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06USUNNEWYORK1838 2006-09-19 19:15:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
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1. (C) Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga told Ambassador
Bolton on September 18 that she aimed to make a statement on
behalf of Eastern Europe and all women "simply by the fact of
my candidacy" for UN Secretary-General. She candidly noted
that it was a difficult decision to enter the race,
impossible to judge the prospects for success, and there
remained a distinct possibility that Russia and China could
"nip it in the bud". She hoped her candidacy would broaden
the field of possibilities and would lure more new names into
the field. (Following her meeting with Ambassador Bolton,
Vike-Freiberga told a press conference that while her
candidacy was a long shot, it was time for a woman needed to
break into the Secretary-General's "all boys club.")

2. (C) Vike-Freiberga said she would take full advantage of
her few days in New York for the UNGA to press her candidacy
with world leaders, though she would have to leave early to
fulfill a long-standing commitment to travel to Canada on
September 20 on a state visit. After her visit to Canada,
she would stop at the Summit of the Organization of
Francophone Countries in Romania, where she would have the
opportunity to make a speech in French and present Latvia's
application for observer status. She remarked that she had
a "good conversation" with the Chinese Prime Minister during
a recent Europe-Asian Summit in Helsinki and French President
Chirac had, in a recent meeting, offered to make the case for
Latvia's candidacy to Russian President Putin. The Greek
Prime Minister had, however, told her that it was "only fair"
that it was Asia's turn, though he had noted that it would
not be the only criteria.

3. (C) Ambassador Bolton noted that the U.S. welcomed her
entry into the race, as part of long-standing U.S. support
for the broadest possible field of candidates and rejection
of the principle of regional rotation. Her entry, and the
possibility of others in the coming days, would deepen the
discussion during this year's UNGA. While the Security
Council continued to believe that it was important to make a
selection early enough to provide adequate transition time
for the incoming SYG, that should not be understood to imply
that the process was over.