Wanted: A Southasian candidate

Just how far we have to go before evolving even a rudimentary level of regionalism is reflected in the clamour among Southasian states regarding the new post for UN Secretary General. Sri Lanka, India and now even Pakistan plan to slug it out for a high office that symbolises, ironically, the finest attributes of inter-state cooperation. The refusal to engage with each other on an issue where countries usually cooperate on a regional basis is disheartening.

In accordance with the principle of regional rotation, it is Asia's turn to be take the top post when Kofi Annan's term ends at the end of this year. U Thant of Burma was the last Asian to have occupied the office, more than three decades back. The Thai deputy prime minister and the South Korean foreign minister have already thrown their hats in the ring. Some Eastern European candidates who have objected to the 'regional principle' are trying their luck as well.

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Himal Southasian