The next UN Secretary-General: informal briefings continue

13 April 2016

Three 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.

Yesterday's candidates - three of the nine who have so far been officially nominated by their home countries - included:

Igor Luksic, current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro.
Irina Bokova, current Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), nominated by Bulgaria.
Antonio Guterres, most recently the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, nominated by Portugal.

Describing the three days of informal dialogues as a "new and transparent process" - UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft underlined that it is 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.

The three 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.

Danilo Türk is a former President of Slovenia.


Vesna Pusić has been holding the office of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs for the past four years, and the office of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia for the past three years.


Natalia Gherman, held the position of first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova.


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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