French Presidency

French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and UNSG Kofi Annan (from UN Photo #115143/Ryan BrownWith the Security Council expected to move forward in July on the selection of the next UNSG, all eyes will be on France as it assumes the Council presidency next week. And they are not wasting any time.

A source noted that the French ambassador will be holding a discussion at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, 30 June) specifically on the guidelines that will be used in the selection process. It had yet to be determined today whether a press release or other advisory on the discussion’s outcome would be released afterwards.

Don’t expect much the first two weeks. The more important actions are not expected to occur until the second half of the month. The guidelines are not expected to include nor will France suggest any formal deadline by which the nominees must come forward. (Officially, there are at the moment only two candidates – Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala and Thailand’s Surakiart Sathirathai. India and South Korea have yet to formally convey their nominations to the President of the Security Council.)

Oh, and on Chirac seeking the job himself? According to the source, “That is amusing. Though he has a love for Japan, I don’t think that qualifies him as Asian.”

Update: from the UN Journal… France will hold a press briefing on the work for July on Wednesday, 5 July 2006, following the adjournment of the consultations of the whole.

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