|HOW TO LIVE FASHIONABLY ON $1 A YEAR (AND HAVE LUNCH WITH BAN KI-MOON)?
15 October 2007
Become a Special "Special" U.N. Envoy!
Kofi Annan / Iqbal Riza invented it and Ban Ki-moon added to it a personal feature -- a private invitation to lunch.
All you have to do is get some influential person or an influential country to repeat a mantra of praise in the right
ear. For example, that you have had unique experiences; you are well-known by the "players;" you have devised a creative
formula; designated a blue line, a green light, or a red herring.
In brief, try to persuade the Secretary General; if not him, then someone nearby -- that you could be
useful with those who will be useful. All that for a symbolic $1 per year.
Just get the designation. Be sure to get the right task. Forget the "Displaced Persons" or the "Least Developed
of the Developing Countries." There is nothing much there except a couple of miserable trips in some antiquated
aircraft. Now, the Middle East is something else. An ocean of cash to be spent at will with little accountability. In
certain countries, every politician is a businessman / millionaire. Money is no object. Once they believe you
can "deliver" the Secretary General -- or that you may indeed be the next Secretary General, you don't even have to
ask. Invitations, offers and offerings will be coming your way. And, of course, it is impolite to refuse. While in
the Norwegian Foreign Office -- or its neighbouring Sweden -- for example, the most you are allowed in gifts is a
box of chocolates; if you are a U.N. Special Envoy the sky is the limit. Private airplanes, chauffeured Rolls Royces,
a special reward to your gracious lady, a generous donation to your favourite charity (handed to you, of course).
As far as work goes, you're on your own. Make sure you have political cover from one or two important people in
two or three capitals. You can then do, say, or promise what suits you -- and your beneficiaries -- with impunity. If
on occasion, you provoke a serious backlash, a vague proclamation from Headquarters will absorb the first shock: your
full statement has to be studied; you were quoted out of context or there is a need for a personal "tete a tete" to
sort out what actually happened.
Even if you freelanced your way around a new Secretary General, don't worry too much when he gets upset. It is
already clear that personal chemistry between the two of you is not that good. He hopes to let you go by the end of
the year. Not to worry. What are Godfathers for? What are beneficiaries for? What are telephones for?
After all is said and done, it will be announced that you are indeed sacrificing by doing such enormous work for
as little as a $1 symbolic salary a year. Furthermore, Ban Ki-moon will personally invite you -- tense chemistry or
not -- to a pleasant private lunch.
If you feel unable to follow these guidelines, or need more experienced instruction, you may wish to contact
Terje Roed (Herring) Larsen - Special Envoy For the Implementation of Security Council Resolution XYZ. He is certainly