The battle between the UN Chief Representative & the US Special Envoy ends in a decisive blow with the American veto – Global Affairs

United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
  • by Thalif Deen (United Nation)
  • Joint press service

“Madeleine was quick to quash those false suspicions,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in tribute to Albright, who died last week at the age of 84. “Simply without a doubt, in any way. In any room, she’s as tough as anyone. and usually stiffer. That said, it’s not always easy. ”

Blinken said she walked into the first meeting of the United Nations Security Council, as the new US ambassador, and quipped: “15 seats and 14 men, all looking at me.” .

But when she saw the US sign on her seat, her nerves melted: “I thought, if I didn’t speak today, America’s voice wouldn’t be heard. When I finally spoke, it was the first time that I represented my naturalized country, to which I belong. ”

Albright, known for his courageous stance on international diplomacy, is also a feminist and a strong advocate of gender empowerment. While campaigning for Hillary Clinton, who was running for president of the United States in 2016, Albright told a gathering of potential female voters: “There is a special place in hell for women who are not. Women do not help other women”.

But while serving as the United States’ special envoy to the United Nations (1993-1997), Albright had a bitterly protracted war with United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a former deputy prime minister. of Egypt.

The independence of the Secretary-General is an age-old myth mostly existing outside the United Nations. But as an international public servant, he is expected to renounce his political allegiance at the United Nations revolving door at the entrance to the Secretariat building, when he takes office, and more importantly, never seek or receive instructions from any government.

But virtually every Secretary-General – the last nine – has played ball with world powers in violation of Article 100 of the UN charter.

Boutros-Ghali, the only Secretary-General to be denied a second term because of a negative US veto, and who died in February 2016, revealed the hidden political action inside the greenhouse. on the East River.

That single negative vote was voted down by Albright.

The US, which spread the concept of majority rule to the outside world, exercised its veto even though Boutros-Ghali had 14 out of 15 votes in the Security Council, including votes. of the other four permanent members of the Council, which is the United Kingdom. , France, Russia and China.

Boutros-Ghali, who held the UNSG post from 1992-1996, continued a strongly contested relationship with Albright.

Last week, the New York Times wrote that she was largely unknown until Bill Clinton took office in 1993 and appointed her chief delegate to the United Nations.

In a span of four years, the Times said, she became a staunch advocate of US global interests. But she and Clinton were “in conflict several times with Boutros-Ghali over peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Rwanda and the Bosnian civil war.”

In her 368-page book titled “Unvanquished: A US-UN Saga” (Random House, 1999), Boutros-Ghali provided an insider’s perspective on how the United Nations and its Secretary-General Its power is being manipulated by the most powerful member of the Organization: the United States.

In late 1996, Albright, at the behest of the US State Department, tackled a single issue that had dominated her life for months: the “removal” of Boutros-Ghali, according to the book.

United Nations Secretary-General Joseph Verner Reed, an American, was quoted as saying that he heard Albright say: “I’ll make Boutros think I’m his friend; then I’ll break his leg.” After carefully observing her, Boutros-Ghali concluded that Albright had skillfully accomplished his diplomatic mission.

“She ran her campaign with determination, not letting a chance bring my authority down and tarnish my image, while always sporting a serene face, a friendly smile and repeated expressions of friendship and admiration,” he wrote.

“I recall what a Hindu scholar once told me: there is no difference between diplomacy and deception,” Boutros-Ghali writes in his book.

During his tenure, Boutros-Ghali pointed out that although he was accused by Washington of being “too independent” of America, he ultimately did everything in his power to please the Americans. But the US remains the only country to say “no” to a second five-year term for Boutros-Ghali.

The former UN chief recalled a meeting in which he told then-US Secretary of State Warren Christopher that many Americans had been appointed to UN jobs “at the request of Washington in the face of objections from the United Nations.” other member states of the United Nations.”

Boutros-Ghali said: “I did so, because I wanted American support to succeed in my job (as Secretary General”). But Christopher refused to respond. Boutros-Ghali also recounted how Christopher tried to convince him to publicly declare that he would not run for a second term as Secretary General. But he refused.

“Certainly you cannot remove the Secretary-General of the United Nations by a unilateral measure by the United States. What about the rights of the other (14) members of the Security Council?” he asked Christopher. But Christopher “mumbled something inaudible and hung up, very displeased”.

One of his “flaming disputes” with Albright was over the appointment of a new executive director to UNICEF in 1995. It was a dispute that “seemed to upset Albright more than any previous issue between we”.

President Bill Clinton wants William Foege, the former head of the US Centers for Disease Control, to be appointed head of UNICEF to succeed James Grant.

“I recall,” Boutros-Ghali said, “President Clinton pressed me to appoint him (Foege) when we met in the Oval Office in May 1994.”

Boutros-Ghali wrote: “I replied to her (Albright) as I had told President Clinton: that while Dr. Foege was certainly an outstanding person, unfortunately, I could not comply.

He also told Clinton that he was personally and publicly committed to increasing the number of women in the top ranks of the United Nations, and that UNICEF would particularly benefit from women’s leadership.

Because Belgium and Finland presented “excellent” female candidates – and because the US refused to pay the UN dues and also made “disparaging” comments about the world body – “ no longer automatically accepted by other countries The director of UNICEF must have been an American man or woman. ”

“The United States should pick a female candidate, and then I’ll see what I can do,” he told Albright because of the consultation appointment with the 36-member UNICEF Executive Board.

“Albright rolled her eyes and made a face, repeating what had become her standard expression of frustration to me,” he wrote.

As the Clinton administration continued to urge Foege to run, Boutros-Ghali said that “many countries on the UNICEF Council were angry and (told) me to tell the United States to go to hell.”

The US administration has finally submitted a female replacement candidate: Carol Bellamy, a former director of the Peace Corps.

Although Finland’s Elizabeth Rehn received 15 votes to Bellamy’s 12 in a straw poll, Boutros-Ghali said he called on the chairman of the Board of Directors to convince members to achieve it. consensus on Bellamy so that the United States can continue the monopoly it has held since UNICEF was founded. in 1947.

And so, Boutros-Ghali ensures that the position of UNICEF executive director will remain the birthright of Americans’ minds for the past 75 years — and even today.

This article contains excerpts from a new book published in the United Nations titled “Don’t Comment – and Don’t Quote Me About It,” described as a satirical piece interspersed with political anecdote. Authored by Thalif Deen, the book is available at Amazon. Following links:

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