Latvian MEP bemoans choice of UN Secretary General

Because of the "lack of backbone" on the part of certain EU member states in the vote on the next United Nations secretary general, Eastern Europe had missed its chance to take this important post, Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete told the LETA newswire October 6.

Kalniete said she was "deeply shocked and offended" by the outcome of the vote that meant that Eastern Europe would have to wait for several decades before it could make a new bid for the top position at the UN because of the regional rotation principle in selection of the UN secretary general.

"One can only guess which countries failed to support the candidacy of [European Commission Vice President Kristalina] Georgieva. It really hurts that certain EU member states elected to the UN Security Council did not support her,' Kalniete said.

This is unacceptable in a situation when the EU keeps talking about showing solidarity and support, the Latvian MEP said.

"Georgieva was an excellent candidate, probably the best that Eastern Europe could offer at the moment," she added.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) told the press Thursday that the UN Security Council probably chose not to back a Eastern European candidate during the vote because there were too many candidates and, possibly, also due to the recent problems in the region.

"But the time of Eastern Europe will come," he said, voicing hope that in the future the UN would also stick to its declarations about gender equality.

Rinkevics also wished luck to the new UN secretary general and assured him of Latvia's willingness to cooperate.

Portugal's former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has been picked as the next UN secretary general.

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