For the first time in history, candidates competing to be next UN leader have taken part in a public debate, as the current Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, prepares to step down at the end of 2016.
Organised by UNA-UK in partnership with the Guardian and the Future United Nations Development System project, the first debate took place on 13 April at New York’s Civic Hall. The participants were:
- Natalia Gherman, Moldova’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Igor Lukšić, former Prime Minister of Montenegro
- Vesna Pusić, Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; and
- Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia.
All nine candidates were invited to take part and those not able to make the first debate will be invited to the second event, which will be held on 3 June in Central London – where the first UN Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, was appointed 70 years ago. More information about the London debate will be available soon.
The debate included pre-submitted questions from the global public through a worldwide poll coordinated by Avaaz and Global Citizen, as well as live questions on the night.
For the past 70 years, the UN Secretary-General has been chosen in secret, in a process dominated by the permanent members of the Security Council. This debate, and the upcoming event in London mark a major success for UNA-UK and our 1 for 7 Billion campaign, which is calling for a fair, open and inclusive appointment process.
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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.