Diplomat Magazine: Three Women from E. Europe in Race for UN’s Top Job

Views on BG | December 9, 2015, Wednesday // 20:41
Bulgaria: Diplomat Magazine: Three Women from E. Europe in Race for UN’s Top Job

For the first time since the creation of the United Nations 70 years ago, female candidates are being mentioned among the likely successors of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Venetia van Kuffeler writes in an article in the December-January issue of London-based Diplomat magazine.

Bulgarian-born Irina Bokova and Kristalina Georgieva as well as Croatia's Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic (since 2011) are thethree leading female Eastern European candidates, according to the article. In addition to presenting their profiles the author also points to their main supporters as well as the hurdles standing in their way.

The next UN Secretary-General will take over from Ban Ki-moon at the end of 2016.

Describing the current UNESCO Secretary-General Bokova as “the front runner” among the three female candidates from Eastern Europe, the author notes that Bokova's candidacy has been endorsed by Bulgaria’s previous government and by the current Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

Bokova also “seems to enjoy support among the permanent members of the UN Security Council”, particularly France, China, the United States, as well as Russia.

“The major threat to Bokova’s candidacy could actually come from her home constituency in Sofia, where the government’s support seems not to be fully secured,” reads the article.

Vesna Pusic is ‘’the challenger” among the three, the author argues.

Pusic can count on the strong support of the liberal group in Brussels and in wider Europe as well as on the backing from the former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.

What she needs to do is “to tap into her regional network of support” and tackle her “somewhat weakened” domestic situation following the loss of parliamentary majority by her government in recent elections.

European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva is described as “the outrider”.

“Although the Bulgarian government has already endorsed Irina Bokova as its candidate for UNSG, recent articles from Brussels confirm the open secret that Kristalina Georgieva is actively campaigning in Sofia and internationally for the position,” the author writes.

In Brussels, Georgieva is believed to be supported by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while in the United States “Georgieva’s main supporter appears to be the billionaire George Soros and his Open Society network”.

However, the fact that she doesn’t speak French and the strained relations between the EU and Moscow over Ukraine make it doubtful whether two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - France and Russia - would support Georgieva, according to the article.

You can read the full article here.



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Tags: United Nations, UN, Security Council Secretary General, Bokova Pusic, Georgieva, Juncker, Bildt
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