‘Post Global’ hosts debate on potential new UN chief

Washington Post's 'PostGlobal'The Washington Post‘s new on-line feature "PostGlobal," which is being moderated by David Ignatius and Fareed Zakaria, is hosting a debate this week on the replacement for Kofi Annan as UN chief. As I blogged previously, Jordan’s prince Zeid bin Ra’ad is among the candidates to replace Annan. Though he has an outside chance, he’s well qualified, having earned his BA in Poli-Sci at Johns
Hopkins and a PhD in history from Cambridge. He served as Jordan’s
deputy permanent representative before his current permanent representative post. As a UN chief, Prince Zeid would most likely put the Middle East crises on the global agenda. In this day and age, this is more than needed.

The Post debate is ongoing, though I couldn’t help but notice there there doesn’t seem to be much support for the prince. Here are few snippets from what readers are saying. Veteran journalist Daoud Kuttab said:

If the international community is serious about solving the Palestinian conflict then it should vote for the Jordanian candidate. Judging from the UN’s record, it seems unlikely that a Jordanian official — even a Hashemite prince — can do much, but it might be worth giving this seemingly intractable problem a chance to find a permanent solution.

On the other hand, if the position of the UN General Secretary is little more than a representative of the world conscience, then the smooth-tailing, experienced Indian candidate will probably prove more successful.

Another comment that caught my eye is one from Patrick in Egypt, who is not that excited about having a Jordanian chief.

I honestly think that South Korea’s leader will be the most impartial and suitable leader. Jordan’s leader should be ruled out. We’ve had an Arab Secretary-General in the 1990s (Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt) and having another one so soon would be understandably unfair. Furthermore, Prince Zeid would be too closely involved in a region that will probably be the focal point of many important and controversial UN measures. The UN can’t survive allegations of bias or unfairness.

You can read more comments and make your voice heard here. Other panelists like Kuttab are featured on the main page.

By Natasha Tynes

I’m a Jordanian-American journalist, writer, and media development professional based in Washington, DC.


  1. Oh yeah he lost the most recent voting big time with only 3 votes, although he had features that many members were looking for (other than his CV, all candidates have great CVs!) , but being from Asia, a Muslim, and someone from OUTSIDe the UN were positive things, however it doesn’t look like he’s gonna wine or come close to winning, i’m just wondering why is Qatar so excited about the Souther Korean candidate more than Jordan’s?

  2. Unfortunately no chance for prince Zeid. The Korean candidate is buying his votes from security council members (see http://www.unsg.org) while our sisiter Qatar has decided to support the Korean candidate. This is dirty business at its “lowest” level.

  3. Hey all,

    I think the Israeli-Palestinian situation gets way too much attention, and the Indian-Pakistani situation too little, at least in the UN. If an Indian Secretary-General can bring attention to the very real problems in India, I am all for it! Lest we forget, Israel is not the only place where there is terrorism and constant strife in the world…

  4. “Israel is not the only place where there is terrorism”

    People under occupation have the right to defend themselves, the only terrorism practiced in Israel is by the state of Israel.

    Red Tulip who cliams to be a “proud zionist” view Red Tulips blog only wants a none Arab for this position and more imoprtantly an Indian is just to divert the attention off the brutality that is comitted by the terrorist state of Israel.

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