Russian Hybrid War Reaches the UN.

Author:Christy, Tatiana
Position:Opinion - Candidacy of Irina Bokova as United Nations Secretary-General

March 2016

Russian Hybrid War Reaches the UN

The global community once again is searching for the best candidate for the post of UN Secretary General to replace the current head of the UN Ban Ki-Moon. At the end of 2016 the five permanent members of the UN Security Council will pick a candidacy that is most acceptable to all the countries, who are the decision makers in this process--China, France, Russian, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Since no Secretary-General has ever come from Eastern Europe, many speculate this would be the region where the next candidate will come from. In addition, the United States insist that the person who will lead the UN for the next term must be a woman. However, the East European region and its historical complexities may create additional tensions between the East and the West, when choosing a candidate for the highest UN post. One of the women considered for this position is the current head of Unesco--Irina Bokova, 63, a Bulgarian. She also happens to be the favorite candidate of Russia. According to many analysts, this might be the main problem with her candidacy along with her communist background. Although she was officially nominated for this post by the Bulgarian government, her candidacy remains very controversial in her own country and abroad. What makes Bokova vulnerable is her being a former member of top communist nomenclature in Bulgaria during the Cold War. Therefore, her candidacy is quite unacceptable to many people. Her background is traced back to the most oppressive circles of the former communist regime in her country. Bokova is the daughter for Georgi Bokov, a prominent communist-era politician and the chief propagandist of the regime. For years, he worked as the Editor-in-Chief of the paper Rabotnichesko Delo (the Bulgarian equivalent of the Russian paper Pravda). Her father has been implicated in brutal repressions of dissidents in Bulgaria. Although he died before the fall of communism, his dark legacy is still very present in this nation's psyche, where he is perceived as the Bulgarian Goebbels.

Like every child coming from the highest strata of communist aristocracy, Irina Bokova received a top education in Bulgaria. Most children of the communist elite were prepared to serve as diplomats. They were sent to study to the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, an exclusive institution dedicated to creating the top diplomatic brass of the Eastern Bloc and other Soviet Union satellites. After graduating in 1977, Bokova started her career at the Bulgarian...

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