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Just a Distraction or What

Arora Akanksha challenged Antonio Guterres for yhe UN Secretary General position in February 2021 )Photo montage for education only)

Arora Akanksha UNDP (Photo for education only)

Arora Akanksha challenged Antonio Guterres for yhe UN Secretary General position in February 2021 )Photo montage for education only)

Arora Akanksha challenged Antonio Guterres for yhe UN Secretary General position in February 2021 )Photo montage for education only)

By Erol Avdovic (WebPublicaPress) UNITED NATIONS / New York - The election of Antonio Guterres for his second five years term as head of the United Nations seems more certain than the other way around. This, after all, and if you ask would be confirmed to you by any serious diplomat in New York. WebPublicaPress has already written about this, quoting world diplomats. It is how it looks like in the mid of February from a more closed than open UN, here on the banks of East River.

 

Generation that cannot wait

 

Although Guterres’ re-election looks like almost certain, it does not guarantee that the process will be boring as it usually goes with that kind certitude. There are already indications that it will be very interesting if nothing else.

A young woman Arora Akanksha (34) from India had already tried to confirm that. She has announced her candidacy to be its next UN Secretary General and became the first person to challenge Mr. Guterres.

Indian born Arora also has a Canadian passport. Thus, it also makes her a Western World representative; not only a citizen of India.

But more than anything, she is as unexpected as well as a conventional phenomenon for this race: Unexpected, because she is an anonymous in the domain of public life. And conventional – because she comes from a world that is well acquainted with the shortcomings and internal structure of the United Nations system. Ms. Akanksha is a UN employee in New York; she currently audits at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Above all Arora represents a generation of one could say – millennials who already have shown – in other places and political meridians that they have no time to lose. And they don’t want to. They also seem to show less than conventional respect of authorities from public life – their fame, popularity, and sometimes even knowledge. Critics on the other hand say that this generation likes a shortened path to the throne.

“People in my position aren’t supposed to stand up to the ones in charge,” Akanksha said in a

Arora Akanksha UNDP (Photo for education only)

Arora Akanksha UNDP (Photo for education only)

campaign video posted online. And she seems not to agree that the young women supposed to wait their turn, “hop on the hamster wheel, go to work, keep our heads down and accept that the world is the way it is.”

 

Pretty surprise on the East River

 

In any case, her name caused a small storm at the very beginning, at least among the journalists who regularly follow the work of the United Nations. Or sort of. But not her words. No reason who uttered those words, they seem to have been needed for a long time when we talk about the UN.

Arora’s carefully chosen words reflect the very spirit of her generation, but also politically thought-out sentences as articulated criticism of the UN Status-Quo. That is the place where reforms are debated but not adopted or implemented. In fact, Arora’s words are more like a pamphlet compiled by an experienced politician, rather than an anonymous clerk –  unknown official in the UN bureaucracy conglomerate.

In her two-and-a-half minute video Ms. Akanksha walking inside the empty UN headquarters in New York, through a long UN corridors and beside a gallery of portraits of eight former UN secretaries-general. And, than she talks telling us: “We deserve the better UN”.

“For 75 years, the UN has not fulfilled its promise to the world – refugees haven’t been protected, humanitarian aid has been minimal, and technology and innovation has been on the back-burner,” Arora said, explaining her reason why she is running for the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Mentioning the political reality she is aware of, Arora suggests that the greatest sin is not to try – not to step forward and not to open processes, even when you are aware of results that are not favorable to you. But she bravely decided to tell the truth straight to the face of power(s).

 

A Little and Big guys fight

 

“I know it’s a David and Goliath story and I know we are the little guys here, but we have to remember, we the people, are more powerful than any system, she said, adding that once we realize that we can change the system, we can influence the system.”

Arora is also the first one to brake UN tradition and run for the post of UN Secretary General without the support of her country, India or Canada. She is in any case a person who will be talked about in the coming days, and maybe even months.

In Beijing, UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 2018 (UN photo)

In Beijing, UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 2018 (UN photo)

Quite openly, certainly aware that her “campaign” cannot go far, as long as the election of UN leaders is decided first by the world’s most important centers of power, and their representatives (P-5) in the Security Council – she calls for her support. She expects to trigger discussion and online exchange of ideas. A new one. The goal is the better UN, which as organization has indeed been spinning in a circle for many decades within its 75th existence.

“It takes someone being bold, being a first – first to speak up, first to take action, first to make a difference and now first to challenge the UN. I’m no longer waiting for the torch to be passed down, I’m taking it because I am part of the generation of change where we don’t just talk about change, we cause change,” Akanksha said. She added that we don’t need “another 75 years to accomplish changes” at the UN.

And when the UN,, Secretary General’s spokeswoman Stephanie Dujarric was asked to comment on her candidacy, he said it was not up to Antonio Guterres to comment on the candidacies of other pretenders for this position of World’s top diplomat.

 

There is nothing without procedure

 

At the same time, Brenden Varma, a spokesman for UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, said their office had not yet received a letter from Mr. Akanskha with her written  intentions to run for the UN chief. Nedless to say that this is a regular procedure that must be followed at the UN.

If this procedure is not followed, this “candidacy” could be than understood only as a way to draw

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his chief spokesman Stephan Dujarric at UN Headquarters in New York (Photo by Erol Avdovic, Webpublicapress 2018)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his chief spokesman Stephan Dujarric at UN Headquarters in New York (Photo by Erol Avdovic, Webpublicapress 2018)

the attention to someone who want quick public name-recognition, cynics would say.

Another interpretation, of course, is that this is an attempt to direct the spotlight on the forgotten messages embedded in the foundations of the United Nations. Those which explain what is the purpose of UN.

The UN should cease to be a place that services politicians for the sake of politicians, Ms. Akanskha also said in her video. It should become an institution that benefits the peoples – the citizens of the World on the principle of – We the People promise. She talked like that.

In any case, Arora indeed drew a little extra light for sometimes dark UN.

 

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