Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, now tops the list of candidates for the coveted position of the United Nations Secretary General. When questioned about the same last week, PM Mottley gave a smile and a thumbs up before walking away.
Despite the dry response and no official statement given on the matter, insiders have stated that she is the most likely to receive the honour out of the current list of candidates.
The selection process is set for a new candidate in 2026. While there is a long time to go, the stature of the position is such that speculations surrounding possible options have already begun.
The United Nations Headquarters in New York are now rife with rumors about PM Mia Mottley being the most appropriate option.
If the prevailing pattern is considered, the position has cycled through different regions of the world and the next Secretary General is likely to be from Latin America or the Caribbean. This aspect of the selection process also goes in favour of PM Mottley’s appointment.
Another aspect is that through the last 78 years of the existence of this position, it has never been held by a woman. Many analysts and insiders speak of immense pressure in correcting this by pushing for the appointment of a female candidate, a criterion that Mia Mottley obviously fulfills.
Another name that has been linked with the position is that of former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos – a Nobel peace Prize laureate. It was rumored that he would launch a campaign to promote his candidature, but that has since been denied by his representatives.
Argentinian diplomat Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has also become a recurring name in the rumor mills. Current UN Secretary-General António Guterres might also be replaced by the likes of Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary; Rebeca Grynspan, a high-level UN official and former vice president of Costa Rica; and Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, a former president of the UN General Assembly and former minister of Ecuador.
The fact remains that PM Mia Mottley’s name is the one that excites the masses the most. Whether it her charisma, or her outspoken nature, she has the hearts and minds of most who are looking forward to the selection process. One UN diplomat said “I would jump up and down” with excitement if she wins.
Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, has pledged his vote to PM Mia Mottley as well.
“I think she would make a great Secretary-General,” he said, “Whatever she does, I will support her.”
Mottley first became Prime Minister in 2018 and won a second term with a resounding victory. She is also held in great regard internationally for her work in cutting her nation’s colonial ties. She has built a popular and strong platform by working on issues related to slavery reparations, climate change, and the need to reform global financial institutions through the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral banks.
Mottley is also known for being straightforward and doesn’t appease powerful groups. In her speech at the UN General Assembly last week she asked, “How is it possible for Chevron and the European Union to access the oil and gas of Venezuela, but the people of the Caribbean cannot access it at the 35 percent discount offered by the people of Venezuela?”
These traits and many others have endeared her to many, making her the most popular choice out of the options being thrown around.