Why not Michelle Bachelet? The Chilean has got everything that is necessary for the un’s top job

#ItsYourUN > Meinung und Kommentar > Why not Michelle Bachelet? The Chilean has got everything that is necessary for the un’s top job

The Bre­x­it in Gre­at Bri­tain has recent­ly shown, in an alar­ming way, how cru­ci­al cha­ris­ma­tic per­so­na­li­ties can be: Not only con­tents and the con­vin­cing argu­ment mat­ter in poli­ti­cal deba­tes, but just as much the per­sons invol­ved. Ever­ything comes down to their power of attrac­tion, their rhe­to­ri­cal talent, and their degree of sym­pa­thy.

At the UN it is also high time to place a per­son with ten­si­le force again back onto the top of the world orga­ni­za­ti­on. The Bre­x­it has, with unrelen­ting hard­ness, fur­ther demons­tra­ted that our inter­na­tio­nal sys­tem, which evol­ved and ripe­ned steadi­ly sin­ce World War II, is not safe for eter­ni­ty.

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet at the commemoration of International Women's Day  UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet speaks at the Commemoration of International Women's Day on 8 March 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.   Photo Credit: UN Women/Catianne Tijerina
UN Women Exe­cu­ti­ve Direc­tor Michel­le Bache­let at the com­me­mo­ra­ti­on of Inter­na­tio­nal Women’s Day
UN Women Exe­cu­ti­ve Direc­tor Michel­le Bache­let speaks at the Com­me­mo­ra­ti­on of Inter­na­tio­nal Women’s Day on 8 March 2013 at the United Nati­ons Head­quar­ters in New York.
Pho­to Credit: UN Women/Catianne Tije­ri­na

The “fati­gue” regar­ding inter­na­tio­nal and supra­na­tio­nal orga­ni­za­ti­ons is per­cep­ti­ble ever­y­whe­re. And it is gro­wing. Its dest­ruc­tive force will also not – even in the case of doubt – stall befo­re the United Nati­ons. In the best case sce­n­a­rio it would push the world orga­ni­za­ti­on com­ple­te­ly into insi­gni­fi­can­ce or, if the worst hap­pens, set off a wave of with­dra­wals the­re as well. To avo­id that the­se kinds of thoughts beco­me part of elec­tion cam­pai­gns, it is all the more important to appoint a lea­der as the next UN Secreta­ry-Gene­ral who is com­pe­tent, inspi­red by the UN, and cha­ris­ma­tic. After 70 years and eight men it is now final­ly time for a woman.

Unsatisfactory List of Candidates

Loo­king at the list of the offi­ci­al nomi­na­ti­ons – cur­r­ent­ly ele­ven – one can­not be satis­fied with the selec­tion so far. Surely the­re are eupho­nious names like Helen Clark, long­time Prime Minis­ter of New Zea­land, and Antó­nio Guter­res, for­mer Prime Minis­ter of Por­tu­gal, among the nomi­nees. Howe­ver, the list inclu­des also names bare­ly known, as for instan­ce Nata­lia Gher­man from Mol­d­o­va or Vuk Jere­mi? from Ser­bia.

Sin­ce it is sup­po­sed­ly Eas­tern Europe‘s turn this time to come for­ward with the next UN Secreta­ry-Gene­ral, Clark and Guter­res would be out of the race a prio­ri if this cri­ter­ion found strict app­li­ca­ti­on. And for both it is qui­te uncer­tain whe­ther they would recei­ve the necessa­ry sup­port wit­hin the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Clark has the repu­ta­ti­on of being a strident woman which would apt to the cur­rent world situa­ti­on. Howe­ver, whe­ther she can score at win­ning over the decisi­on makers of the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil is ques­tion­ab­le. Guter­res, on the other hand, is regar­ded as tired out after ten years in the stre­nuous posi­ti­on as the UN High Com­mis­sio­ner for Refu­gees.

Thus, one pro­mi­nent name is mis­sing on that list: the one of Michel­le Bache­let. She is not from Eas­tern Euro­pe, but the Chi­le­an brings in all pre­con­di­ti­ons to beco­me a good Secreta­ry-Gene­ral and – which is just as important – to win the favor of the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Her bio­gra­phy con­tains some­thing for ever­y­bo­dy. To begin with the obvious: She is a woman – that alo­ne is a good argu­ment in Wes­tern capi­tals, e.g. Washing­ton, D.C., Lon­don, and Paris. Fur­ther­mo­re, it is said, that she is even fri­ends with Hil­la­ry Clin­ton. Depen­ding on the out­co­me of the elec­tion cam­pai­gn in the USA this would be a weigh­ty con­nec­tion. During her time as For­eign Minis­ter Clin­ton had alle­ged­ly had signi­fi­cant influ­ence on Bachelet‘s appoint­ment as first Exe­cu­ti­ve Direc­tor of UN Women in 2011.

To Moscow’s and Bejing’s Pleasure

Poli­ti­cal­ly, Bache­let belongs to the Chi­le­an socia­lists; alt­hough accord­ing to our under­stan­ding her opi­ni­ons would rather be descri­bed as soci­al-demo­cra­tic. Due to old tra­di­ti­ons the label “socia­list” might evo­ke sym­pa­thies in Rus­sia, which would be signi­fi­cant during this elec­tion becau­se of the offi­ci­al-unof­fi­ci­al access rights of Eas­tern Euro­pe. Fur­ther­mo­re, Bache­let, who was expel­led from her home coun­try during the tur­moil of the Pino­chet dic­ta­tor­ship, had lived in the GDR for a few years and stu­di­ed at the Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty in Ber­lin. This is ano­t­her rea­son, why Moscow – and Bei­jing – should be dis­po­sed towards her.

Being a trai­ned phy­si­ci­an Bache­let does not belong to the genus of sleek diplo­mats or smart eco­no­mists with Wes­tern socia­li­za­ti­on – this could be ano­t­her advan­ta­ge for her in Bei­jing and Moscow. After all, she has gathe­red expe­ri­en­ces regar­ding “hard poli­cy issu­es”: long befo­re Ursu­la von der Ley­en it was Bache­let who beca­me the first fema­le Defen­se Minis­ter of Latin Ame­ri­ca in 2002. She ful­fil­led her obli­ga­ti­ons in this posi­ti­on so suc­cess­ful­ly that she was elec­ted the first fema­le pre­si­dent of her coun­try in 2006. As Chile’s con­sti­tu­ti­on pro­hi­bits a second legis­la­ti­ve peri­od Bache­let reti­red and trans­fer­red to the United Nati­ons after the end of her pre­si­den­ti­al term in 2010. The­re she beca­me Exe­cu­ti­ve Direc­tor of the new­ly foun­ded UN Women befo­re taking over the pre­si­den­ti­al office of her home coun­try for second term in 2014.

With this mix­tu­re of hard and soft topics – she had also been Minis­ter of Health – she excel­lent­ly fits into the “port­fo­lio” of the United Nati­ons, which, on the one hand and on qui­te prag­ma­tic poli­ti­cal terms, con­cen­tra­tes on peace forces around the world, and on the other hand, on issu­es in regard to human rights, deve­lop­ment, cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion as well as oppres­sed, poor and under­pri­vi­le­ged peop­le.

Bachelet might have a realistic chance

In short, Bache­let might have a rea­listic chan­ce to win over the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Her cur­ri­cu­lum vitae is impres­si­ve­ly diver­se, and at the same time impres­si­ve­ly dif­fe­rent: pionee­ring and uncon­ven­tio­nal. Con­se­quent­ly, it cor­re­sponds with the con­cept of a UN Secreta­ry-Gene­ral one would wish for at the cur­rent sta­te of the world. As of that, smooth yes-say­ers are just as litt­le nee­ded cur­r­ent­ly than stubborn fools. Ins­tead, a per­son with princi­ples AND diplo­ma­tic exper­ti­se is nee­ded, with a clear jus­ti­ce agen­da AND a sen­se for what is fea­si­ble.

Bache­let com­bi­nes all of the­se aspec­ts and, bey­ond that, she is bra­ve. Thus, not least reflec­ted by her pri­va­te life: she is an athe­ist, divorced, has rai­sed three child­ren from two dif­fe­rent men and has been a sin­gle parent for many years. With that she amas­ses all dead­ly sins of catho­lic Chi­le, Bache­let once com­men­ted her unusu­al CV – and, none­theless, mana­ged to being appoin­ted to top posi­ti­ons in her coun­try. That speaks in favor for her power of attrac­tion as a per­son. The fact that she is facing domestic head­wind right now should not belitt­le her over­all balan­ce sheet in the long-term. Ins­tead it could slight­ly stir the fla­mes of her inte­rest to move to New York again.

It is all the more reg­rett­able that Michel­le Bachelet’s name is not yet on the list. Howe­ver, being the pre­si­dent of her coun­try she can­not nomi­na­te herself; that is pro­hi­bi­ted by the diplo­ma­tic com­ment. The­re­fo­re, the call for her app­li­ca­ti­on should sound all the lou­der now. Only a glo­bal wave of sup­port could car­ry her from her pre­si­den­ti­al posi­ti­on in San­tia­go to New York. It would be worth a try. In the end, of cour­se, Michel­le Bache­let might fail in this posi­ti­on as well, but she would bring in a lot more than all the other nomi­nees, to avo­id just that.

 

Frie­de­ri­ke Bau­er works as free­lan­ce jour­na­list and aut­hor. She lives in Frank­furt am Main and main­ly wri­tes about for­eign- and deve­lop­ment poli­cy and is mem­ber of the edi­to­ri­al com­mit­tee for the jour­nal VEREINTE NATIONEN.

2 Comments on “Why not Michelle Bachelet? The Chilean has got everything that is necessary for the un’s top job
  1. Hey t?ere! Thhi? is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of vol­un­te­ers ?nd star­ting
    a new initia­ti­ve in a com­mu­ni­ty in the same
    niche. Your blo? pro­vi­ded us use­ful infor­ma­ti­on to work on. You have
    done a out­stan­ding job!

  2. Spi­cy sweetie Yuko Uemu­ra gets her twat eaten. Asi­an cam­girl with
    a pier­ced nipp­le mas­tur­ba­tes. ama­teur mom nude with boys.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.

eins + zwanzig =