Clinton for UN
Bill Clinton as secretary-general of the United Nations? It
has been talked about in U.N. circles and among the former
president’s insiders for more than two years. And now,
according to a United Press International report, Clinton
"definitely wants to do it."
The term of Kofi Annan, the current U.N. secretary-general,
ends in 2006, and, according to the report, Clinton’s
candidacy would receive overwhelming support from U.N. member
states, particularly in the Third World. "He definitely wants to
do it," a Clinton insider is quoted as saying.
But Clinton faces an unusual predicament – and potential
obstacle – in his quest: Can he get the support of the U.S.
government to take on the assignment? U.N. insiders think Clinton
as Secretary-General would bolster the prestige of the world
body. No American has ever been U.N. Secretary-General even
though the United States serves as host country and the major
contributor to its budget.
"Critics of the U.N. complain that it’s an organization
without the muscle and will to put its decisions into effect," a
U.N. source told UPI. "There’s a good chance that Clinton
could significantly change that situation, and then we’ll
see if the critics mean what they say."
This is not the first time Clinton’s interest in the job
has been raised. Back in February of 2003 there were reports of a
"major international move" to engineer Clinton into the post.
Those reports suggested Clinton had already lined up support for
his candidacy for the secretary-general position from Germany,
France, England, Ireland, New Zealand, a handful of African
states, Morocco and Egypt.
There were also suggestions that Annan might resign before the
end of his term in 2006. Annan took over as U.N. chief in 1997.
On the record, he has said he intends to fill out his entire
term. Clinton’s fund-raising prowess is viewed in some
quarters as a real incentive for the U.N.