The first ever public assembly of ALL candidates to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General will shortly be announced. (Well, I am actually announcing their event before they are. . . )
Sadly, the normal process of choosing the UN's chief has traditionally not been transparent and is usually a function of last moment deal-making. However, transparency is in, and the back room stuff out.
This event will get all of the candidates together on one state and will take place from 6:30-8:30 pm on Tuesday, September 26th at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
Ambassador John Bolton is likely to attend as he lives upstairs in the same building but also has been actively meeting all of the Secretary General candidates. A key insider in Bolton World has told me that the Ambassador very much likes Jordan's Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein -- and I find myself at an uncharacteristic moment of agreement with John Bolton. However, I still need to meet and review the work and profile of the other candidates.
The UN Security Council has attempted to put forward a slightly more transparent selection process in which all nominations are now made formally and in public. According to one observer with whom I have beein in contact, "this level of sunshine and transparency is unprecedented. . . and much needed."
Should be an interesting session. Now, I wonder how The Washington Note or Huffington Post can get the right press credentials.
-- Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow and Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note.