The Next UN Secretary-General: Selecting the World’s Top Diplomat

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The U.S. election is dominating the news cycle these days, but there is another race that may not be on your radar, but should be: the next United Nations Secretary-General. This year, Ban Ki-moon’s second term at the helm of the UN comes to an end, and UN Member States will select a new Secretary-General to lead the organization starting January 1, 2017.

The selection of a new Secretary-General matters to people everywhere. A strong leader is essential to having an effective UN – and an effective UN is essential to global peace and progress.

Cherry blossoms at UNHQ.

Cherry blossoms at UNHQ.

For the first time, the President of the UN General Assembly will hold informal dialogues between UN Member States and candidates who have been formally presented for the position of the next Secretary-General. These dialogues will take place from April 12-14 at the UN headquarters in New York and will be webcast to help foster openness and transparency. The President of the General Assembly has also encouraged civil society and media to engage.

The dialogues are an opportunity for candidates to present their visions and skills as well as for Member States and others to express their expectations for the next Secretary-General.

To hear from the current candidates, tune in April 12-14.

To learn more about the ongoing process to select the next Secretary-General, check out these resources from the UN and the President of the General Assembly:

UN blog: Selecting the United Nations Secretary-General

Procedure of Selecting and Appointing the Next UN Secretary-General (This page includes the formally presented candidates to date.)

The Role of the Secretary-General

The UN is the venue for international cooperation. When you look at the global agenda and the challenges we’re grappling with – from climate change to the Zika virus to the largest refugee crisis since World War II – the UN is at the center of all of them. The UN is the global body with the reach and vision capable of advancing solutions to today’s “problems without passports,” which is why the job of Secretary-General is so important; this person will have the responsibility to lead the UN to effectively meet current and future challenges.

uncathyuncathysigKathy Calvin
President and CEO
United Nations Foundation

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