Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The UN is looking for a replacement for retiring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Christiana Figueres, who is credited with re-invigorating the global climate process in the wake of the Copenhagen disaster, is a top contender for the job.
Christiana Figueres, the UN official who helped steer the Paris climate change accord to success in December, has entered the race to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the organisation’s next secretary-general.
Ms Figueres, daughter of a three-time Costa Rican president, joins a large field of contenders for a post tipped to go to a woman for the first time in the UN’s 71-year history.
A colourful diplomat known for speaking her mind, she vowed to deliver a new model of “collaborative diplomacy” and the organisational reform that has been a hallmark of her time running the UN’s climate change secretariat in Bonn over the past six years.
“There is a prevalent feeling that the UN has stagnated, operates excessively in silos and is not fit for purpose,” she said in a “vision statement” supporting her bid.
Eleven people have already thrown their hat into the ring, including Helen Clark, one of New Zealand’s longest serving prime ministers, and Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian who heads the UN agency Unesco.
Christiana’s official vision statement;
The objective of the United Nations is to provide the architecture through which countries can address their common problems, peacefully resolve their disputes and support each other in building strong, prosperous and just societies. This is the foundation of international peace and security. Much has been achieved by this unique institution over the past 70 years, thanks to the dedication of its Member States and the commitment of its staff worldwide.
The question before us now is how to address the exigencies of a future so mired in complexity. In the face of rampant injustices, abuses, unrest and conflicts with increasing ramifications, there is understandable despair. But given the stakes, failure to address these challenges is simply not an option. Humanity has created these challenges, and we ourselves can and must step up to address them.
To do that, we need a UN that reclaims its standing as a beacon of hope; a reason for global optimism that calls us toward a compelling vision of the future, rekindling our confidence and inspiring each and every one of us to live up to our highest purpose.
It is for the opportunity to pursue this vision that I am honored to accept the nomination of Costa Rica as candidate for the position of UN Secretary-General.
According to Bloomberg, Figueres thinks Chinese Communism is a better form of government than Democracy, when it comes to addressing climate change.
Biggest Emitter China Best on Climate, Figueres Says
China, the top emitter of greenhouse gases, is also the country that’s “doing it right” when it comes to addressing global warming, the United Nations’ chief climate official said.
The nation has some of the toughest energy-efficiency standards for buildings and transportation and its support for photovoltaic technology helped reduce solar-panel costs by 80 percent since 2008, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg News headquarters in New York.
The country is facing growing public pressure from citizens to reduce air pollution, due in large part to burning coal. Its efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable power stem from the realization that doing so will pay off in the long term, Figueres said.
“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”
China is also able to implement policies because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S., Figueres said.
I’ve got to say I’m not a fan of Figueres. Someone who seems to think Democracy is a hassle, because other people get to interfere with and impede your directives, is not someone I want to see in a position of even greater global authority than her previous job. But hey, its not like anyone is giving us a chance to vote on this decision.