Saturday, January 07, 2006

Clark for UN Secretary-General?

Once I had stopped laughing at the characterization of Helen Clark's chances of being the next UN Secretary-general as "serious", I looked into the matter some more. As it turns out, Helen Clark is only one of eighteen women proposed by Equality Now. Upon perusing the list of names, it's apparent to me that the people who drew up the list simply don't have a clue.

The primary function of the UN Secretary General is chief administrative officer for the UN and this role is far larger than the bully pulpit to the world that Equality Now perceives it as. Given that the UN is in dire need of reform, to appoint someone without any administrative experience whatsoever will probably kill the UN off.

So looking at the list, what do I find? Four of the nominees (including our Silvia Cartwright) are Judges. A fifth has no administrative experience whatsover and, even worse, her political acumen is so poor that for over ten years she has failed to cut a deal with the junta in order to take power as Prime Minister. Another nine are UN honchos of some sort or another with very little to commend them.

So compared to the majority of the list, Clark does have administrative experience. But, in my opinion, she does not have the right kind of experience. The UN is in major need of reform to such an extent that amputation may be required. Clark's style of adminstration, on the other hand, has been to maintain a united front among her executive by avoiding conflict and keeping no-brainers such as George Hawkins or Mita Ririnui in ministerial portfolios. The UN needs Clark's style of adminstration like an alcoholic needs a drink.