Door #1 or Door #2?

Louis Fréchette’s resignation last month had the unexpected consequence of complicating India’s decision whether to field a candidate for the next SG or put forward someone for the position of the Deputy SG. The Daily Times reports that India’s External Affairs Ministry is urging the government to hold out for the top post rather than accept the number two slot.

Names floated by those speculating on India’s decision include former external affairs and finance minister Jaswant Singh, Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary and India’s current ambassador to Russia, and Shashi Tharoor, presently the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. Tharoor has long be suggested as Annan’s succcessor given his eloquence and affability as the UN’s chief spokesperson, but it has been suggested that the Oil for Food scandal would prevent an insider from getting the Security Council’s approval this year. The Daily Times reports that Sibal is supported by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh favors Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Director of the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office. .

The question still remains whether India’s push – along with Japan, Germany and Brazil – for a permanent seat on the Security Council could be weakened by its seeking power at the top level of the Secretariat as well. Japan’s decision not to field an SG candidate this year in favor of an SC seat suggest that that government is aware of this possibility. On the other hand, reports of Japan’s distancing from and thus weakening of the G4 effort may encourage India to go for broke.

One Response to “Door #1 or Door #2?”

  1. […] However, the decision by SG Annan to leave departing Deputy SG Louise Fréchette’s position vacant for the remainder of his term will likely increase the intra-regional competition. The Indian government, which had been weighing whether to name a candidate for the #2 spot rather than pursue the top post, is now more likely to field a candidate, possibily nominating UN spokesperson Shashi Tharoor. This would challenge the two declared Asian candidates, Jayanta Dhanapala of Sri Lanka and Surakiart Sathirathai of Thailand, as well as a field of potential others in the region. […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.