The Bulgarian government announced today (8 February) that Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva will continue with her duties – putting an end to expectations that she would run for UN Secretary General to replace Ban Ki-moon, whose second term expires on 31 December 2016.
A brief press release published on the website of the Bulgarian government, states that Georgieva spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. Reportedly, she told him that the political situation in Europe, the refugee crisis, the discussed EU reforms and her duties as Commissioner responsible for the budget and human resources require her to dedicate all her time to these matters.
The publication puts an end to the growing speculation that Borissov would nominate Georgieva as Bulgaria’s candidate for UN Secretary General. The nomination procedure is already open and several EU countries have notified the UN about their candidates.
The only official confirmation that Georgieva may be a candidate came from Margaritis Schinas, spokesperson for Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who last November said that Georgieva had discussed “the possibility that this issue may arise”.
Today’s development opens the door for Bulgaria’s most-obvious candidate, Irina Bokova – who currently leads the United Nations largest agency UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to get the nomination.
Bokova was the official candidate of the government, but diplomats disclosed that a few months ago they had received instructions to lobby for her campaign, but that the next day they had received another cable telling them that the previous instruction was invalid.
It is the turn of Eastern Europe to lead the world organisation. A strong candidate from this part of the world, especially a woman, would be well-placed to take the post.
According to reports, Slovenia nominated its former President, Damilo Turk, Croatia nominated its former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vesna Pusi?, Slovakia has nominated its Foreign Minister, Miroslav Laj?ák, and Portugal said it would nominate the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres.