Vesna Pusić Continues Her Bid to Become UN Secretary General

Total Croatia News

Is there any realistic chance that Pusić could actually be elected?

Next week, former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić will present to the UN General Assembly her candidacy for Secretary-General of the United Nations. As confirmed in her statements to the media, she is financing herself the transport and accommodation in New York, while her HNS party covers the costs for an assistant which she took with her. Over the past few days, she has already introduced herself to permanent members of the Security Council, and now she is getting ready to meet with representatives of various non-governmental organizations, reports on April 10, 2016.

Vesna Pusić officially declared her candidacy in January as the second candidate, after former Macedonian Minister Srđan Kerim did the same. The list, for now, includes eight candidates. This week, Vesna Pusić launched the website of her campaign, emphasizing that she could become the first women to be head of the United Nations.

The United Nations have accepted her as an official candidate on the basis of the proposal made by the government of Zoran Milanović which was delivered to the UN on 21 January. The world media has so far not commented on the issue of whether she has the support of the new Croatian government which has taken over in the meantime.

Vesna Pusić has decided to run at a moment when the UN, for the first time in its 70-year history, decided to make the process more transparent and open to all member states. Until now, secretaries general were always chosen by members of the Security Council agreeing on a candidate and then submitting his name to the General Assembly for usually easy confirmation. This year, the governments have been invited to put forward their candidates and now the real election campaign will take place during which the candidates will present their manifestos and visions for the United Nations.

The former First Deputy Prime Minister in the previous Croatian government is not mentioned in the media as the favourite, but she is usually presented as a good candidate with decent prospects. However, if the United Nations were to decide to choose a woman from Eastern Europe, Pusić would still have strong competition from Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian candidate who is the director of UNESCO, and Natalia Gherman from Moldova, who is also a former foreign minister.

However, there are other candidates as well, so it not certain that the next Secretary General will be a woman or will come from Eastern Europe, which was expected when the process began. Some of the candidates being talked about are Antonio Guterres from Portugal, who until recently headed the UNHCR, and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who is currently the head of UNDP. Both are considered to be favourites in addition to Bokova. Besides those mentioned, other official candidates are Igor Lukšić from Montenegro and Danilo Turk from Slovenia.

Although the list currently consists of eight candidates, this does not mean that there will not be more candidates. The media speculates about a number of possible new candidates, including the once popular Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and the powerful American businessman and politician Michael Bloomberg. Nominations can be filed until the summer, and the actual selection process will begin in the autumn. However, regardless of all the transparency, the winner will still be chosen by the Security Council and its powerful permanent members.


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