- Selection process of UN Secretary General
- Latest selection: Antonio Guterres
- Informal rotation system
- UN Secretary General: significance and limitations
Q. Discuss in brief, the selection procedure for the post of United Nations Secretary General.
संयुक्त राष्ट्र महासचिव पद की चयन प्रक्रिया की संक्षिप्त में चर्चा करें।
- Nations send applications of candidates to UN Security Council (UNSC) [15 members]
- UNSC takes a series of “Straw Polls” to decide the most favored candidate.
- In this straw-poll, the UNSC members have three options:
- encourage a candidate
- discourage a candidate
- If permanent member gives ‘discourage‘ vote to a candidate, then it’s same as exercise of veto power. e.g. In 2006 selection, USA vetoed Shashi Tharoor, because President Bush wanted winner from his stronger ally (South Korea’s Ban Ki Moon).
- To become the UNSC Topper, a candidate must win minimum 10 out of 15 votes (=2/3rd Majority) and no veto from a permanent member.
- After clearing UPSC UNSC, Topper’s is forwarded to DoPT UN General assembly (193 members) for final confirmation.
- So far in history, UNGA has never rejected any name forwarded by UNSC.
- Term: five years. Technically, there is no age, attempt or term limit. But no Secretary general has served for more than two terms i.e. 5 x 2 = 10 years. Ban ki Moon’s second term ended on 31/12/2016.
- Antonio Guterres will replace Ban Ki Moon (S.Korea) as ninth UN secretary general from 1/1/2017.
- Earlier, Antonio has served as Portugal’s PM and UN high commissioner for refugees.
- So far no woman secretary-general.
- This time, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova and few other women had thrown their hats in the ring but no success in the UNSC voting.
- Traditionally, candidates from the Permanent Five members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), are not considered for the position of Secretary-General to avoid further concentration of power within the UN.
- As per informal arrangement, UN Secretary General job rotates among Four Regions:
Q. “UN Secretary General is neither ‘Secretary’ nor ‘General’ of united nations.” Examine critically.
“संयुक्त राष्ट्र महासचिव न तो संयुक्त राष्ट्र के ‘सचिव’ है न तो ‘सेनापति”. समालोचनात्मक परिक्षण करे.
|Significance of Secretary General||Limitations of his office|
|He’s the chief administrative officer of United nations. [UN Charter #97]|
|He is answerable to every nation on earth — and no nation at all.|
|In this Left hand column, we learned what he can do via moral authority and personal initiative.||In this Right hand column, we saw how his efforts can be frustrated by P5, 1st world, and bureaucratic redtapes.|
- Red tapes of UN bureaucracy, money power of first world and Veto power of P5 create obstacles for the Secretary General.
- Therefore, effectiveness of UN Secretary General depends more on the moral authority of the office-bearer than the formal authority of office itself. (similar to Aag Paani aur Rajanbhai).
Visit Mrunal.org/diplomacy for more study material on international relation and diplomacy for UPSC prelims and Mains General Studies Paper-2.