Monocolumn: Stakes Are High In Battle For UN Presidency

Monocolumn: Stakes Are High In Battle For UN Presidency

A rare battle for the UN presidency is gaining momentum between two Asian nations whose situations couldn’t be further apart.

  • 22 february 2011

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

Stakes are high in battle for UN presidency

A rare battle for the UN presidency is gaining momentum between two Asian nations whose situations couldn’t be further apart.

Qatar, a flush and forthright desert dictatorship, and Nepal, a humble Himalayan republic, are the unlikely competitors. It is Asia’s turn to assume the rotating presidency of UN General Assembly, the 66th session of which begins in mid-September. Unusually, a consensus candidate has not been agreed months in advance and neither nation is budging.

Qatar’s gas wealth gives it an annual GDP per capita of €106,000 – top of the world rankings – while on average Nepalis each earn just €880 a year. Qatar has been playing up its diplomatic clout in recent years, acting as a peacemaker in Lebanon and Sudan. Nepal is undergoing post-monarchy wrangling that has left it without a constitution or lasting government since 2006.

Negotiations between the pair have failed to find a resolution. A meeting of the Asian Group is scheduled this Friday (25 February) for a final decision. If deadlock remains, the General Assembly will vote on the issue in September.

While the presidency is mostly symbolic, for such small nations the position holds significant international prestige. Motivation also comes domestically.

“Qatar is in the process of a major transformation thanks to its oil and natural gas resources, which goes in tandem with state and nation building,” Birol Baskan, an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, said.

“Creating a Qatari identity transcending all tribal, sectarian, and other local identities is essential to the future stability of the country.”

Nepal also has unifying aims, Suhas Chakma, political analyst and director of Asian Centre for Human Rights, says. “It is very clear that the government of Nepal at the moment doesn’t have any credibility. If they get the presidency they think it improves their image. That is why they are so desperate.

To continue reading, click here.

tumblr analytics


Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Fitness / Sport
Work Yesterday

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Yesterday

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors


Healey Cypher

Retail, Technology, Digital

Automotive Yesterday

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Yesterday

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Yesterday

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs Yesterday

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Yesterday

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Yesterday

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Advertising Yesterday

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Yesterday

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

Design Yesterday

Garmin’s New Smartwatch Is Challenging The Luxury Market

The brand adds a premium version of its popular multi-sport trainer to its accessories collection

No search results found.