With the term of current UN chief Ban Ki-moon set to end in 2016, India has called for a “more inclusive and transparent” procedure for appointment of the United Nations Secretary-General, with the General Assembly having a greater say in the selection process. Highlighting the critical need for revitalisation of the work of the General Assembly, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said here that the 193- member UN body is the voice of the international community and must be given a greater say in the selection of the UN Secretary-General.
“The continued circumscribing of the Assembly’s role and responsibilities in the process of selection and appointment of the Secretary General needs to change. This is in the interests of the UN system in general, and the Assembly’s prerogatives in particular,” Mukerji said. “Efforts to put in place a more inclusive and transparent procedure for the appointment of the Secretary-General… needs to be undertaken without further delay,” he said.
Ban took office in January 2007 and was unanimously re-elected for a second term by the General Assembly in June 2011. He would continue to serve as the UN Chief till December 2016. Momentum is building up to make the selection process of the UN Chief more transparent amid growing frustration over the dominance of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in appointing the Secretary General.
A coalition of NGOs ‘1 for 7 Billion’ is leading the call for opening up the manner in which the UN Chief is selected, saying, “seven billion people across the world are affected” by the UN Chief’s decisions but the Secretary General is “chosen in secret, by just five countries, in an opaque and outdated process”.
The coalition voiced concern that there is “no job description” for a UN Secretary General, no public scrutiny of candidates, the Security Council’s “shortlist” contains just one name and backroom deals can get a person elected. It also lamented that no woman has ever held the post.