U.S. will oppose U.N. chief's re-election Boutros-Ghali announces his candidacy anyway


WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration has decided not to support Boutros Boutros-Ghali for a second term as United Nations secretary-general and has informed him that Washington will use its veto, if necessary, to prevent his re-election, senior U.S. officials said yesterday.

The United States, which considers Boutros-Ghali an obstacle to reform at the international organization, has begun the process of informing other countries, including other Security Council members, the officials said, describing the decision as "irrevocable."

Refusing to bow to the Clinton administration and step down quietly at the end of the year, Boutros-Ghali said in an interview from Bonn last night that he would seek another five-year term.

"I have the support of the greater number of members of the international community, and on the basis of this I will seek a second mandate," he said. "I hope that the American administration will change its mind."

Later last night his spokesman made a formal announcement of the secretary-general's intention to seek a second term.

The Clinton administration, which has been under pressure from the Republicans to do something about Boutros-Ghali, had hoped to avoid a confrontation with countries that support Boutros-Ghali by negotiating a face-saving, yearlong extension of his term, through November 1997. But Boutros-Ghali rejected that idea Tuesday and said he would seek re-election.

The Americans have no particular candidate in mind, the officials said, but want a successor who is committed to reforming the bloated bureaucracy of the United Nations while "generating confidence" in the efficiency and usefulness of the organization in a post-Soviet world.

Unless the United Nations is reformed from within, the officials said, the United States would have a difficult time generating contributions and support from the American people and Congress.

"The United Nations will not succeed and may not even survive unless there is very substantial and credible reform," a senior official said. "Boutros-Ghali is a distinguished man but an old-fashioned diplomat, and he's not the right man for the times."

Boutros-Ghali "has friends around the world and some will suggest a second term," another official said. "But the United States has a veto and we're prepared to use it if necessary. Our intention is to see a new secretary-general by the end of the year."

Pub Date: 6/20/96

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