Western Experts Consider Irina Bokova Among Most Suitable Candidates for UN Chief

World | May 27, 2016, Friday // 16:10
Bulgaria: Western Experts Consider Irina Bokova Among Most Suitable Candidates for UN Chief Irina Bokova (L), Director-General of UNESCO delivers her speech during the closing day of the `World Science Forum` plenary session at the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, 07 November 2015. Photo: EPA

A discussion held in the British Parliament on Tuesday identified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova as one of the most suitable candidates for being selected as the next United Nations (UN) Secretary-General.

According to the participants in the discussion, the nomination of former Slovenian President Danilo Turk was also among the most suitable options, 24 Chasa daily informs.

The discussion entitled “United Nations Secretary-General Selection: The Role of the Secretary-General in Russia vs West” was organised by The Henry Jackson Society on the kind invitation of Lord Hannay, life peer at the House of Lords.

The speakers at the event were David Clark, chairman of the Russia Foundation, Steven Erlanger, London Bureau Chief of the New York Times, and Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of the United Nations Association – UK.

The participants discussed the changes to the selection process and examined the eight candidates that underwent hearings in the UN General Assembly in April as well the challenges they may face in the current standoff between Russia and the West.

Among the topics in the focus of the discussion was the role of Russia in the selection process and the key future tasks the new Secretary-General will have to address in mediating the current tension between Russia and the West.

Erlanger, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, highlighted that despite Bokova's Communist background, she has proven her leadership capacity, which had been particularly demonstrated during the process of Bulgaria's accession to the EU and NATO.

According to him, it would be pity if her nomination is blocked due to suspicions that have wrongly labelled her as Moscow's candidate.

In his words, the best evidence for her leadership capacity is her undisputed success to ensure the functioning of UNESCO after the USA suspended its financial contributions after the admission of Palestine to the organisation in 2011.

In Clark's opinion, a suitable and qualified candidate from Eastern Europe would allow smoother functioning of the UN as a person from this region would better understand Russian interests and issues.

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Tags: UN, Bulgaria, Irina Bokova, UNESCO, Danilo Turk
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