Tough Call

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26 (AFP) – The race to fill the shoes of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is gaining pace amid growing consensus that an Asian should take over when the Ghana native stands down at the end of next year. UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26 (AFP) – The race to fill the shoes of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is gaining pace amid growing consensus that an Asian should take over when the Ghana native stands down at the end of next year. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Sri Lanka’s ex-UN disarmament expert Jayantha Dhanapala have formally declared their candidacies and several others from Asia may run, including South Korea’s Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, diplomats said.

The region is facing early resistance from eastern and central European nations, with outgoing Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski indicating his interest for the job.

“Eastern Europe has never been represented in the post. Our region has undergone significant changes and should not be overlooked,” said Kwasniewski, who has not made a formal decision yet to stand for the post.

Russia, which has already pledged support for the Asian bid, may oppose such a nomination, one diplomat said, speaking on condition o