A New Face for the United Nations Secretary-General

Questions have been raised about who will succeed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon when he steps down at the end of 2017.


Commentators have suggested United States President Barack Obama is campaigning for the world’s top job. Recent speeches by Obama have sounded more like a list of achievements in foreign policy, fueling speculation he is vying for global support.

It is no secret that the United States administration championed a fresh approach to multilateral institutions after the disastrous mistakes of the Bush administration.

Climate change talks, the end of intransigence on Iran and campaigning on an end to world poverty are some of the hallmark achievements of the President’s two terms in office.

Ongoing Civil War in Syria and the escalation of the conflict with the involvement of Russia may cause some bumps in his campaign. The United States has stood at an arm’s length from events in North Africa and the Middle East, leading to accusations of hypocrisy.

Human rights officials have criticized the Obama administration on grounds of selectivity, given the reluctance of the United States to challenge Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad over use of chemical weapons.

There have been reports of open opposition to Obama’s nomination. The Jerusalem Post stated that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek the support of moderate Arab governments to sabotage the plan, unhappy over the thawing of relations with Iran.

American President


Other commentators have suggested more systemic change is overdue. A list of potential women has been put forward, challenging the “old-school” of a male dominated world government.

The President of both the General Assembly and the Security Council are committed to a more transparent and open process, with pledges to involve all 193 members of the United Nations.

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