Next UN chief from Asia?
BBC / 22APR2005
Rajapakse says Jayantha Dhanapala's chances are very high
Leaders attending the African-Asian summit on Friday agreed to jointly present a common candidate from the Asian continent for the United Nations' top post.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse speaking from Jakartha told BBC Sandeshaya (BBC Sinhala) that the leaders however did not come to an agreement on the name of the common candidate.
Asked about the chances of Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala being selected as the common candidate for the post of UN secretary-general, the Prime Minister was optimistic.
Sri Lanka's candidacy
‘Sri Lanka is currently maintaining very good diplomatic ties with many of these countries. Mr. Dhanapala is also personally known to many of these leaders. So I believe his chances are very high.’
The two-day African-Asian summit in Jakarta is being attended by presidents and prime ministers from both continents.
Rajapakse leads Sri Lankan delegation which includes Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and Jayantha Dhanapala, in his capacity as head of the government peace secretariat.
The UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, opened the conference with a speech picking up its main themes -- cooperation against poverty and a fairer world order, including reform of the United Nations itself.
The meeting marks the fiftieth anniversary of a conference in the Indonesian city of Bandung that gave birth to the Non-Aligned Movement.