Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Russia Unlikely to Endorse Georgieva for UN Top Job

Views on BG | December 20, 2015, Sunday // 09:18
Bulgaria: Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Russia Unlikely to Endorse Georgieva for UN Top Job

Two Bulgarians might turn out to be the main rivals for the United Nations Secretary General's seat that will be vacated by Ban Ki-moon late next year, Russian news outlet Nezavisimaya Gazeta has said.

That much of the UN's activity "depends on the personality of its leader, their authority [and] capacities to effectively use the UN's potential" is "obvious" at a time when the global body is facing a number of challenges as the world's unique bulwark of the international system but is still recognized as the only legitimate universal instrument in international relations.

An unusual number of female candidates are part of the list of contenders to take over as the next UN Secretary General in December 2016. These include Danish PM Helle Torning-Schmidt, Canada's Helen Clark, the administrator of the UN Development Program, Argentina's former head of state and Michelle Bachelet, but also Eastern European names such as Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Croatia's Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, along with two Bulgarians, EU Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes [RU] Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaliy Churkin as saying it was "highly likely" that a Eastern European is elected to the office.

Bokova stands much chance compared to others, having gain substantial experience in work for an international ortanization after two terms at UNESCO. "That said, observers consider that her main opponent might turn out to be her compatriot Kristalina Georgieva - this is already a third unique feature of the forthcoming elections."

However, the piece points to the chilly welcome Georgieva finds in Moscow, which might be an obstacle given the need for all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to support her bid.

"Russia will hardly support one of the most active EU Commissioners calling for the introduction and extension of sactions against our country," the text goes further, adding Georgieva's reputation is of "a Soros person". Her lack of diplomatic experience is also cited.

Bulgaria's leadership has already been informed, according to sources, that "regardless of serious lobbying effort on behalf of some people, Russia will not give its vote to Georgieva", sources are quoted as saying.

Note: The Bulgarian government has yet to announce which is the candidacy it endorses as the country's official UN Secretary General candidate. Bokova, however, has so far been formally backed by two governments as the Bulgarian contender.

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