Après Kofi Annan

La tâche la plus impossible qui soit ”. C’est ainsi que le premier Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies, Trygve Lie, avait présenté ce poste à son successeur, Dag Hammarskjold, en 1953. Depuis, la situation ne s’est pas améliorée.

Aux termes de la Charte des Nations Unies, le Secrétaire Général est “ le plus haut fonctionnaire de l’organisation ”, mais il remplit aussi des fonctions non définies (implicitement politiques) que lui confient l’Assemblée générale et le Conseil de sécurité. Chaque titulaire du poste doit donc montrer s’il est plutôt secrétaire ou général.

Les paradoxes ne manquent pas. Le Secrétaire Général est censé être soutenu par les gouvernements, surtout par les cinq membres permanents du Conseil de sécurité, tout en demeurant totalement impartial. Il fait ses preuves en tant que fonctionnaire dans un cadre bureaucratique ou diplomatique, mais une fois élu, il doit se transcender et prêter sa voix au monde entier, tel un “ pape laïque ”.

Le Secrétaire Général aide les Etats membres à prendre - en connaissance de cause - de bonnes décisions, qu’il est tenu d’exécuter, mais il peut aussi influencer leurs travaux et même leur suggérer certaines actions. Il gère une organisation complexe et dirige les agences de l’ONU, mais doit remplir ces fonctions suivant des contraintes budgétaires et des réglementations imposées par les gouvernements.

Investi d’une autorité hors du commun pour définir les orientations majeures de la communauté internationale, il n’a cependant pas le pouvoir de concrétiser toutes ses idées. Il élabore un projet que seuls les gouvernements peuvent mettre en œuvre. Il fait bouger le monde, mais ne peut le diriger.

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