Der ehemalige UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan ist heute im Alter von 80 Jahren nach kurzer Krankheit gestorben. Er hat 2001 den Friedensnobelpreis (zusammen mit der UNO) bekommen und war unter anderem eine treibende Kraft bei der Formulierung der Responsibility to Protect nach der Kosovo-Intervention. Gleichzeitig wurde seine diplomatische Karriere vom Versagen der internationalen Gemeinschaft beim Völkermord in Ruanda (Annan war damals für Peacekeeping verantwortlich) überschattet. Mir fallen nicht viele Menschen ein, die so eng mit der jüngeren Geschichte der Vereinten Nationen verwoben sind wie er. RIP.
Es gibt Generalsekretäre und Generäle. Annan fällt zweifelsohne in zweitere Kategorie. Ein Zitat zu dieser Rolle:
On the one hand there is his diplomatic role in the traditional sense, generally referred to as his “good offices”. In this role he acts as an impartial mediator, seeking to resolve disputes and prevent deadly conflict, which makes it essential that he maintain a good working relationship with all parties – and this in turn often obliges him to maintain complete discretion and avoid public comment, even when this involves resisting pressure, and perhaps his own inclination, to “take a stand”. On the other hand there is what this book calls the “bully pulpit” – the public role, in which the Secretary-General is expected to act as spokesman for universal values and for the interests of humanity as a whole. And in this role, impartiality cannot be taken as implying neutrality.
The Secretary-General must unswervingly uphold the purposes and principles of the organization, thereby at least implicitly supporting those who do likewise, and condemning those who do not. He must speak out in favour of universal human rights and in defence of the victims of aggression or abuse. He must champion the cause of development, and the right of the poor to achieve “better standards of life in larger freedom”.
These two roles can often be in tension with each other. But they come together in the concept – as Dag Hammarskjöld put it, in the introduction to his last Annual Report – of “an international community, for which the Organization is an instrument and an expression”. Whether the Secretary-General is acting discreetly or speaking out publicly, he must always seek to advance the interests of all states, and be careful never to appear to be serving the narrow interests of any one state or group of states. His particular concern should be to protect the weak against the strong, yet he must understand that it is often only by winning and preserving the confidence of the strong that he can hope to do that.
Kofi Annans Vorwort in Simon Chesterman, Secretary or General? The UN Secretaty-General in World Politics (Cambridge University Press 2007), xiif.