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Cablegate: Indian Un Secretary-General Candidate Tharoor

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGV #2176 2491623
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061623Z SEP 06
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0920
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1585
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2505

UNCLAS GENEVA 002176

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/UNDP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UN IN
SUBJECT: INDIAN UN SECRETARY-GENERAL CANDIDATE THAROOR

1. On August 28, Ambassador Tichenor met with Shashi
Tharoor, India's candidate for UN Secretary-General, during a
dinner hosted by Indian PermRep Singh. Tharoor reviewed
themes outlined in his September 4 Newsweek editorial,
discussing with the Ambassador and other Geneva-based
PermReps his vision for leading the United Nations in the
21st century by further promoting democracy, prioritizing and
streamlining UN programs, closing the "North-South" divide at
the UN, and strengthening the international civil service.
Speaking on Security Council peacekeeping missions, Tharoor
said that they needed clear mandates, proper review, and the
political will to implement them. When asked his views on
what advantages an insider would bring to the UNSYG job,
Tharoor responded that "while a new broom sweeps clean, an
old broom knows where to sweep," suggesting his insider
status made him the strongest candidate.

2. The Ambassador asked Tharoor, current UN Under Secretary
for Communications and Public Information, about published
accounts that UNIFIL forces in Lebanon telegraphed Israeli
troop movements. Tharoor said he was not aware of those
accounts, but, if they were true, it would be a serious
matter and such information was to be handled confidentialy
and professionally.

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3. Comment: Tharoor appeared smart, capable, and strongly
self-deferential. The U.S. decision to support the strongest
candidate, regardless of his national origin, definitely sets
us apart from other UNSC members; at this dinner, the Chinese
ambassador dryly noted that he would support the most
qualified candidate, "as long as s/he was Asian." End
comment.


TICHENOR

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