Holocaust and other U.S. supported initiatives.  Ms Bokova continues to assist in creating conditions for the U.S. to restore its important role in the Executive Council and to resume its financial contributions to the budget. In addition, Ms Bokova was given the International Distinguished Service Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, as a recognition of her role in implementing – in such difficult circumstances - the core mandate of UNESCO “to promote respect and mutual understanding, to fight all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and denial.”

[10] This is completely untrue and unfair statement! “Bivol” has always had a very bad public reputation as a “distributor of slanderous sensations” for commercial purposes. There is no evidence of any corruption vis‑à-vis Ms Bokova and her family. These unsubstantiated allegations exploit general public feelings of envy in Bulgaria with respect to well-paid people. Information on the salaries of the Director-General of UNESCO and her husband, who is a Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London) are both in the public domain and is fully accessible by anyone. The purchase of their (relatively small) family properties in New York is fully justified by their significant incomes. Ms Bokova has addressed these issues openly (on the TV) and answered exhaustively all related questions. These are family properties that are considered as normal for any average Western or international civil servant in the UN system having a high salary for long period of work. The two children of Ms Bokova live and work in New York, and she has every right to stay there and see her children when having to work in the UN Headquarters.

[11] This looks like a grievance expressed by staff members with “conflict of interests” whose contracts might have been legally terminated during UNESCO’s downsizing process. The Director-General was forced by financial austerity circumstances to restructure and downsize UNESCO, in order to maintain its vital functions. There are official UNESCO’s reports that the case referred to was an internal oversight matter (i.e. something detected and punished by the “internal police” of UNESCO) and the Director-General reacted and responded in line with established rules and procedures for such cases. This was reportedly done in full respect to due process, which includes the rights to privacy by individual staff members. Under Ms Bokova’s leadership, the internal oversight system has been strengthened aiming at meeting the top professional standards and this is now well recognized by UNESCO’s Executive Board.

[12] Yet another misleading statement based on incorrect interpretations meant to full uninformed people without experience with UN/UNESCO’s complex activities. There is no evidence to substantiate the assertion of the existence of UK official critics. Both the substantive review of the MAR reports and the rebuttal by UK officials vis-à-vis the so called “Patrick Dawson’s publications” in 2013 show that this statement is untrue and should be completely disregarded.

[13] An incorrect attitude similar to the mispresentation of the case with Palestine’s admission to UNESCO! The article interprets incorrectly the actual role of the UK MAR reports. These reports – by both UK and other donor states - aim at regularly assessing the overall performance of many international organisations with the idea of helping their leaders improve programmatic results and meet their main objectives. These reports supplement several other (internal & external) auditing tools used by these organisations to excel.

This is exactly how Ms Bokova, as UNESCO’s DG, who has acquired a reputation of a “reform-minded and perfectionist leader” has benefited from MAR (2011 & 2013) reports. The 2011 MAR report did provide some “constructive criticism” that actually related to the work done by Ms Bokova’s predecessors in the DG office.  As a new DG forced to work in conditions of financial austerity, Ms Bokova undertook far-reaching reforms in UNESCO, which have led to a great progress made along the lines suggested by UK and other donor states. As a result, the MAR (2013) report came to much more positive conclusions registering valuable improvements in many fields of UNESCO’s activity. For instance, the MAR (2013) report confirmed significant “improvements made in work planning, budgeting, HR policies, transparency and cost control, which have strengthened organizational effectiveness” (see p.163).  The same report gave positive ratings to progress on strategic and performance management and overall one of the strongest progress performance.

These results were highly appreciated by State Secretary John Kerry during his visit to UNESCO, as well by assessments made by other member-states (e.g. UK, Sweden and Norway). For instance, Sweden’s assessment reads: “Irina Bokova enjoys great confidence among the Member States. She purposefully drives the ongoing reform work and in close cooperation with these. The Director-General is appreciated internally for her communicative way of working and her active efforts to make UNESCO more visible”. Hence, MAR reports have helped UNESCO’s DG bring the organisation out of the “enforced difficulties” and restore the sense of professional accomplishment in the organisation.

[14] This is a case of complete falsification of an article reportedly coming from UK official sources. The article referred to was published on 28 August 2013 on the eve of UNESCO’s DG reelection campaign by somebody named Patrick Dawson who was allegedly an employee of the UK Embassy in Budapest, formerly a “cultural attaché” in Kiev. The UK Government has, however, announced that there is no such “cultural attaché” or employee of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the name of “Patrick Dawson”. This “journalist” has not published any other articles apart from two similar pieces in August 2013. In addition, the UK Ambassador to UNESCO, Mr Mathieu Sudders officially stated, in a communication of 11 September 2013 addressed to all mission in Paris, that “the author of the article is NOT an employee of the British Embassy in Budapest, or of any British Embassy anywhere on the planet, and as a matter of principle, under their terms and conditions of employment, UK civil servants are not allowed to write such pieces in public”. He has also pointed out that this article “contains many factual errors”, and has categorically stated that “the views contained therein does not represent the views of the British Government”. Ambassador Sudders has further clarified that “in the course of election campaigns, this kind of things is not unknown, but in our view, it has no place in a UN election campaign”. “The UK position remains that we make our election choices based upon vision, values, performance and potential”. The officially refuted allegations of Patrick Dawson have had no effect on UNESCO elections, which led to the well-supported reelection of Ms Irina Bokova as Director-General for a second term.

[15] A candidate for UNSG from a country in Eastern Europe does need the support of Russia being a very important player in Eastern Europe!  This person also needs to receive the support of all other permanent members of the UN Security Council, which has the right to veto. France, China, USA and Russia have already endorsed Ms Bokova in her capacity of UNESCO’s DG, qualifying her as a “good leader of change and necessary institutional reforms”. For instance, on 4 October 2013, following successful UNESCO’s DG reelection, Ambassador Mathieu Sudders of UK recalled a meeting of Ms Bokova in London where a British minister had described her as the “Margaret Thatcher of UNESCO”, clarifying that Ms Thatcher was someone who undertook necessary but occasionally painful reforms, and above all, won elections”.

[16] The reference to “many observers” and “many petitions” is so much exaggerated that makes the author’s comment look very biased and mispresenting reality! Public debates in Bulgaria, which is a member of EU & NATO, focused indeed on the UN-relevant qualities of Ms Bokova and Ms Georgieva as potential female candidates. Local politicians and civil society movements did express various opinions and many political observers urged the government to nominate the most suitable and “UN-electable” candidate. Media polls repeatedly showed an average public preference of 3 : 1 for the strong (UN-related) merits of Ms Bokova. In these circumstances, Ms Georgieva, decided herself to drop from the contest informing the prime minister accordingly, as reported by the government itself. This was a normal process in line with Western-type democratic society practices. As a result, on 9 February 2016, the “center-right” government officially nominated to the UN Ms Bokova, following her initial internal nomination by a previous “center-left” government (2014), thus marking a wide “bipartisan support” for the candidature if Ms Irina Bokova. The present government's decision was welcome by statements made by representatives of all major political parties (except a small one!) in the Parliament.

[17] On 7 January 2016, the authoritative U.S. site “Diplomaticourier.com” published an interesting comparative analysis entitled “The Race for the Next UN Secretary-General (UNSG): Which Candidate Fits the Profile?” It ranked the “nine potential candidates” for the UNSG position from Eastern Europe based on the UN official requirements clustered in three categories – “UN and diplomatic-related experience”, “acceptability in the UN system”, and “acceptability to global public opinion at a time of key UN transformation”. Regional and international political experts from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and from across Eastern Europe have provided their inputs on each candidate. The results have shown that “Ms Irina Bokova appears by far the strongest candidate from Eastern Europe scoring above 3 on all criteria and obtaining the maximum score of 5 for 8 criteria, with a total average score of 4.5, which places her “head and shoulders” above the others”. “A second group of candidates is led by Slovenia’s Danilo Türk, and includes the Croatian Vesna Pusić, Miroslav Lajčák, and Ján Kubiš equally of Slovakia, Macedonia’s Srgjan Kerim, and the Montenegrin Igor Lukšić. They all score between 3.0 and 4.0 and all enjoy strong reputations and solid profiles. The two weakest candidates by far are the Bulgarian European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva and Serbia’s former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić, who respectively score 2.9 and 2.8. Neither of them has a serious chance of succeeding Ban Ki-moon”. This obviously testifies that Ms Irina Bokova is widely considered as a “front-runner candidate” for the next UN Secretary-General.

[18] Yet another incompetent, “wishful thinking” type of statement in the article! The current Obama administration will be selecting Ms Bokova as UNSG on the U.S. part, not the republicans, which are not in the White House! Both President Obama and his State Secretary John Kerry have shown appreciation of the diplomatic qualities and remarkable international achievements of Ms Bokova as UNESCO’s DG. Her reputation of a “reform‑minded leader”, “successful crisis manager” and multilateral diplomat able to “mediate between” and “bridge divergent approaches” might be a decisive point in maintaining the U.S. support for Ms Bokova as the next UN Secretary-General as well.

[19] Hilary Clinton does not need to endorse any UNSG candidate, as President Obama and State Secretary John Kerry will still be in charge of the U.S. foreign policy at the time of the UN Security Council’s selection. There is also no reason to believe that Hilary Clinton would not endorse yet another distinguished woman fighting for “gender equality”. They know each other from previous international events and will likely go along very well in the future.

[20] The UN requirements to all nominated candidates for the next UNSG position contain nothing that might closely resemble this vague suggestion of the article.  In the UN system, there seems to be no interest in the “political inclinations” of the UNSG candidates. The “candidates’ past” may only matter to the extent that they have demonstrated commitment to the UN Charter and its principles and objectives, and that they have left a good managerial record of work in an international organisation.   This is exactly what Ms Bokova has to offer on her “international plate”.

 

 

* /  Авторът е доктор на историческите науки, независим консултант, висш кариерен дипломат (пълномощен министър от МВнР, 1975 – 2013 г.) с дългогодишен опит в многостранната дипломация на ООН, вкл. в Женева, Ню Йорк, Хага и Виена, който е специализирал в ООН и е заемал ръководни позиции в няколко международни организации от нейната система.