Selecting the next UN Secretary-General: informal briefings reopen

A wide view of the Trusteeship Council Chamber as the General Assembly holds informal dialogues with candidates for the position of the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
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  • Two more candidates for the position of the next United Nations Secretary-General will be heard today, answering questions on how they would promote sustainable development, improve efforts to create peace, protect human rights, and deal with huge humanitarian catastrophes should they be selected to lead the 193-member Organization.

    The current Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, is the eighth occupant of the Organization’s 70-year history. He took office in January 2007 and will be ending his 10-year tenure on 31 December 2016.

    In April, nine candidates presented their views to the global community in open dialogues.

    The two candidates who will go before the General Assembly today are listed below, in order of appearance. They will present their ‘vision statements,’ which address the challenges and opportunities facing the UN and the next Secretary-General, and answer questions from the audience.

    Miroslav Lajčák is the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia.


    Susana Malcorra, is currently the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Argentina and has held several positions within the United Nations, most recently as Chef de Cabinet.

    After the presentations by today’s candidates, UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft said: “This dialogue served to shine a light on what it is the membership is looking for [in] the next Secretary General.”

    “They are looking for a strong, independent and courageous Secretary General who will make full use of the powers provided for in the UN Charter,” he said.

    Summing up the first three days of the informal dialogues that tool place in April, Mr. Lykketoft underscored at that time that the “new and transparent process” as the first time the opportunity presents itself for substantive and open engagement with the candidates – for the full UN membership and the public.

    Each candidate will have a televised and webcast two-hour timeslot, starting with a short oral presentation. Representatives from Member States will then ask questions, followed by the President of the General Assembly, who will ask a few of the more than 1,000 questions submitted by the general public on social media under the hashtag #UNSGcandidates.

    Following their sessions, each candidate will have the opportunity to speak with the press. The events can be followed live on UN WebTV.

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