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 an expert.