15 NOVEMBER 2011


U.N. Secretariat staff have noticed that many of their senior supervisors are either acting very nervous these days and/or being unusually nice.

The reason is that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is quietly rightly reviewing his new team for a second term and most of those around have spent more than adequate time either to prove their undisputed usefulness or to bow out and give a break to others.

We do not claim having any information. Such changes are often confidentially negotiated with key governments, particularly those of incumbents and hopefuls. But Mr. Ban, refreshed by the leadership position of an Arab Spring, has made no secret of his determination to move ahead with a fresh team. Although he habitually plays his cards close to his chest, it is most likely to assume that he will need a new deck of cards.

Most current senior officials have contracts until next January. That's less than two months. So, we'll soon find out.

For the sake of an effective U.N., we earnestly wish our Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the courage and wisdom in choosing his new team come February. As a British poet once proclaimed: "When winter comes, could Spring be far behind?"