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Mogens Lykketoft, president of the U.N. General Assembly, hosting the first-ever televised live debate with Secretary-General candidates, New York, July 12, 2016 (U.N. photo by Evan Schneider).

Big Power Politics Threaten to Upset U.N. Secretary-General Race

Monday, July 25, 2016

Anyone who claims that they know who will be running the United Nations one year from now is a clairvoyant, a fantasist or a liar. The race to replace Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general jolted into life last Thursday, as the Security Council conducted a straw poll on current candidates. The results are open to multiple interpretations.

It is possible to argue that the council will select a charismatic politician to replace the underwhelming Ban. But it is equally arguable that it is on track to choose a dull, male leader despite the presence of impressive female candidates. One likely, but also depressing, interpretation is that the U.S. and Russia—the council members most likely to pick the winner—are headed toward a showdown over the outcome. ...

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