|LATVIAN PRESIDENT "NEW EUROPE" CANDIDATE FOR "NEW U.N."
15 April 2005
When Secretary-General Kofi Annan belatedly and hurriedly named the president of Latvian as the fifth
member of a team to promote his "reform" agenda he was providing her with a visibility needed by a
candidate to replace him.
The official press communiqué stated that Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga has actively supported the need
for UN reform. Elected to a second term in 2003, it went on "she has successfully guided her nation
through a period of active reforms leading to full membership in the European Union and the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization."
Word has been circulating in some European capitals that Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga would be a suitable
candidate from "New Europe" to lead a "New U.N.". While the Polish President continues to ponder
whether to run or not, a new
name, fresh face, and experienced "women of reform" from a former one of the newly independent
republics will be an attractive and innovative option.
The rush by Mr. Annan to designate the former Chicago resident after two weeks of announcing the
first four special envoys is indicative. In his current status, he would have only done so to
accommodate a power he is keen to please. The appointment of a new Secretary General is likely to
be one of the main items on the agenda of the newly designated US representative John Bolton whose
views "Old Europe" and a "New U.N." will be of special significance.
Common wisdom has it that it is Asia's turn. However, there are those who claim there is no
agreed prominent Asia candidate. In a distressing turn, there are some who exploit the perceived
embarrassment of the U.N. leadership in order to push for a total shift. They would say that after
three Secretaries-General from the third world it's about time for someone from the North.
Granted, this diplomatic talk remains within a limited circle. The main realistic consideration is
that China is not likely to go along. It is the permanent Asia representative with veto power
and will have great difficulty
conceding for a Non-Asian, unless later on in the game, other big powers were keen enough to try
very hard to persuade it otherwise.
Meanwhile, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga remains a serious though discreet candidate while the Asians
will have to get there act together by the next general assembly summit.