Wednesday, April 13, 2016 5:19 am
The UN General Assembly on Tuesday kicked off a three-day audition with eight candidates for the position of the next secretary-general. Four of them are women. Here are their profiles:
— Igor Luksic, 39, Montenegro’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister
Luksic served as Montenegro’s prime minister for two years since December 2010 and was the finance minister from 2004 to 2010.
He graduated from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Montenegro in Podgorica in 1998. He also obtained a Master’s degree at the University of Montenegro in 2002 and a PhD in 2005.
Besides his native Montenegrin language, Luksic is fluent in English, and also speaks Italian, French and German.
Luksic is married and has two daughters and a son.
— Irina Bokova, 63, director-general of UNESCO, Bulgarian
As the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Bokova is the first female and Eastern European to lead the UN cultural agency. She once served as Bulgarian foreign minister from 1996 to 1997, and was also Bulgaria’s ambassador to France and to Monaco respectively.
Bokova graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.
She has been a leading advocate for gender equality and ensuring quality education for all. In addition to her mother tongue, she speaks English, French, Spanish and Russian.
Bokova is married with two grown children who live and work in the United States.
— Antonio Guterres, 66, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015
During his tenure with UN refugee agency, Guterres has tackled some of the largest displacement crises across the world in decades, particularly conflicts in Syria and Iraq. From 1995 to 2002, Guterres was the prime minister of Portugal.
He graduated from the Instituto Superior Tecnico of Portugal with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
Guterres is married.
— Danilo Turk, 64, former president of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012
Turk was the first Slovene ambassador to the United Nations, from 1992 to 2000, and was the UN assistant-secretary-general for Political Affairs from 2000 to 2005. Turk speaks Slovene, English, French, and Serbo-Croatian.
After graduating from the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1975, he entered the University of Belgrade, Serbia where he received his Master’s Degree in Law in 1978. In 1982, he obtained a PhD from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana.
Turk has been married to Barbara Turk since 1976. They have one daughter and one granddaughter.
— Vesna Pusic, 63, former Croatian foreign minister
Pusic serves as a deputy speaker of the Croatian Parliament since Feb. 3, 2016. She held the position of minister of foreign and European affairs from December 2011 until January 2016.
Pusic graduated from the University of Zagreb in 1976 with a degree in Sociology and Philosophy and she obtained a PhD in sociology in 1984. Pusic speaks Croatian, English, and German fluently. She is also an advocate of gender equality and LGBT rights.
Pusic is married and has a daughter.
–– Natalia Gherman, 47, former minister of foreign affairs and European integration of Moldova
Gherman served as Moldova’s minister of foreign affairs and European integration and deputy prime minister from 2013 until January 2016. She was also once Moldovan ambassador to Austria and ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Finland. She is the daughter of Mircea Snegur, the first President of Moldova.
Gherman received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Moldova State University. In 1999, she completed a Master of Arts degree in war studies at King’s College London. She speaks Romanian, English, Russian and German.
Gherman has a son.
– Helen Clark, 66, administrator of UN Development Program
Since 2009, Clark has been the first woman holding the third-highest UN position, UNDP administrator. She was also the first female prime minister of New Zealand, serving three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008.
Clark graduated from the University of Auckland, achieving a Masters of Arts in Political Studies. She also has a long time experience lecturing in political studies at the University.
It was during her time at the Auckland University that Clark met and married her husband, now Professor, Peter Davis.
– Srgjan Kerim, 67, former prime minister of Macedonia and former UN General Assembly president
From 2000 to 2001, Kerim was minister of foreign affairs of Macedonia. He became permanent representative of Macedonia to the United Nations from 2001 to 2003. From 2007 to 2008, Kerim was president of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly. Between 2008 and 2009 he was special envoy of the UN secretary-general on climate change.
Kerim holds a PhD in Economic Sciences from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Belgrade. He speaks nine languages — Macedonian, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Serbian, Croatian, and Bulgarian.
Kerim is married and has three children and two grandchildren.