By Dr. Lisen Bashkurti
It is not a coincidence that in our time there have been distinguished woman leaders at the national, European, American and global level. The world is facing great changes…Angela Merkel, German Chancellor; Hillary Clinton, U. S. Presidential Candidate; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund; Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile; Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counselor of Myanmar and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia.
During such a challenge with many abrupt changes, women leaders are demonstrating visions, integrity, and unique capacity and have secured a wide support throughout many levels.
What about in the United Nations…
Since its inception, in 1945, United Nations have had a determining male leadership. Obviously, they have been public leaders with a certain influence, ability and with a great international contribution. Among them, Roosevelt, Churchill and later on Charles de Gaulle, led the victory of World War Two and established peaceful and democratic processes afterwards. United Nations has their seals and signatures as the world’s contributors for peace and democratic order.
In the system of United Nations, its Secretary General is a key figure. The Secretary General is the main administrator of the daily operations of United Nations while defending the U. N. Charter as well as face a constant flow of challenges that emerge through international processes. The Secretary General is elected through a widely inclusive process, where the Security Council and U. N. General Assembly play a key role.
Since the founding of United Nations, there have been only males as Secretary General. Even in the last decades the leadership of United Nations has been at the hands of men. Obviously they have had great merits and contributions, however they have demonstrated personal and leadership challenges. In this context, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali who was elected at the helm of United Nations after the Cold War, besides his great contributions, he could not secure a global support. Boutros Boutros-Ghali did not ensure the support of President Clinton’s administration, while creating a major shake-up in the activities of the United Nations.
After Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the United Nations were led by Kofi Annan. Annan led the organization for two terms; however his second term was tarnished by a series of corruption scandals related to the “Food for Oil” program, which seriously damaged the image of United Nations in the World. Kofi Annan was succeeded by Ban Ki-moon, who demonstrated a transparent leadership and further promoted a well disciplined United Nations, but was more bureaucratic than a visionary leader towards reforming the UN.
Time for change
The current mandate of Ban Ki-moon will expire on December 31st 2016; this is why the United Nations are currently engaged with a dynamic campaign to elect a new U. N. Secretary General. There are a considerable number of candidates for Secretary General from a series of geopolitical regions such as Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia – Pacific, Africa and Latin America. Different from the past elections, this time there is a large number of women candidates; the first round of selection was organized in the end of September.
During the first round of preference the United States and European Union supported the candidacy of António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal. The Russian Federation did not support Guterres’ candidacy, while suggesting that it would be suitable to have a candidate from Eastern Europe or Russia. In October 5th, U. N. Security Council had agreed to nominate Guterres, on October 6th, they adopted a formal resolution that would be presented to the U. N. General Assembly.
On this round there are candidates from the main regions of the world. Without entering into an individual evaluation of each candidate for U. N. Secretary General, which is not in our competence and in our legitimacy, it would be useful to raise a few questions that require a reflection from the 193 members of United Nations General Assembly, in the next coming days. 
Is it reasonable, fair and necessary that United Nations would be led for over 71 years only by men? Aren’t women an essential individual force, with great family contributions, with an indispensable role in local communities, national leadership responsibilities, extraordinary and vital contributions to humanity at the global stage?
Isn’t there a time for United Nations to pursue the same path of the most advanced nations in the world, where women have played and continue to contribute a vital role in public policies? Finally, isn’t the United Nations an institution that has prepared and trained well known women leaders, with a culture and leadership abilities that are admired by all?
Latin America, Argentina deserves the support of UN
Among the Secretary General Candidates that was supported in the first round of secret ballots in September, was the one from Latin America, Argentina. Susana Malcorra, Argentina’s candidate for UN Secretary General deserves the full support of U.N. First, Latin America has not been represented at the helm of U.N. General Secretariat for many years. Meanwhile such a large geopolitical region has gained significant positive changes and has given tremendous contributions to the defense of peace, security and sustainable economic and social development in the world.
Secondly, Latin America has made historical contributions in the development of international law and global diplomatic practices. As a result a greater representation of Latin America in the UN would be a genuine added value. Third, Latin America would bring a new era, a brand new dynamics and undoubtedly a new global vision to the United Nations. Fourth, Argentina, the country that has nominated Susana Malcorra (its current Minister of Foreign Affairs), is a well respected nation throughout the world for its progressive stance in favor of global peace, stability, security and socio-economic development, as well as in its road towards building democratic institutions and strengthen human rights. Argentina has been a country that has extensively cooperated at international forums as well as an active participant in the UN System.
Without a doubt, the values of Latin America and Argentina are also highly complemented by the leadership abilities of Susana Malcorra. In her personality are intertwined: a balanced moral integrity, wise culture, long administrative experience at the national and international levels at the UN, unique communications abilities and a stellar team work. Dr. Malcorra, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina since 2015, has shown great sense of diplomatic and negotiations leadership. The candidacy of Susana Malcorra is highly distinguished due to her leadership potential, organizational management that have been praised worldwide.
Albania, many reasons to support of Susana Malcorra
The Albanian Government must support the candidacy of Malcorra for a number of reasons. First, Albania has a traditional history of friendship and cooperation with Latin American countries. This tradition has been weakened over the last three decades due to political transitional processes in Tirana as well as constant geopolitical changes. It is time for Albania to set forth concrete steps in order to recover the tradition of political, diplomatic cooperation and strengthen other areas of mutual interest with Latin America that could favor the region and Albanian economy. A vote in favor of Malcorra, from Latin America, would extremely strengthen the partnership between both regions.
Secondly, Albanian Diplomacy should revitalize the political, trade, cultural and diplomatic relations with Latin America in order to further promote the interests of Kosovo and its international recognition. The ineptitude of Albanian diplomacy towards Latin America has caused a deep divide and a lack of international recognition of Kosovo in this part of the world, where this important cause has been abandoned at the fate of spontaneity or assigned to the diplomatic channels of a former colonial power-country of Latin America.
Third, Albania has a very special history of cooperation and friendship with Argentina. A large Albanian community in Argentina has established its business in the host country. It is a large Diaspora of countrymen, with businesses and with an Albanian Orthodox Church, with a cultural life that is very rich and highly acclaimed by the nation and government of Argentina. The decision to close the doors of Albanian Embassy in Argentina, a few years ago, due to economic constraints, must be immediately reconsidered. The opening of the Albanian Embassy in Argentina is a must for the strengthening of bilateral relations, but also to revitalize the multilateral partnership in Latin America.
Lastly, but not the least important, the candidacy of Susana Malcorra deserves the highest recognition as an individual, woman leader, from Argentina and Latin America. This is why the vote of Albania in favor of Malcorra would be reasonable, fair and necessary for the interest of Albania, Kosovo and for all United Nations Organization. United Nations is before a new set of tremendous shifts and reforms. Susana Malcorra has proved throughout her professional career that she is more than capable to lead these vital reforms in the most important institution of Global Governance.
Translated from Albanian by Peter M. Tase.