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Susana Malcorra of Argentina Becomes Candidate for U.N. Secretary General

Ending months of speculation, Susana Malcorra, a veteran of the United Nations system who recently became foreign minister of Argentina, on Friday announced her candidacy in the race to become the next secretary general of the United Nations.

Ms. Malcorra's name had been circulating as a possible candidate ever since she resigned as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff in November and became Argentina's foreign minister.

She spent the past few weeks visiting the capitals that ultimately decide who will get the job: Washington, Moscow and, this week, Beijing. She also sought to resolve differences with London over the Falkland Islands, long a source of contention between Argentina and Britain. She recently told the newspaper Financial Times that the previous Argentine government had "overfocused" on the Malvinas, which is what the islands are called in Argentina.

Ms. Malcorra is the fifth woman among the 10 candidates.

The others include Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand who is now the administrator of the United Nations Development Program, and Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian diplomat and the director general of the United Nations educational and cultural agency.

There is a growing push for a woman to lead the world body for the first time in its 70-year history.

Ultimately, the man or woman who leads the United Nations needs the blessings of the five veto-holding permanent members of the Security Council: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

But there is also pressure for transparency in the long, opaque selection process. Ms. Malcorra is scheduled to appear before the 193-member General Assembly in June. A first round of hearings took place in April.

[Source: By Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, United Nations, 20May16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 30May16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.