Women empowerment can be seen shining through every field. And its latest example was seen when seven of the U.S. women senators recently urged President Barack Obama to push and further support the election of the United Nation’s first female secretary – general that is scheduled to take place later this year.
The elections for the same are slated to come about at the end of 2016. United Nation’s Secretary – General, Ban Ki – Moon, also a former South Korean foreign minister, will be stepping down after his two long five – year terms. He truly is an incredible personality and what adds to his depth of expertise is the fact that he has been with the world organization ever since its inception. Yes, that is almost seventy years ago.
The secretary general is usually decided on the basis of the 15 – member Security Council that includes veto powers: the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France. They are powered and privileged to recommend a candidate for the election by the 193 – member General Assembly. This is going to be a tough decision for them for they have to choose someone to succeed the great legacy that Ban is going to leave behind.
“We ask that the United States play a leading role in pressing for the strong consideration of qualified women,” the seven Democratic senators wrote to Obama. This group is primarily led by Barbara Boxer, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Other members include Patty Murray, Mazie Hirono, Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeanne Shaheen and Barbara Mikulski.
Responding to the senators’ letter, a senior Obama administration official said: “While we would welcome the selection of a woman as the next Secretary-General, we still ultimately support the best candidate of either gender.”
Even the 53 nations led by Colombia are pushing for a female secretary – general. Other than that, several civil society groups also hold the same opinion. Some of the potential candidates who are deemed eligible for the post of Secretary – General include: U.N. cultural organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova, former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and Moldova’s former Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman, former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim, Montenegro Foreign Minister Igor Luksic, former Slovenian President Danilo Turk and former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
One of the senior Security Council diplomats said on the condition of anonymity that Guterres has much more and better chances of being selected as Secretary – General among all those who have entered the race. But I am still waiting for the entry of the winning candidate.
Adding to the list of other potential candidates is: Helen Clark, former New Zealand prime minister and head of the U.N. Development Programme; Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra; and European Union Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva.
The U.S. senators wrote: While the U.N. has offered support to consider the regional rotation, it still has to consider gender equality, which is yet to be given importance, in consideration of women empowerment all around the globe.
Other female senators from the Republican Party were also approached to back the letter to Obama. However, none showed any interest in the same.
So, who is to blame here for the general inequality rampant all around the globe?