Monday, March 28, 2005

Replacing Annan

Austin Bay is looking for UN-GS nominations. Keeping faith with limited goals he noted in his Kofi's Depression post, I'd rule out President Clinton immediately. He hasn't the will or desire to rock the boat sufficiently. One nomination was Brian Mulroney. I only remember PM Mulroney only vaguely now, but my impression is he doesn't have the passion to do it. I'd also need to brush up on his record for administrative skills, willingness for trench fighting, and tendency to ignore the rules, and conventional wisdom. As for the nominations of Vaclav Havel, Mario Vargas Llosa, or Hernando de Soto, Havel probably has the best administrative skills and would know enough of the system to not be continually hoodwinked by the cabal he'd have to deal with.

But that brings up another point. To what extent would any replacement have the authority to dump an inherited team. Are the various careerists like a cabinet that would/could be replaced by the an incoming GS? Who the heck are these folks in the Senior Management Team and how many ought to join Annan's retirement party, not to mention who among the Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the General Secretary
should be dumped. (At a minimum, the person responsible for naming the latter Group should definitely be canned.) If the new GS has to live with these groups, I'd want one guy, someone of a Guiliani mold, someone who has no problem stamping on toes at one time while keeping others at least complacent. The drawback is that he doesn't have the right diplomatic skills. If the GS can sweep out whomever he desires, maybe the Havel mold would be better because you would get a better diplomat and a vocal one.

Another question is what degree of change is realistic in two terms and you have to limit the goals, what is the highest priority. For instance, if you would be satisfied for the next few years to only root out the corrupt (and maybe set them fleeing) you might consider Baltasar Garzon. If you want to root out the incompetent, then from an administrative standpoint, I'd consider someone from the business world, someone like Bill Gates, someone that could implement financial transparency and make sure the UN will be effective with the additional billions it wants to extort from members for it's Millennium Fund.

Considering it is the UN and the GS doesn't have considerable power, it might be best not to have a GS who will rock the boat. Maybe it would be best to have a GS with the willingness to have dozens of subordinates rocking the boat and the ability to calmly and convincingly assure all those who complain that the boat isn't moving.

Offhand, I cannot think of someone fitting this description but if the news Mr. Simon is breaking is accurate, a name is likely to be needed sooner rather than later.

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