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The UN's top job is one of the hardest, and least defined, in the world. Canny officeholders have managed to turn it into an open-ended diplomatic and humanitarian post, but much depends on personality. So when the UN picks a new chief this year, it should focus on character; that, not experience, is the key to success.
For the United Nations to manage the post-Cold War world effectively, its members must improve the selection process for the crucial job of secretary-general.
Nobel recipient Ralph Bunche is portrayed in a poignant, restrained biography as a rare bird: a statesman who could resolve conflicts abroad, but not racism at home.
In September this year, it will be 20 years since Dag Hammarskjöld's plane crashed at Ndola--then in Northern Rhodesia, now in Zambia. The dramatic nature of his death, set against the somber violence of the Congo crisis and the loneliness and confrontation of his last months, have left a popular picture of Hammarskjöld which is, to some extent at least, oversimplified.