Sunday, April 10, 2016 6:47 am
Eight candidates so far have signalled interest to succeed United Nations Secretary-general, Mr Ban Ki Moon, whose term expires at the end of this year.
Among them are Igor Luksic, former prime minister of Montenegro, Irina Bokova, former foreign minister of Bulgaria and current chief of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Danilo Turk, former president of Slovenia.
Others are Vesna Pusic, former foreign minister of Croatia, the candidate of the Republic of Macedonia, Dr. Srgjan Kerim, Natalia Gherman, former deputy prime minister of Moldova, Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand and head of the UN Development Programme, and Antonio Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal and former head of the UN refugee agency.
Three of the eight candidates are former presidents or prime ministers, and four are from countries that were once part of Yugoslavia, and two are current heads of UN agencies. Only Clark is from a non-European country.
Sentiments are for a candidate from Eastern Europe and more, a woman.
There has been no no secretary-general from Eastern European countries nor a female head of the world organization since the UN was founded 70 years ago. Africa had occupied the posts twice: Boutros Boutros Ghali from Egypt and Kofi Annan from Ghana.
Starting next Tuesday, all the eight candidates will speak one by one at an open hearing of the UN General Assembly to shed light on why they are seeking to become the next UN secretary-general.
The move is historic for the United Nations, which just celebrated its 70th birthday last year.
The hearing, which will be informal, will be televised and webcast from UN Headquarters in New York.
It will last for three days, with each of the eight candidates given a time slot of two hours, including a short oral presentation followed by answering questions from representatives of 193 UN member states.