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Big Powers Clip U.N. Secretary-General’s Wings

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres may be the world’s most visible diplomat. But he is quickly learning that he is far from the most powerful.

The former Portuguese prime minister is facing stiff resistance from the United States and other key U.N. powers to filling his top cabinet posts with diplomats of his own choosing, raising early concerns about how much independence he will be able to exercise.

In his first weeks on the job, Guterres sought to shake up the great-power monopoly on top U.N. posts, and cast a wider recruiting net, hiring a Nigerian politician as his deputy and a Brazilian diplomat as his chief of staff.

But his attempts to install aspirants outside the exclusive club of the five veto-wielding U.N. powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — to lead the U.N.’s sprawling peacekeeping, political, and humanitarian relief operations have largely run aground. Read More

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