The Secretary General of the socialist: why antónio Guterres headed the UN

The Secretary General of the socialist: why antónio Guterres headed the UN


Not a woman and not a neighbor

For the candidate Guterres voted all the delegates of the General Assembly. He will perform his duties from 1 January 2017 and at least five years (with the possibility of election for a second term). The statement of the new Secretary General has completed a multi-stage election process. Formally, the UN Charter reduces this process to one sentence: “the Secretary General is appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.” But in January 1946 at the first session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution by which the Council proposes only one candidate to avoid a long debate, is able to paralyze the work of the General Assembly.

In addition, to avoid concentrating power in the hands of one of the superpowers, the five permanent members of the UN security Council (Britain, China, Russia, USA, France) do not put forward candidates of their compatriots. In the current short list of candidates was 13 people, six men and seven women (and many experts predicted that he will win the lady). Nine of the 13 candidates was represented by the so-called Eastern European group of countries is one of the five regional groups within the UN which includes Russia, the former European and Transcaucasian Soviet republics, and countries of the former Soviet bloc.

This group has never been represented at the level of Secretary (one Secretary was from Latin America, two from Asia and Africa, five represented Western Europe). Press and pundits had expected a new Secretary General will be the representative of the Eastern Europe. Although Foreign Policy noted that the friction between the permanent members of the security Council (that is between Russia and the West) around the Ukrainian crisis could lead to blocking the most powerful of the Eastern European candidates — for example, ex-foreign Minister of Moldova Natalia Gherman. According to the expert of MGIMO and Deputy Chairman of the Russian UN Association Alexei Borisov, in addition to Ukraine have played a role and the lack of a single strong candidate from Eastern Europe, complicated by political bickering. For example, Bulgaria has exhibited first Director of UNESCO Irina Bokova (who graduated from MGIMO, and is considered “Pro-Russian” candidate), but then in contrast to it was supported by the European Commissioner Kristalina Georgiev.

For the first time in UN history, the election candidacy of the Secretary General the security Council had been open — in six rounds of voting from late July to early October. At the first stage, Guterres took the lead in support of 12 countries (and not a single vote against). The same German with four “Yes” votes came second last.

In January 1946, the salary of the Secretary General of the UN was set at $20 thousand a year. Adjusted for inflation this would now be $260 thousand, which is comparable to the current rate of the Secretary-General $227 million (not including bonuses). That is, after-tax monthly salary of the UN Secretary General is about $14 thousand per month (slightly less than 900 thousand rubles).

The candidate of the non-aligned

Unlike many other politicians in office, Guterres led to the appointment of the foreign Minister of his country (of the nine General secretaries of the Ministerial position he held only the Burmese U Thant and Ghanaian Kofi Annan). In addition, Guterres in his new post, becoming the second after Javier Perez de Cuellar, the former Prime Minister. And the first European since 1981.

António Guterres was born in 1949, the education engineer — physicist, to the beginning of the diplomatic career, he was known for his leftist views. 25 years after the fall of the dictatorship of the supporters of Antonio Salazar, he joined the newly established Socialist party. At the beginning of 1990-ies, Guterres led the party and in 1995 became Prime Minister. Parallel to 1999, he worked for six years Chairman of the socialist international.

During the Premiership Guterres tough measures failed to overcome the economic crisis that hit Portugal in 1993, and by fiscal austerity, improving efficiency of collection of taxes and freezing of wages. The ability to deal with crises, I’m sure Borisov from MGIMO, influenced the choice of its candidate. Now the UN itself is in a crisis of confidence — according to the Gallup poll (admittedly, among Americans), since the beginning of the twenty-first century endorsement of UN activities is below 50%.

From 2005 until last December, worked Guterres, UN high Commissioner for refugees. In this position, he remembered that had attracted media attention to the less publicized crises — for example, in the Congo and Central Africa. In the election Guterres, his experience working with refugees have played a significant role, explains Borisov from MGIMO: “For ten years he showed himself as a highly effective leader who is not afraid of work “in the field” and enjoys the respect of colleagues.”

Formally, the UN Secretary General (under the Charter) provides annual reports on the activities of the organization and has the right to propose to the security Council topics for discussion. In fact, says The Washington Post, the main task of the Secretary General to use moral authority to influence the national authorities and to initiate discussion of problems in international scale. For example, he can summon the UN security Council to send peacekeeping forces to a particular hot spot of the planet. In addition, this person should be a negotiator between the great powers, therefore, the media often wrote that the UN Secretary General “the most impossible job in the world”.

Guterres is a supporter of expanding the number of permanent members of the security Council, but recognizes that this is an extremely complex procedure, requiring the consent of the current “five” permanent members and the approval of two-thirds of the General Assembly (a place in the security Council achieve Brazil, Germany, India and Japan). In addition, Guterres criticised some European countries for not wanting to accept refugees from troubled countries. Finally, Guterres may engage and reform of the UN system, which, according to him, is too slow in responding to disasters and crises.

The General secretaries of the four continents c

Austrian Kurt Waldheim after the country’s accession to Germany, joined the Nazi student Union (NSDStB), and during world war II he served in the Wehrmacht. After the war he worked as a diplomat. In 1971 he was elected UN Secretary General. In his post, the Austrian was involved in conflicts in the middle East

Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

Peruvian diplomat Javier pérez de cuéllar worked in the embassies of their countries in 1940-ies. In 1982 he held the post of UN Secretary General.
During the war in Afghanistan was trying to resolve the conflict between the warring parties. In his post Peruvian served for two terms until 1991

Picture: Maher Attar/Getty Images

Kofi Annan was elected UN Secretary General in 1997. A native of Ghana, in the UN, he worked 24 years as a student. In this organization, Annan worked in the who, the Commissariat for refugees. In 2001, Ganz became the laureate of the Nobel peace prize. Annan opposed the invasion of the coalition in Iraq in 2003

Photo: Reuters/Pixstream

Ban Ki-moon held the post of UN Secretary General since 2007. In this position he has consistently held an anti-war position. In particular, condemned the warring parties
in Ukraine. Prior to joining the UN, he headed the South Korean foreign Ministry, and in 2017, plans to be elected for presidency

Photo: Reuters/Pixstream

 

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