U.S. poised to veto Boutros-Ghali
U.N. secretary general wants second five-year term
November 17, 1996
Web posted at: 10:45 p.m. EST (0345 GMT)
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Push may come to shove this week for Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, whose nomination to a second five-year term is expected to collide with a United States veto.
The U.N. Security Council on Monday begins the nominating process, and will first use informal consultations to see whether Washington has had a change of heart. The administration gave no such signal Sunday. One veto is all it takes to end his bid for a second term.
"This is not personal, this is business," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Madeleine Albright said on CNN's Late Edition.
"We believe that the United Nations needs new leadership for the 21st century, somebody who's going to get up every morning and decide that reforming the U.N. so that it can function in the 21st century is his or her major goal,"
Washington has repeatedly called for new leadership to
reform the 51-year-old organization, but it has not named any preferred alternative to the 74-year-old Egyptian diplomat, whose current term expires December 31.
The White House has criticized Boutros-Ghali for refusing to cut the United Nations' budget. Congressional opposition to him has delayed payment of $1.5 billion in U.S. dues.
"We respect Boutros-Ghali as an international leader," Albright said.
Boutros-Ghali was formally nominated for re-election by Egypt last week, and his name will be the only one on the first secret ballot.
The council has to choose a candidate for election by
the 185-nation General Assembly. The selection of a
secretary general is traditionally made by agreement of the five permanent Security Council members: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.
Boutros-Ghali has the backing of the Organization of African
Unity, the Arab League and many countries, including a large
segment of the 15-nation Security Council.
If Boutros-Ghali is vetoed, the current council president,
Nugroho Wisnumurti of Indonesia, has said priority would be
given to other candidates from Africa.
Previous secretaries-general from other regions, including Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru and Kurt Waldheim of
Austria, all had two terms. If Boutros-Ghali is denied a second term, tradition dictates his successor should be from his region.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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