The Candidates Respond

Earlier this year, we featured guest blogger Ayca Ariyoruk with the Center for UN Reform Education who called for an end to “the age-old tradition of discouraging candidates for the top UN post from speaking and engaging in public debate.” The powers that be apparently heard her appeal, as the candidates have been freely campaigning broadly and engaging in numerous speaking engagements with regional groups and civil society.

Sri Lankan candidate Jayantha Dhanapala recently responded to the coalition’s candidate questionnaire, sharing his views on the North-South divide, civilian populations in conflict, civil society’s role in global governance, disarmanent concerns and gender balance in the UN system.

Indian candidate Shashi Tharoor is also expected to respond to the candidate questionnaire, reflecting perhaps the four-part approach he describes in the current Newsweek International. 

Update: Tharoor’s responses to the candidate questionnaire are now available.

In the Newsweek article, Tharoor insists that democracy must be a continuing priority for the UN, and that the world body should be focusing in those areas where it has a proven track-record, leaving those issues beyond its capacity to the world community. Overall, the UN’s operational capacity needs to be improved, states Tharoor, including strengthening the international civil service and improving peacekeeping efforts. Prevention of a North-South divide may be acheivable by “building issue-based coalitions to deal with specific practical problems…that have little to do with ideological politics,” writes Tharoor. 

It is not clear whether Minister Ban or Dr. Surakiart intend to respond to the questionnaire or make additional public appearances as the decision draws nearer.

One Response to “The Candidates Respond”

  1. […] Ban will never make such an announcement, at least not publicly.  Unlike others seeking the role in 2006, Ban did not speak openly about his candidacy the first time and there is no reason to believe he will this time. It would only serve to put his record under more scrutiny and to acknowledge the legitimate  possibility of challengers to the traditional second term. The first official word we hear about his candidacy will a Member State praising him as a quiet, deliberative leader that has performed with honor, or such. Even that may not happen unless and until his re-nomination by the Security Council is a done deal, perhaps sometime next summer. So, I’m not holding my breath. If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment, subscribe to the RSS feed, or sign up for email updates. blog comments powered by Disqus var disqus_url = ‘ ‘; var disqus_identifier = ‘362‘; var disqus_container_id = ‘disqus_thread’; var disqus_domain = ‘’; var disqus_shortname = ‘globalmemo’; var disqus_title = “Don’t hold your breath”; var disqus_config = function () { var config = this; // Access to the config object /* All currently supported events: * preData — fires just before we request for initial data * preInit – fires after we get initial data but before we load any dependencies * onInit – fires when all dependencies are resolved but before dtpl template is rendered * afterRender – fires when template is rendered but before we show it * onReady – everything is done */ config.callbacks.preData.push(function() { // clear out the container (its filled for SEO/legacy purposes) document.getElementById(disqus_container_id).innerHTML = ”; }); config.callbacks.onReady.push(function() { // sync comments in the background so we don’t block the page DISQUS.request.get(‘?cf_action=sync_comments&post_id=362’); }); }; var facebookXdReceiverPath = ‘’; var DsqLocal = { ‘trackbacks’: [ ], ‘trackback_url’: “” }; (function() { var dsq = document.createElement(‘script’); dsq.type = ‘text/javascript’; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = ‘http://’ + disqus_shortname + ‘.’ + disqus_domain + ‘/embed.js?pname=wordpress&pver=2.45’; (document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0] || document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); […]

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