Kristen Silverberg, Assistant Secretary for International Organizations Affairs

Washington, DC
September 15, 2006

質問: The term of General Secretary of the UN is ending soon.

シルバーバーグ次官補: Yes.

質問: Does -- the U.S. has already made up their mind whom they want support or from which state groups they might a support a candidate and -- it has to be a subject in this General Assembly, too.

シルバーバーグ次官補: I think it will be a subject of discussion with the Secretary and her counterparts. We have not endorsed a candidate. It’s our view that we want somebody who is going to be, first, strongly committed to effective and sound management of the United Nations. This isn’t a talk-shop anymore. It’s not just a political organization in New York. It’s an organization that has more than 70,000 peacekeepers deployed. It has development and humanitarian programs all over the world. So we want somebody who’s going to be a good manager and committed to continued reform of the United Nations. We also want somebody who’s going to be -- share our values. First, the importance of promoting democracy around the world, a commitment to human rights is also important.

We’ve said that we’re happy to look at someone from any region including Asia. So we’re very open-minded about the region from which the person comes.

質問: Two follow-ups on this. You say that the person will have to share your values of democracy, human rights. Does that mean that the person will be from a country that is a democracy? Is that your preference?

シルバーバーグ次官補: We haven't said that we'll insist on a person from a democracy. What we want -- remember that the Secretary General serves in his or her personal capacity. He doesn't represent a national government, and so the important thing is that we have a leader who's going to help make the UN an effective organization in supporting democracy promotion efforts and in defending human rights. This is something we've had some real concerns about the UN on recently. And this goes back to the question about frustration with the UN.

You'll remember that last year we had a thorough debate with the highest levels of attention about the Human Rights Council and our efforts to replace the Commission on Human Rights with a stronger and more effective body. And we've been disappointed, really profoundly disappointed, by the quality of the resolutions that are coming out of the human rights council. We think they have an unconstructive focus on Israel, and that they really need to turn their attention to some of the key human rights problems in the world: North Korea, Burma, and other places. And so this is something that we think as an important agenda item going forward.

質問: And just one more on that Asia issue. Obviously you've said for a long time that you would look for the best candidate, no matter where they come from. But then the President in a roundtable with reporters before the G-8 Summit actually said explicitly that his understanding is that it's Asia's turn next. And that was sort of seen by many as an indication that perhaps your opinion might be changing and it might be, you know, going with Asia. Is that a sort of good direction that --

シルバーバーグ次官補: I think we'd be very enthusiastic about a strong Asian candidate who met our criteria. And the President I think was reflecting a -- I think the President was reflecting conventional wisdom that this will be an Asian. But it's long-standing U.S. policy dating back for many, many years that we don't -- we don't sign on to the concept of regional rotation. We don't think this automatically rotates between regions. But if there's an Asian candidate who's the strongest candidate and meets our criteria, then we are obviously prepared to support that person.

質問: Is (inaudible) a person at this point?

シルバーバーグ次官補: Again, we haven't endorsed any candidate.

質問: No, I'm not asking about an endorsement, but potentially is there someone who may --

シルバーバーグ次官補: We haven't spoken publicly about the qualifications of any of the existing candidates.

質問: But have you any --

質問: A (inaudible) with the South Korean candidate upfront. Is that who you would be supporting?

シルバーバーグ次官補: Again, we don't address that (laughter) good, though. (Laughter.)

質問: Well, when you say that you want someone who is strongly committed to improving the management and effectiveness of the UN and its budget, I mean, certainly UN officials that were embroiled in the kind of scandals and conflicts that caused you to launch this major reform effort certainly would not be in the running in your case.

シルバーバーグ次官補: Again, we don't want to talk about any specific candidates and we're unlikely to at any point. So -- but yes, we do want somebody who we can be assured is going to hold the UN to the highest ethical standards.

質問: Do you have any signs that Asian countries have unanimous support for one candidate, whoever that might be? I mean, eight years ago that was a failure that they couldn't present their candidate and support it and it was (inaudible). So do you have any sign that this has changed at this time, they come and they end up with one candidate and not two or three?

シルバーバーグ次官補: There is not a consensus Asian candidate right now and I don't see signs of one emerging, honestly right now. There are five Asian candidates and they all enjoy some support, so we don't expect a consensus.

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