If you saw the UN General Assembly you are likely to agree that it is an environment just right for Miroslav Lajčák -- a conclusion you draw regardless of whether you are being ironic or serious.
The chances of the Slovak minister will end the UN general secretary are lower than the two second places in straw elections would suggest. But those results also make him a relevant candidate.Read more
His chances are lower because everything that is "insider" about the UN favours the Portuguese candidate who has also won all the votes. But Mr. Gutierrez is not sure to win either, since one of the five Security Council standing members might surprise with a veto - for instance if they tipped off someone else, or they simply want to make a good deal with some political capital.
Lajčák's outlook is not any better even despite the rumours that appeared after Robert Fico's trip to the Kremlin saying that the additional seven votes in the subsequent straw election were thanks to Putin and Fico's intervention.
But the only thing that Fico could have done for Lajčák at the Kremlin is to obtain a promise that Russia will not veto his candidacy. This is no small thing, but might not be enough. Lajčák so far has four negative votes and he might well be annulled by a veto from another side of the planet, a more western one. Rumours at work indicate that many feel a country with a Slovak style migration policy simply does not have the right to have a UN secretary general.
Not even when the candidate is a minister who "softens" the statements of his prime minister whom an officer from the UN human rights committee put on the list of this world's extremists.
But whatever. We keep our fingers crossed for Lajčák, even though he studied in Moscow. The post that he is trying for only gets little respect, but it would make Slovakia visible. Of course the debate that perhaps Slovakia would be better off without more visibility is legitimate, but in another commentary.
29. Sep 2016 at 15:59 | Peter Schutz