UNITED NATIONS (AP) -
A Sri Lanka-born British lawmaker claimed he had been nominated
as the latest candidate to succeed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, but Fiji, the country that had reportedly backed him,
distanced itself from his bid.
Niranjan Deva-Aditya, also known as Nirj Deva,
announced on his Web site that he was now an official candidate
and circulated a letter from Fiji’s Foreign Minister Kaliopate
Tavola in support of his claim. He also has letters backing him
from former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, and former
Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek.
Yet Deva appeared not to have met U.N. rules to
obtain a formal nomination. The rules say that a member state
must submit a candidate’s name to the U.N. Security Council.
Fiji’s U.N. mission insisted that it had not
done so, and sent a letter to the Security Council president for
September, Greece’s U.N. Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, to
put that fact on the record.
‘’In as far as we are concerned, there is really
no official nomination from Fiji,’’ the country’s Deputy
U.N. Ambassador Filimone Kau told The Associated Press. ‘’We
could support his candidacy but certainly Fiji has not nominated
Deva, raised in Britain, has dual Sri Lankan and
British citizenship, and is a member of the Conservative Party
serving in the European parliament. He has announced on his Web
site that he wants to be secretary-general, posting his thoughts
on international affairs and images of himself meeting with
The news came a day after Jordan’s U.N.
Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein announced his candidacy.
Annan’s second five-year term ends on Dec. 31
and most diplomats generally agree that the next
secretary-general should come from Asia, part of a tradition to
rotate between regions in awarding the job.
The five other candidates vying to succeed Annan
are Jordan’s Zeid, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon,
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Public Affairs Shashi Tharoor,
who is from India, former U.N. disarmament chief Jayantha
Dhanapala, a Sri Lankan, and Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister