Five months to go

As much as I enjoy following developments and digging into the intricacies of the races for the Human Rights Council and the IMF, my first love remains the selection of UN Secretary General. It is where I started my blogging career and one I hope to cover more throughly in the coming months.

I have written a few posts about whether Ban Ki-moon will secure the necessary support from P5 members for a second term. The leaked Norwegian memo in 2009 and diplomatic instructions made public by Wikileaks pointed to dissatisfaction with Ban’s performance at that time, especially by the current U.S. administration. It’s been quiet the last several months however, so he may be trying to lay low, hoping no other senior staff resign in protest over alleged mismanagement.

There doesn’t appear to “movement on the part of Washington to block a second Ban term,” according to Stephen Schlesinger, a contributor to the UN Association’s online blog The InterDependent, but how satisfied is the Obama/Clinton/Rice team with the pace of reform in the Secretariat?

This past March, I have the opportunity to ask the Suzanne Nossel, the Deputy Secretary of State for International Organizations, how she might advise Ban going into this year’s selection. She reiterated U.S. concerns over reform and, for someone speaking diplomatically, didn’t seem too happy with the progress to date.

Perhaps it is just me, but Ban Ki-moon just doesn’t come to mind when I hear the terms robustness, effectiveness or vigor.

About Tony Fleming

Tony is a communications and advocacy professional with over 15 years experience in United Nations reform advocacy. He began blogging about multilateral elections in 2006 at He and his wife currently live in Panajachel, Guatemala. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.