Speaking at a UN Security Council session, the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, has called for a more transparent and inclusive process to select the next UN Secretary-General. The new UK ambassador also proposed reform of the Council's working methods, championing meaningful debate rather than a formal "broadcast of views".
Mr Rycroft encouraged the Security Council to "take the lead" in advancing these reforms, which gained momentum among UN Member States at a General Assembly debate in April. Mandated to recommend candidates to the General Assembly, the Security Council - and the permanent five (P5) members in particular - currently dominate the Secretary-General's appointment process.
In line with the proposals tabled by 1 for 7 Billion, Mr Rycroft recommended that the Security Council "broaden out" the selection process to give "all [UN] members and civil society an opportunity to assess the candidates’ credentials".
However, the UK ambassador recognised that for UN reform to take place, interactions between members of the Security Council must improve:
Mr Rycroft advised that by developing "more engaging working methods", the Council may be more likely to find areas of common ground on divisive issues such as Syria, which continues to cause deadlock among the P5.
As a member of the 1 for 7 Billion Steering Committee, UNA-UK continues to advocate for a more inclusive, transparent process to select the next UN leader. The current selection process is secretive and outdated. There is no job description, timetable or formal scrutiny of candidates, nor opportunities for them to interact with the wider UN membership and their future constituency: the world's seven billion people.
Photo: Photo/Mark Garten
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On 31 December 2016, Ban Ki-moon's final term as UN Secretary-General comes to an end. As well as a thank you letter from UNA-UK's Executive Director, UNA-UK encouraged members of its movement to express their gratitude on social media.