Asian Security Council President
Proposes Annan Extension
With the five permanent members supporting another term
for Secretary General Kofi Annan, as well as official expressions
of support from the Arab and African group, the only remaining
question was when the Security Council nomination would occur,
and when the General Assembly would meet to approve the decision.
Bangladesh Ambassador Anwerul Karim Chowdhury, who presided over
the Council for the month of June, delivered the answer. Chowdhury
was himself a potential candidate (when there was talk of "Asia's
turn"), and he demonstrated a realistic attitude by first trying
to get the Asian group to endorse Annan, then establishing June
26 as the day for the Security Council to nominate Annan for a
It may be a coincidence, but making the nomination is more likely
a symbolic move by one of Asia's representatives in the Council.
Going to the Assembly the same month with the nomination would
take the Bangladesh Ambassador to the rostrum to introduce the
Council: report and officially nominate Mr. Annan for a second
term. That will mean five more years for the African global diplomat.
But it will also ensure the continued presence of Mr. Chowdhury
in New York, even after his country leaves its Security Council
seat by the end of the year, or he leaves his governmental position
due to new elections. Chowdhury is an experienced internationalist
who has worked for UNICEF and other UN programs before taking
his current post.
Incidentally, when the African group officially proposed a renewed
mandate last month, some Asians, who had claimed their turn, said
they will be supportive if the Africans agree that the next Secretary
General hail from Asia.
Well, why not? But who knows what will happen in the next five
years: Will Japan be ready? Will China have definite views on
who to veto or who not to veto? Will Kofi Annan break a record?
Perhaps there will be an open field. In politics, and especially
in international life, five years is a long time!