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UN General Assembly president promises more transparent elections of next UN chief

December 31, 2015, 9:42 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
At the moment, only two candidates have been so far officially nominated for the post - Croatia’s Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and Macedonia’s former foreign minister Srgjan Kerim
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Mogens Lykketoft

Mogens Lykketoft

© EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

UNITED NATIONS, December 31. /TASS/. Elections of the next UN secretary-general in 2016 will be much more transparent than before, the president of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.

In early December, Lykketoft and current Security Council President Samantha Power sent letters to all 193 UN member-states suggesting that they nominate their candidates for the post. Under the existing procedure, a candidate is to be recommended by the United Nations Security Council to be approved by at least two thirds of the member-states at the General Assembly.

"The decision (was) to make this selection process much more transparent, to invite countries to present their candidates at an early stage, to have question & answer sessions with the candidates in the General Assembly and elsewhere, if the Security Council wants its own process, of course it’s free to do so, there can be informal meetings within the regional groups as well," Lykketoft said.

"We have seen up till now that basically the Secretary-General of the United Nations has been selected in secret negotiations between the Permanent Five. Of course the P5 will have huge influence still, I wouldn’t at all deny that, but I think that they will have to listen much more carefully to the wishes of the membership about the candidates that have already been presented," he said.

At the moment, only two candidates have been so far officially nominated for the post - Croatia’s Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and Macedonia’s former foreign minister Srgjan Kerim.

The current Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who took his office on January 1, 2007, is to leave the post on December 31, 2016 when his second term expires. Under the current rules, he cannot run for a third five-year office term.

The UN Security Council may begin considering the candidates no later than in July. None of the eight secretaries general has ever represented Eastern Europe. More to it, all of them were men. Experts believe these factors may play a decisive role in choosing the next UN chief.

Notably, it has been agreed not to elect to this post representatives from either of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, namely Russia, China, Great Britain, the United States and France, to ensure the secretary general’s maximum objectiveness.

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