Secretary or General? the U.N. Secretary-General in World Politics & Law and Practice of the United Nations, Documents and Commentary

By van Aggelen, Johannes | Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

Secretary or General? the U.N. Secretary-General in World Politics & Law and Practice of the United Nations, Documents and Commentary


van Aggelen, Johannes, Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law


Secretary or General?: The U.N. Secretary-General in World Politics & Law and Practice of the United Nations, Documents and Commentary

This review is dedicated to the memory of Professor Thomas Frank, who has profoundly influenced the publication of the two books under review. His seminar, entitled "Constitutional Law of the United Nations" which was offered at the New York University School of Law since 1957, spanning over half a century, was the spiritual inspiration which led to the second book.

The U.N. publishes, since its inception, albeit on a very irregular basis, a Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, (1) giving an article-by-article interpretation of its practices. However, the U.N. publication is first and foremost factual rather than analytical in nature. The two books addressed in this book review fill this gap, being both factual and analytical in nature.

Secretary or General?: The U.N. Secretary-General in World Politics has already been extensively reviewed by Professor Margaret McGuiness elsewhere (2) and for that reason the emphasis of this review will be on the book Law and Practice of the United Nations, Documents and Commentary, but will nevertheless discuss some issues not considered in Professor McGuiness' review. It also appears that Professor Simon Chesterman sensed the lacunae in the first book because the issues which Professor McGuinness rightly criticized in her review have been elaborated upon in the second book.

I. SECRETARY OR GENERAL?: THE U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL IN WORLD POLITICS

In the introduction to the book Secretary or General?, the editor stated that the approach to the book was necessarily "selective." (3) The reason, in this reviewer's opinion, that there is no chapter focusing solely on the administrative responsibilities of the office as well as the absence of a chapter on the relationship between the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to which an annual report is due, (4) is that these topics did not fit in the structure of the book. Nevertheless, the editor acknowledges that the book discusses these issues, but in a larger context.

A chapter of Secretary or General? not discussed in Professor McGuinness' review is the chapter by Colin Keating entitled Selecting the World's Diplomat. (5) The selection of the Secretary-General nevertheless is an important issue in Secretary or General?, as five of the seven appendices deal with one or more aspects of the selection of the Secretary-General. (6) The table titled Use of the Veto in the Appointment of the Secretary-General (7) clearly shows that the initial term of appointment and its process established in 1946 such as to "enable a man of eminence and high attainment to accept and maintain the position" (8) had gone totally astray during the 1950s. In the aftermath of the Cold War the U.N. badly needed new initiatives for appointing its Secretary-General. In particular, the so-called "Wisnumurti Guidelines" for selecting a Secretary-General and the Canadian Non-Paper were instrumental in the revitalization of the process. (9)

II. LAW AND PRACTICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS, DOCUMENTS AND COMMENTARY

The structure of the book The Law and Practice of the United Nations: Documents and Commentary (10) is somewhat similar to the approach taken in the book International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals (11) in that it situates legal analysis in the context of policy and practice. Law and Practice combines primary materials with expert commentary and contains many thought-provoking questions at the end of each subsection. The editors demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of multilateral institutions in general. The same possibilities and limitations are also demonstrated in Secretary or General?, however Secretary or General? focused more on the possibilities and limitations of the Head of the Organization.

Law and Practice is divided into four parts: relevance (chapters one and two), capacity (chapters three through six), practice (chapters seven through fourteen), and accountability (chapters fifteen through seventeen). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Secretary or General? the U.N. Secretary-General in World Politics & Law and Practice of the United Nations, Documents and Commentary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.