19 May Clinton (William Jefferson) to be Named SecGen’s Special Envoy to Haiti
The news (not yet officially announced) that former President Bill Clinton will be named a Special Representative of the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to Haiti is surely unprecedented. While ex-presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers have been called on in the past to serve as special envoys of the SecGen, I cannot recall an instance where the spouse of a sitting foreign minister has been named to such a post (correct me, readers, if I am wrong on this). Given the large role the Clinton administration played in the events in Haiti in the 1990s, this special envoy brings a particular history and knowledge that are sure to influence the way he carries out his new mandate. That might turn out to a good thing for the UN and for Haiti. President Clinton is, of course, an enormously capable diplomat and mediator. And his own interest in helping create a stable future for Haiti — as much for his own personal legacy as for the UN’s and for the people of Haiti — may be just be the alignment of interests needed in this situation.
Together with the news that former U.S. Ambassador to Afghansitan, Zalmay Khalilizad, may be joining the Afghan government, this week is shaping up to look like “exhibit A” for those, like Peter, who see the world moving into a post-citizenship/post-sovereigntist age of governance and leadership.