Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga
The US government had come to the conclusion that it did not want an independent spirit on the 38th Floor of the Secretariat and thought that ‘BB-G’ would make a useful scapegoat for the failures of US policy in the Balkans and Somalia. However, it had tried to avoid having to use its veto by going to extraordinary lengths to persuade his supporters to drop him. The State Department barnstormed an OAU summit, sent the Secretary of State himself on a trip to Africa, spread disinformation, and arm-twisted the other members of the Security Council. His official phone lines were tapped – or so he believes. The State Department even tried tempting him to stand down voluntarily with the offer of his own US-financed foundation and a new title – ‘Secretary-General of the United Nations Emeritus’. (Since this would signify ‘honourable discharge’ it was presumably intended to distinguish him from Kurt Waldheim, the predecessor with the somewhat questionable war record.) And yet, when it came to the vote on his future in the Security Council, not even the British supported the Americans – which tells us just what a diplomatic debacle for them this was.
But so what? As Boutros-Ghali says, ‘Only the weak rely on diplomacy [which] is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness’ (p. 198). Of course, he exaggerates – as the half of his own book that I have summarised above amply demonstrates – but there is a kernel of truth in this observation. And this book, by any standards, is a quite riveting account of how and why the United States tried diplomacy but in the end shrugged its shoulders and cast its veto against Boutros Boutros-Ghali – even though its vital interests were not at stake. It is also likely to make angry anyone who thinks – as I do – that the world diplomatic system can only suffer from the political emasculation of the UN Secretariat. I have added some references to this valuable memoir, with its account of the ‘UN-vanquished’ but its Secretary-General morally ‘Unvanquished’ (the title is a clever pun), on the Updating Pages for my textbook.
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The proliferation of small states in the past few decades has brought small and larger states on the same playing field. Their increase in number triggered a wave of studies, raised concern by 'realists' and some powerful states, and led to an affirmation that at the United Nations, all states are equal, regardless of size.
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Securing the Future of Multilateral Development Finance: Time for Europe to take the Initiative
Old diplomacy in New York
The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet
Facing the challenges of an Africa-wide ICT strategy
'There is a need to address these challenges to enhance the capacity of the AU organs, institutions and member states to better respond to instances of ICT policy in Africa. As part of the evolving African governance architecture, there is a need to formulate an ICT strategy...' - Eliot Nsega from Uganda
A Tipping Point for the Internet: Predictions for 2018 (Briefing Paper #9)
Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The participatory approach that led to the elaboration of the Common African Position (CAP) on the post-2015 Development Agenda involving stakeholders at the national, regional and continental levels among the public and private sectors, parliamentarians, civil society organizations (CSOs), including women and youth associations, and academia. This approach has helped address the consultation gap in the initial preparation and formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
A United Nations for the Twenty-First Century
Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World
Review by Geoff Berridge
Ten theoretical clues to understanding United Nations reform (Briefing Paper #6)
Diplomacy Before and After Conflict
Power: The nexus of global health diplomacy?
The History and Politics of UN Security Council Reform
Dimitris Bourantonis, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Athens University of Economics and Business and a well-published writer on the UN over many years, has provided a very valuable service for students of the world body by writing this short book.
Diplo: Effective and inclusive diplomacy
Diplo is a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development.
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