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Christine Ockrent

Paris, France

Christine Ockrent is regarded as one of France's most respected broadcasters, the only journalist granted an interview with Saddam Hussein in the middle of the Gulf War. more »

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Give It to India's Insider

Paris, France - The UN is a weak and troubled organization so it's better to get an experienced insider for Secretary General than someone who'll have to waste time learning the ropes.

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All Comments (29)

Mike 18:

Thank GOD, You found out something, that this world realy need. http://mike18movies.ifrance.com/

Anonymous, India:

I fail to comprehend why a UN chief needs to hold "western values" dear. The UN should be used as a honest broker for resolving issues between members or coordinating joint international efforts. It should not be used for peddling ideologies or rooting for particular agendas however laudable some members of the UN think these idealogies are.

And frankly if by "western values" one means current American diplomatic, political and economic values then I humbly suggest that a better set of can easily be found.

I also see that some Reporter seem to have difficulty grasping the notion that sec-general'ship is not give to India or Korea but to AN Indian or Korean. Its not what Indians or Koreans in general are like, but what in particular Tharoor or Moon stand for.

POST A COMMENT:

I am very much surpised with the behavior of the Reporter.The values and culture which we(Indians) have in our roots are perhaps one of the evidence of the human life even before 5000 years.Indian, Chinese, Greek and Arab civilisation are the oldest recorded civilisation on this earth.Creek and Arabs have lost their roots because of their negligence and chinese because of their Cultural Revolution, but India is the only country who has its culture and identity intact even after foriegn invasions.Mark my words at whatever position India reaches even may over take US in next 150years, its culture and identity will remain as inract as it is today.
By the way, Mr.Reporter have you ever seen a democracy where a Christian leader gave the PM seat to a person belonging to Sikh community to be the Indian PM sworn by Muslim president in the Hindu majority society.This what makes the difference between India and others.

The Beaver:

It is my impression that Reporter is disappointed that none of the 3 Western (sic) members of the SC can submit a candidate for the UNSG position and thus he is rooting for the appointee of the EU ( welcome to COLONIALISM no matter how one wants to define that word). Too bad he has not learnt about how empires have emerged and declined through different civilizations from BCE to the 21st century.

Wonder if he realized the extent of the global issues facing the members of the UN and if he believes that the western 'savoir faire" will resolve these issues :-(

Raj, Fairfax, VA:

Reporter, there isnt enough vitriol in your posts to be dismissed as a troll, yet your insistence on gratuitously insulting other nationalities (non-western) is likely to put them on the defensive and sow resentment against America.

You're doing more damage to America's image and standing among these nationalities (which are strongly pro-american if one believes opinion polls) than proving anything else. Speaking of non-westerners' fleeing to america, whats your nationality/background? Unless you're 100% american indian (who owned the land) or 100% mayflower material (who created america), you shouldn't be going around accusing people of fleeing to america, as if you had any part in America's greatness. tsk. America's greatness doesnt arise in its "western"ness but from its English roots/concepts of liberty. (Even Portugal is a "western" country)

Hemang Shah:

Mr. Reporter you are so damn biased for this Vike-Freiberga. And making such statements like "The moral statement affirms the rightness of Western values -- the same values that created societies to which most non-Westerners want to flee." just shows how uninformed you are. Let me tell you one thing, we Indians, are proud of our country, and though some of us do want to come to Western Countries, a lot more want to stay back, and even those coming abroad want to help India in some way or the other. Come out of your well, and see that there is a lot more you have to learn. This statement of yours is nauseating, to say the least.

heyoupthere:

Let me ask you this is the US any less racist than Korea? Your reference article needs more logical back-up argument and definitely some more up-to-date statistical figures (eg the boy to girl ratio, what you have is from 1967). The 'Korea' you're talking about is the 'Korea' several decades ago.

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/:

Ban Ki-moon, the nominee of Seoul (South Korea), appears likely to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations. The travesty is that he represents a nation (i.e., South Korea) which despises non-Koreans. Yet, nearly all members of the United Nations have predominantly non-Korean populations.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


When Ban stands for a vote in the general assembly, the members should cast their votes against him.


If Seoul wants to salvage his candidacy for the post of secretary-general, then Seoul should immediately admit 300,000 Sudanese refugees into South Korea. Such an action would effectively declare that the Koreans shall cast away their racist bigotry against non-Korean.


Would the Koreans admit 300,000 Sudanese (i.e., non-Korean) refugees into Korea and put them on the track to becoming Korean citizens? Don't hold your breath.

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/:

Ban Ki-moon, the nominee of Seoul (South Korea), appears likely to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations. The travesty is that he represents a nation (i.e., South Korea) which despises non-Koreans. Yet, nearly all members of the United Nations have predominantly non-Korean populations.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


When Ban stands for a vote in the general assembly, the members should cast their votes against him.


If Seoul wants to salvage his candidacy for the post of secretary-general, then Seoul should immediately admit 300,000 Sudanese refugees into South Korea. Such an action would effectively declare that the Koreans shall cast away their racist bigotry against non-Korean.


Would the Koreans admit 300,000 Sudanese (i.e., non-Korean) refugees into Korea and put them on the track to becoming Korean citizens? Don't hold your breath.

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/:

Ban Ki-moon, the nominee of Seoul (South Korea), appears likely to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations. The travesty is that he represents a nation (i.e., South Korea) which despises non-Koreans. Yet, nearly all members of the United Nations have predominantly non-Korean populations.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


When Ban stands for a vote in the general assembly, the members should cast their votes against him.


If Seoul wants to salvage his candidacy for the post of secretary-general, then Seoul should immediately admit 300,000 Sudanese refugees into South Korea. Such an action would effectively declare that the Koreans shall cast away their racist bigotry against non-Korean.


Would the Koreans admit 300,000 Sudanese (i.e., non-Korean) refugees into Korea and put them on the track to becoming Korean citizens? Don't hold your breath.

reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/:

Ban Ki-moon, the nominee of Seoul (South Korea), appears likely to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations. The travesty is that he represents a nation (i.e., South Korea) which despises non-Koreans. Yet, nearly all members of the United Nations have predominantly non-Korean populations.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


When Ban stands for a vote in the general assembly, the members should cast their votes against him.


If Seoul wants to salvage his candidacy for the post of secretary-general, then Seoul should immediately admit 300,000 Sudanese refugees into South Korea. Such an action would effectively declare that the Koreans shall cast away their racist bigotry against non-Korean.


Would the Koreans admit 300,000 Sudanese (i.e., non-Korean) refugees into Korea and put them on the track to becoming Korean citizens? Don't hold your breath.

Jemi:

If this women thinks Ban is any less experienced than Tharoor, she is seriously mistaken. Ban is a Havardian if you didn't notice, he has been working with both UN and South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs longer than Tharoor. Not to mention his stunning achievements are countless, whereas Tharoor's success was very limited in various aspect

Gili:

I am amazed at "reporter's" posts. "Reporter" has a problem with the Tharoor candidacy, because India does not embrace "western values"?? Does he/she know how ridiculous that sounds? It implicitly implies that "western values" are *vastly superior* to eastern ones.

That is exactly the "holier than thou" attitude embraced by the colonizers of our past, whether they were from the West (e.g., when the Europeans colonized most of Africa/Asia), or from the east (e.g., the excuse we heard from China when it took over Tibet). Are we heading back to imperialism again? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought we were in a global age.

Moreover, if you have a problem with some particular "eastern value", please discuss that instead of denigrating "eastern values"

Raj, Fairfax, VA:

How about an efficient MANAGER, regardless of nationality? IF the nationality of the sec-gen now matters, it shouldn't, going forward.

If only individuals from highly evolved, organically free societies were to be elected, no one except the scandinavians would qualify.

Allotting slots based on "regions" and ethnicities, its a form a of "quotas" - recidivistic social engineering tactic at the cost of efficiency and value.

What we need is a centrist, efficient manager who is a member of the cognoscenti yet not far from the pulse and the sensibilities of the "masses", and has the respect of the masses.

(Clinton's style with Bolton's fire and Danforth's respectability? Does such a man/woman exist?)

forgetaboutfrance:

UGh! Yes after all the fraud France has perpetrated against South Korea, ofcourse FRance would be on an adverse stance if Ban wins the seat. don't listen to France

reporter, USA, theclearsky.blogspot.com:

The BBC has done an excellent job in presenting the 6 candidates for the post of secretary-general of the United Nations.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5334820.stm


Although each candidate for the post is a person (i.e., not a nation), the candidate does indeed represent the nation which nominated him or her. A nation -- especially, a democratic nation -- nominates a candidate that represents the interests or the values of the nation. The nation that nominated the candidate says much more about the candidate than all the mechanical talking points that the candidate herself says.


Americans rightly expect that if Washington nominated a candidate for the post, then that candidate shall conduct herself in a way which is consistent with Western values -- and, specifically, American values. Of course, there is a profound difference between Western values and non-Western values like those in either India or South Korea.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


Among the top six candidates for the post of secretary-general, only Vaira Vike-Freiberga thoroughly embraces Western values. She represents a nation (i.e., Latvia) which serves as a model of how a nation transforms itself into a prosperous, liberal democracy. She herself is a member of that nation -- and of Western society in general.


Washington, Paris, London, Tokyo, and all Western governments on the security council should firmly support Vike-Freiberga for the job of secretary-general. She should be put to a vote in the general assembly. Even if the assembly votes her down, the moral statement of supporting Vike-Freiberga is important. The moral statement affirms the rightness of Western values -- the same values that created societies to which most non-Westerners want to flee.

The Beaver:

Why does it have to be an insider?
It is enough that the secretariat is involved in corruption and nepotism and we would like to see an insider taking the helm !. This would be a joke.
BTW: Is the candidate Indian or British? Seems to me that he was born in the UK and he is playing the card of dual citizenship, to which India has recently adhere to (like so many of the UN civil servants who change their citizenship as they see fit to get up the Mgmt or administrative UN ladder- re a current director of UNIC who was promoted by the same Thakoor).
Does India want a seat on the security Council or a UNSG?
How come none of these countries have put forward the name of a competent/capable woman (except for Europe in the candidacy of the Latvian head of state)?

This would be the opportunity for gender equality "now or never" since everyone has been asking for UN reform from the silent employees to the UN Ambassadors representing the different member states. There are some capable women who do know the UN system and have a good political nose.

The UN's Member States consistently find reasons - almost always financial --
not to employ the "international machinery" that would be needed to bring about equality between men and women. The fact that women are a low priority for the UN is well known: governments know it, the Secretary-General knows it,the women who staff and lead the UN's current "women's machinery" know it, and women's NGOs and gender equality advocates know it.

Let's bridge the gap between words and actions instead of being the laughing stock of the intelligentsia and cogniscenti

East:

These protagonists of western values should indulge in a bit of introspection before preaching others. Some of the values that you seem to embrace or atleast practice in the west include racism, sexual deviance like pedophilia, polygamy, violence, crass materialism that has not even spared the church, the huge class divide, demagoguery in the name of democracy etc. And lest you forget slavery, colonialism etc. are all part of the west's not so distant past. There's a lot not to like about western values.

Moorthy Muthuswamy:

Dr. Shashi Tharoor is an apologist for radical Islam and his published analysis of radical Islam in the Indian context lacks a rudimentary understanding of its dynamics.

The time has come to tell Indian government and our European allies that we deserve better: Mr. Tharoor is a bureaucrat wedded to an outdated line of thinking -- and is no dynamic visionary for a world ravaged by radical Islam.

With the kind of civilizational war we are facing, it may be strategically important to have a Secretary General who understands the radical Islamic threat and is willing to go an extra mile to have it neutralized.

Hemang Shah:

On the views expressed by the Reporter, i would just say that India is too ancient a civilisation and too large to be compared with Latvia. Any multi-cultured democracy is bound to have its own problems, yet India has remained a democracy since its Independence, no single branch of thought has been allowed to hold sway at the national level. Cultures differ, and if reporter finds that India has a shocking value system, its only because he's trying to see it from a Western point of view....India with its system of values has survived over the centuries.

At the same time, I would request Asian not to get so worked up over the opinion of one individual. We may disagree, but we have to remember that reporter is entitled to his own opinion, however erroneous it may be.

Maria:

ASIAN says "This data is not any concocted fiction that has come to my mind. It is from WIKIPEDIA." However, for all we know, ASIAN is the person who contributed those numbers to Wikipedia! Wikipedia is not a reliable source.

Andrew:

ASIAN,

"But, one thing that will surely come in the mind of people reading your blog is complete hatred and contempt for anyone from Latvia."

Where did this come from, you say at the end of your post for others to stop spewing filth and hatred, but earlier say that just reading some guys opinion made you hate and hold in contempt anyone from Latvia. Get a grip. The guy that wrote that post was from America, you shouldn't become enraged at an entire nation of people because of one person's (who isn't even a citizen of said nation) opinion.

ASIAN:

Supporting one's own countrymen is definitely admirable. But, the amount of slandering that this guy has done against South Korea, India and any other country whose people are contending for the post of UN Secretary General shows the hollowness of his state of mind, arrogance, insensitiveness and total ignorance in his way of thinking. I hope that all Latvians are not like you.

"Latvia, like the rest of Eastern Europe, is the gold standard by which underdeveloped nations (which comprise the bulk of the UN) should modernize."

- Kudos to Latvians for having achieved such great progress. But, please do not come and preach to the rest of the world that your model is what should be followed by everyone. Every nation is unique and so are their problems. And, its upto each country to find it's own way to make progress. We do not need an arrogant, insensitive character from the so called "UTOPIA" of Latvia to tell us, how to go about our lives.

Take it from me... You have definitely made one hell of an effort to support Vaira Vike-Freiberga. May the best man win. We do not believe in slandering Latvia just for the reason that, you have a candidate standing for such a coveted post. But, one thing that will surely come in the mind of people reading your blog is complete hatred and contempt for anyone from Latvia.


No country is free from problems. To give you a better perspective...

Just take a look at the following statistics before your blabber more senseless filth and rubbish...

Latvia:
Area
- Total 64,589 km² (124th)
(24,937 sq mi)
Population
- July 2005 est. 2,307,000 (141st)
- Density 36/km² (166th)
(93/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate
- Total $29.214 billion (95th)
- Per capita $12,622 (53rd)

South Korea
Area
- Total 99,646 km² (108th)
(38,492 sq mi)
- Water (%) 0.3%
Population
- July 2006 est. 48,846,823 (25th)
- Density 480/km² (19th)
(1,274/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate
- Total $994.4 billion (14th)
- Per capita $20,590 (33rd)


India:
Area
- Total 3,287,590 km² (7th)
(1,269,346 sq mi)
- Water (%) 9.56
Population
- 2005 est. 1,103,371,000 (2nd)
- 2001 census 1,027,015,247
- Density 329/km² (31st)
(852/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate
- Total $3.633 trillion (4th)
- Per capita $3,344 (122nd)

This data is not any concocted fiction that has come to my mind. It is from WIKIPEDIA. Just by looking at these statistics, even a kid who has had some basic education would tell you that you cannot compare these nations and tell that one is better than the other. Reason is that the population, land size and nature of economy, the problems that these nations face also vary drastically. These data do not tell us in anyway that the nation of Latvia, (by the way , i had to use a reading lens to find it in the world map) is superior to the rest of the world. GROW UP KID!!! STOP SPEWING SUCH FILTH & HATRED... LIVE & LET LIVE!!! PEACE!!!

Mudaliar:

I just read the Stanford Ph.D's blog. Yes, there are too many social problems in India. Similarly there are many social evils in every nation. India and USA are great nations, irrespective of the aberrations. The most powerful person in India is a woman, Italy born Sonia Gandhi and is a Catholic. The president of India is Abdul Kalam. The prime minister is Manmohan Singh, a minority community. None of them belong to majority Hindu community and in USA Senator Allen's mom being a Jew once upon time still matters.

Mudaliar:

I am surprised by the claim that Indians established their nation in 1950. India is a 5000 year old civilization Period. Indians failed in what? What are the systems of values that shock any Westerner? The blogger needs to explain more. The blogger should know that the most successful ethnic community in the USA are Indians. If they have faulty values that would shock any Westerner, how did they succeed in USA or UK?

Mudaliar:

I am surprised by the claim that Indians established their nation in 1950. India is a 5000 year old civilization Period. Indians failed in what? What is the systems of values that shock any Westerner? The blogger needs to explain more. The blogger should know that the most successful ethnic community in the USA are Indians. If they have faulty values that would shock any Westerner, how did they succeed in USA or UK?

reporter, USA, theclearsky.blogspot.com:

India is, indeed, a democracy, but being a democracy does not mean that a nation necessarily embraces Western values. Indian actions and attitudes assault the values that we embrace in the West. Washington should veto the election of Shashi Tharoor to the top post of the United Nations.


Check out the essay at the following web link.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


Washington, London, Paris, and other Western governments should aggressively support the election of Vaira Vike-Freiberga (of Latvia) to the post of secretary-general of the UN. Latvia, like other Eastern European nations, is a model of how a nation transforms itself into a prosperous, liberal democracy.


India had a head start of 40 years over Latvia. The Indians established their nation around 1950. The Latvians established their nation about 1991. Despite the head start, the Indians profoundly failed. India is a democracy, but it is afflicted with a system of values that would shock any Westerner.

reporter, USA, theclearsky.blogspot.com:

India is, indeed, a democracy, but being a democracy does not mean that a nation necessarily embraces Western values. Indian actions and attitudes assault the values that we embrace in the West. Washington should veto the election of Shashi Tharoor to the top post of the United Nations.


Check out the essay at the following web link.


http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/#115967192466858300


Washington, London, Paris, and other Western governments should aggressively support the election of Vaira Vike-Freiberga (of Latvia) to the post of secretary-general of the UN. Latvia, like other Eastern European nations, is a model of how a nation transforms itself into a prosperous, liberal democracy.


India had a head start of 40 years over Latvia. The Indians established their nation around 1950. The Latvians established their nation about 1991. Despite the head start, the Indians profoundly failed. India is a democracy, but it has a system of values that would shock any Westerner.

Brigitte Meier USA:

Ms. Ockrent has a good argument for the Indian Candidate. Meanwhile, the U.S. is laboring hard to make India into its new servant (they call it ally). And shouldn't other nations have an equal weight in this choice?

How can choice of a new leader be based on global democratic norms if some nations can veto the choice? Why are some nations more equal than others?

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