Recent reported declaration by Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been shortlisted to succeed the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has hit every sector of the Liberian society with mixed reaction from the public as to her ascendency to that top global position.
Speaking to a cross section of Liberians on the achievement of their President over the years and her bid for the highest office in the United Nations, mixed reactions were gathered with majority lauding her move to be shortlisted.
Some Liberians who spoke to our reporter during a survey said the President should find time to pension herself after her presidential term in 2018, stressing, “This old lady at her current age needs to rest and enjoy her children, grand and great grandchildren. I disagree with this move to stand for another position,” Mary Johnson, a female marketer who spoke to our staff noted.
Many other agreed with Madam Johnson that President Sirleaf should pension herself and rest for the betterment of her health and family members, but argued that her leniency to issues as President of Liberia gives reason of huge criticisms in her Government.
For others, the quest for their leader to chase the world’s highest post must is welcoming, but noted that her age at this point will not allow her to perform effectively to serve for a five-year term as required by the UN guidelines, after being clocked 77 of this October 29.
In the New York Times editorial entitled "the push for a woman to run the U.N.", the New York Times Editorial Board expressed that it is time for a woman to head the world body as all of its SGs has been men since the inception of the world body. "It's time to change that.
The appointment of the civil servant who serves as the next head of the United Nations should be more transparent. It would be powerfully symbolic to appoint a woman to the helm of an organization created 70 years ago to tackle the world's most pressing problems through diplomacy and global consensus," stated the editorial.
The New York Times editorial comes at a time when some members of the United Nations are pushing for radical reforms within the organization including a call for the next Secretary general to be elected and also the need to push gender issues including having a female Secretary General of the UN. Two countries, Croatia and Namibia, are leading an effort to give the organization's 193 member states a greater say in the selection of the secretary general as part of a yearly resolution that is being drafted and according to new guidelines, which are still being negotiated and will be finalized by mid-September, members of the United Nations would be allowed to formally nominate applicants and vet the finalists.
Other members of the UN are also pushing for a woman Secretary General to succeed Mr. Ban. According to the New York Times editorial, the government of Colombia, part of the roughly 20 percent of countries represented by a female ambassador at the United Nations, is leading an effort to put forward women for the job. "Gender equality is one of the world's most serious challenges, an unfulfilled goal that remains critical to advance towards an inclusive and sustainable future," the editorial quotes María Emma Mejía, the Colombian ambassador, as writing in a letter seeking support for a female Secretary General.