Politics and personality: How countries campaign to lead global groups

International respect, high-level intervention key for successful campaign. 'It gets pretty intense.'

Embassy Photo: Sam Garcia
Campaigning to lead La Francophonie, Michaëlle Jean meets delegates from French-speaking countries at an Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie reception on July 6 on Parliament Hill.
Peter Mazereeuw
Published: Wednesday, 07/23/2014 12:00 am EDT
Last Updated: Wednesday, 08/13/2014 11:09 am EDT

It’s on the agenda of every minister who travels abroad, it crosses the desk of every head of state and it sets envoys around the world marching to one beat. Lobbying for a spot at or near the top of a multilateral organization is a routine part of the job for high-level diplomats. But a successful campaign requires more than a nudge and a wink between ambassadors over cocktails, say former diplomats and current candidates.

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