Secretary or General?: The UN Secretary-General in World by Professor Simon Chesterman, Kofi A. Annan

By Professor Simon Chesterman, Kofi A. Annan

The Secretary-General of the United international locations is a special determine in global politics. instantaneously civil servant, the world's diplomat, lackey of the UN safeguard Council, and commander-in-chief of as much as 100000 peacekeepers, she or he depends upon states for either the legitimacy and assets that allow the United international locations to operate. the strain among those roles - of being secretary or normal - has challenged each incumbent. This publication brings jointly the insights of senior UN employees, diplomats and students to check the normative and political components that form this targeted workplace with specific emphasis on the way it has developed in line with altering situations akin to globalization and the onset of the 'war on terror'. The problems skilled by means of each one Secretary-General mirror the profound ambivalence of states in the direction of entrusting their protection, pursuits or assets to an intergovernmental physique.

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He devoted his first year to reviving the morale of the Secretariat and reorganizing it. This process included revising the Staff Regulations to emphasize that independence included a reciprocal obligation of integrity. He also worked to gain the confidence of all the member governments. He made no attempt, in his own words, to “jump up on the stage”, and waited for a crisis in which the Secretary-General might be the only person who could usefully intervene. That moment came with the problem of seventeen US airmen who had come down in China during the Korean War.

The United States even tried to bring the selection process in the Security Council forward from October to June to get maximum domestic effect. This infuriated other governments: the first Security Council vote on a proposal against Boutros-Ghali’s second term found the United States in a minority of one to fourteen. But his support gradually fell away, and in the end he was denied a second term. He was, rightly, bitter to have been run out of office in this way. Kofi Annan, 1997–2006 Kofi Annan was the first Secretary-General to be recruited from the Secretariat.

These and other efforts are forgotten, and only Thant’s part in the 1967 Middle East crisis is remembered. On that occasion he proved a useful scapegoat for the inability of the permanent members of the Security Council to agree on any useful action. He was the only leader to go to Cairo to attempt to dissuade President Gamal Abdel Nasser from his suicidal plan to put the Egyptian army back into Sinai. Although he agreed in principle, under strong protest, to accede to Nasser’s demand for UNEF to be withdrawn, which he was obliged to do by Hammarskjöld’s undertakings to Nasser ten years earlier, he intended to delay the withdrawal and gain time for further pressure on Nasser.

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