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作者: 来源: 日期:2016/8/26 9:08:51

Can Russia and the US compromise on who should lead the UN?





After months of speculation, the race to become the next UN Secretary-General has reached the point at which support for the official contenders is being tested where it really counts. Two rounds of straw balloting, in which countries are invited to “encourage” or “discourage” the candidacy of each nominee, have already been held by the Security Council. Another is scheduled for next week. Perhaps surprisingly, at a time when the UN is under pressure to appoint its first woman head and recognise the principle of regional rotation by giving priority to candidates from eastern Europe, the apparent frontrunner is neither a woman nor from eastern Europe. He is Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal who completed his second term as UN High Commissioner for Refugees last year.

在经历了数月的猜测之后,联合国(UN)秘书长的竞选已达到这样一个节点:对正式竞选者的支持正在关键地方受到考验。联合国安理会(UN Security Council)已主持过两轮意向性投票,即邀请各国选择“鼓励”或“不鼓励”每位被提名人竞选。下周还会再安排一次意向性投票。目前,联合国正面临着任命首位女性领导人、以及认可地区轮流原则的压力,后者要求它优先考虑东欧地区的候选人。然而一个也许令人惊异的事实是,目前看上去领先的被提名人却既不是女性,也不是东欧人。他就是去年刚刚结束了联合国难民事务高级专员(UN High Commissioner for Refugees)第二任期的葡萄牙前总理安东尼奥•古特雷斯(Antonio Guterres)广州翻译公司。


In the first straw ballot on July 21, 12 of the Security Council’s 15 members registered their encouragement for Guterres’ candidacy, with none against. In the second round, two weeks later, 11 maintained their encouragement while two registered discouragement. In most elections, these figures would be enough to make Guterres the runaway favourite, especially since support for his nearest rival fell sharply on the second ballot. But this is not a normal election and there are good reasons for thinking that the job could eventually go to someone else. Straw ballots are a shortlisting device designed to filter out the weakest candidate and should not be confused with the election itself. Special account also must be taken of the Security Council’s five permanent members. It is the interplay between their competing preferences that will ultimately determine the outcome.



China is playing a low-key role having used its diplomatic muscle to insist on an Asian Secretary-General the last time there was a vacancy. France and the UK are unlikely to veto any candidate supported by the others. That leaves Russia and the US, two countries pursuing radically different visions of world order and locked in bitter rivalry over Syria and Ukraine. As during the Cold War, finding someone capable rising above the climate of mutual suspicion between Washington and Moscow is likely to be the UN’s biggest challenge.



Russia is sticking to its position that the job should go to someone from eastern Europe, the only region never to have held it. Its preferred candidate is Vuk Jeremic, the former Serbian foreign minister who served as president of the UN General Assembly in 2012-13. He came second in the most recent straw ballot with eight countries voting to encourage his candidacy and four voting to discourage it. The main obstacle in his path is opposition from the US. Jeremic remains opposed to independence for Kosovo and is regarded as hostile to Nato. During his tenure at the General Assembly, the US denounced an event he organised on post-conflict reconciliation as “unbalanced and inflammatory” after he gave a speaking slot to the president of Serbia but denied one to the families of those killed at Srebrenica. The US is believed to have used its vote to discourage Jeremic’s candidacy in both straw ballots so far.

俄罗斯坚持该职位应由东欧人担任的立场,因为东欧是唯一未曾有人担任该职位的地区。该国偏好的候选人是武克•耶雷米奇(Vuk Jeremic),这位塞尔维亚前外交部长曾任2012-13年联合国大会(UN General Assembly)主席。在最近一次意向性投票中,他以8个理事国投鼓励票和4个理事国投不鼓励票排名第二。他当选的主要障碍是来自美国的反对。耶雷米奇依然反对科索沃独立,并被认为对北约(Nato)怀有敌意。在他任联合国大会主席期间,美国曾谴责他组织的一次战后调解活动“偏颇而令人愤慨”,原因是他为塞尔维亚总统安排了演说的时间段,却拒绝为斯雷布雷尼察被害者的家属安排时间。据信美国在迄今两次意向性投票中都投下了对耶雷米奇的不鼓励票。


The US candidate of choice is Susanna Malcorra, the current foreign minister of Argentina and former chief of staff to Ban Ki-moon. She rose to third place in the most recent straw ballot with eight encourages and six discourages. In part, US support is a personal endorsement of Malcorra who is well regarded by the Obama administration despite criticism elsewhere of her record as a senior UN administrator. It also reflects Washington’s strong preference for a woman to take the job for the first time. With the US presidential election falling shortly after the UN appointment is due to be made, it is understood that the White House is coordinating its position with Hilary Clinton. Assuming the polls are right, it is President Clinton who will have to work with whoever is chosen to take over at the UN, and her conviction that it should be a woman is known to be strong.

而美国青睐的候选人则是阿根廷现任外长、曾任潘基文(Ban Ki-moon)幕僚长的苏珊娜•马尔科拉(Susanna Malcorra)。她在最近一次意向性投票中,以8票鼓励和6票不鼓励升至第三名。美国对马尔科拉的支持一部分是对她个人的认可。奥巴马政府对她赞赏有加,尽管其作为资深联合国官员的履历在其他国家遭遇了批评。此外,对她的支持还反映出华盛顿强烈希望看到女性首次担任这一职位。美国总统选举将在新联合国秘书长任命之后不久落下帷幕,白宫现在与希拉里•克林顿(Hilary Clinton)协调立场是可以理解的。假定民调结果正确的话,将与新任联合国秘书长合作的,会是希拉里•克林顿总统。众所周知,希拉里强烈认为联合国秘书长应由女性担任。广州翻译公司。


This leaves each of the three leading contenders in a difficult position. While it is hard to see how Vuk Jeremic’s candidacy can avoid a US veto, Susanna Malcorra can only succeed if Russia is prepared to drop its insistence on an east European and back the US’s favourite. Guterres faces possibly the greatest difficulty of all. He needs Moscow to break ranks with the rest of eastern Europe and Washington to back down on its desire for a woman.



Unless something significant changes, the Security Council may need to find a compromise candidate. The most obvious solution would be to rally behind a woman from eastern Europe, of which there are only two left in the field following the withdrawal of Vesna Pusic, Croatian foreign minister.

除非出现重大变化,否则联合国安理会可能需要找到一位折中的候选人。最明显的解决办法将是支持一位来自东欧的女性候选人——在克罗地亚前外长韦斯娜•普希奇(Vesna Pusic)退出竞选之后,符合这种条件的只有两位候选人了。广州翻译公司。


One is Natalia Gherman, foreign minister of Moldova, and the other is Irina Bokova, the current head of Unesco. With only three encourages and 10 discourages at the last time of asking, Gherman’s support base is probably too narrow. Bokova looks better placed with seven encourages and seven discourages. A former Nato fellow, educated both in Russia and in the US, she is known to have personal support within Hilary Clinton’s inner circle and constructive working relations with Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.

一位是摩尔多瓦前外交部长纳塔利娅•盖尔曼(Natalia Gherman),另一位是联合国教科文组织(Unesco)现任总干事伊琳娜•博科娃(Irina Bokova)。盖尔曼在上一次的投票中获得了3票鼓励和10票不鼓励,她的支持基础可能过于狭窄。博科娃获得了7票鼓励和7票不鼓励,形势看起来更为有利。博科娃曾经在北约访学,并在俄罗斯和美国接受过教育,据悉她获得了希拉里•克林顿核心圈子的个人支持,而且还与俄罗斯外长谢尔盖•拉夫罗夫(Sergei Lavrov)有建设性的工作关系。


A lot has changed in the way that the UN chooses its Secretary-General. The process is more open and competitive than ever before. Yet it remains the case that the strongest candidate is often the one that engenders least opposition within the P5 rather than the greatest support among the UN membership as a whole. That may offend our understanding of how elections are supposed to work, but it was the basis on which the UN was founded. Better to bind the most powerful nations in by giving them the power of veto than risk going the way of the League of Nations. Tortuous and counter-intuitive as it sometimes seems, the process of electing a Secretary-General is intended to produce someone that all sides can work with. That is its strength as much as its weakness.

联合国挑选秘书长的方式发生了巨大变化。这一过程比以往任何时候都更加开放和竞争激烈。然而,有一点没有变:最有力的候选人往往是在5个常任理事国中引起最小反对的候选人,而不是在所有联合国成员国中获得最多支持的候选人。这可能与我们对选举运作机制的理解相悖,但这是联合国建立的基础。与其冒险重蹈国际联盟(League of Nations)的覆辙,不如通过给予实力最强的国家否决权而将它们绑在一起。虽然遴选秘书长的过程有时候看起来曲折且有违常理,但目的是找出一个各方都能与之共事的人。这既是它的不足,也是它的优势。


David Clark is chair of the Russia Foundation.

本文作者是俄罗斯基金会(Russia Foundation)主席