Monday, June 19

Vying for the top post!

India recently officially announced the candidature of Shashi Tharoor, Under Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information for the post of the UN Secretary-General. Shashi Tharoor, London born Indian, is a very strong candidate, considering that he has been with the UN since 1978 with numerous achievements in his fray and is a well-known writer and diplomat.

Tharoor is a veteran at the UN and has occupied various positions since 1978. If elected Tharoor, 50, would be one of the youngest Secretary-generals of the UN. He is said to be pro-reform and committed to UN ideals. Moreover through an unwritten convention of rotation of the post, it is now Asia's turn to have a candidate in the topmost chair. The other Asians in the fray are Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Surakiart Sathirathai, South Korean Foreign Minister, Mr Ban Ki-Moon and Sri Lanka’s Mr Jayantha Dhanapala.
Surprised by the announcement and considering its impact on India's international standing, Pakistan is trying to play the spoil-sport. It is being claimed by Pakistan that there is no tradition of a large country fielding its candidate for the post or any country seeking both the top post of the world body and permanent membership of the Security Council. However India has rubbished this claim and said that as India is not yet a permanent member of the Security Council and has no veto powers, it can have its candidate for the post. According to PTI reports, reacting to this claim Tharoor said "On the contrary, the world deserves as broad a choice as possible." He is also reported to have said that the claim about no big country fielding its candidate is rubbish for there has been an Egyptian Secretary-General. Pakistan is reportedly trying to field a woman candidate, Nafis Sadik, who is the special adviser to the UN secretary-general as well as the secretary-general’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. She is also a member of the secretary-general’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. There has been no female Secretary-General till date and according to Equality Now she is one of the qualified female leaders. If this move plays off, Pakistan can gain itself not only a Secretary-General, but also the benefit of having fielded a woman candidate. Not long ago, the Pakistani President had come under strong ridicule for his views on women. This could prove to be a major diplomatic victory for Pakistan.

India can however hope to have the support of the permanent members of the Security Council. (The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council. Therefore, the selection is subject to the veto of any of the five permanent members of the Security Council.) The present civil nuclear energy deal and the general cordial phase of relations with the US, augurs well of US support for India. London would not be far off, considering its relations with the US and also amiable relations with India. Russia has been an almost consistent friend of India, and therefore its support is being considered strongly possible. China's recent "commitment" to forming "more strategic and cooperative ties" with India is being interpreted positively by some analysts.
Another important country, Japan has been a supporter of India in its bid for a permanent membership of the Security Council and one can be hopeful of its support for Mr Tharoor. Though there are other countries that India would need to work upon and lobbby hard.

October would be what the Indian officials and those lobbying for Tharoor would watch out for, for it is generally then that the process starts and continues.

Considering India's growing international stature, it would serve it well to have its man in the highest chair of the UN at this juncture. The Security Council permanent membership is apparently a distant dream and so having an Indian as the Secretary-general would surely increase India's clout.


Supremus said...

Isn't Shashi Tharoor the guy who also wrote those books - "The great indian novel" and "Riot"? - both of 'em were pretty bad hehe :)

Pakistan will always be a spoilsport - one has to simply ignore them in the larger scheme of things I guess - unless of course mushy dear convinces busho dearest that he will hand over bin laden to him - then it might be interesting :)

Well written - very journalistic :P


Manasi said...

Suyog: Right he is the one! I agree Riot was bad. The style was different and so you cld say he gains there. But otherwise i thought the book was more abt the physical relationship between those two people than anything else.

The fewer the things said about pakistan the better.

Thanks for dropping by! :)

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Jiban said...

he resigned now from his position..and when i came to know, i thought I shd post this on ur blog as rememberd you had written abt him..