Claudia Rosett, who has already declared Ban Ki-moon’s “half-life of integrity” to be “less than a week,” is trying to gin up controversy about the appointment of the new Deputy Secretary General from Tanzania, Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro. Rosett dredges up a September 2006 Times of London report alleging a qui-pro-quo between South Korean foreign aid disbursements and developing countries’ support for Ban Ki-moon’s Secretary General candidacy. (Apparently, South Korea gave $18 million in aid to Tanzania last year.) But Tanzania was just one of 192 members of the General Assembly who voted unanimously for Ban’s appointment. Also, the real power brokers of the Secretary General selection process are the veto-wielding members of the Security Council. And no where has it been alleged that South Korea used its development-aid largess to curry favor with the United States, France, China, Great Britain and Russia.
Frankly, Migiro’s appointment can be considered a boon for the prospect of management reforms for which Kofi Annan pressed hard in his final year. Developing countries were hesitant to back these reforms for fear that their influence in the Secretariat may wane as a result. However, giving the number-two job at the United Nations to a woman who holds great credibility in the developing world may help assuage those fears and inspire developing countries to support management reforms.