President-elect of the General Assembly meets 1 for 7 Billion delegation

 Left to right: Antonia Kirkland (Equality Now), Yvonne Terlington (1 for 7 Billion), Mogens Lykketoft, Bill Pace (1 for 7 Billion), Bani Dougal (Bahai International Community), Volker Lehmann (1 for 7 Billion)

Left to right: Antonia Kirkland (Equality Now), Yvonne Terlington (1 for 7 Billion), Mogens Lykketoft, Bill Pace (1 for 7 Billion), Bani Dougal (Bahai International Community), Volker Lehmann (1 for 7 Billion)

On 2 July, the newly elected President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft from Denmark, and his team met three members of the campaign’s Steering Committee, as well as 1 for 7 Billion supporters Equality Now and the Baha'i International Community.

Backed by states from all regions of the world, the President of the General Assembly can take a great deal of initiative. He can play a crucial role in opening up the UN Secretary-General selection process to all member states and facilitating input from civil society.

1 for 7 Billion provided Mr Lykketoft with a detailed background on the current selection process and highlighted that successive resolutions adopted by the General Assembly assigned an important role to the President in bringing transparency to the process. This could be achieved by, for example, arranging meetings with candidates to exchange views.

On 1 May 2015, a similar delegation of 1 for 7 Billion met the current President of the General Assembly, Mr Sam Kutesa, who expressed his full support for the campaign. He is also in favour of a recent proposal - tabled by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) group - to start the selection process with a joint letter to UN member states, sent by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council, calling for nominations with a clear timeline.  

Mr Lykketoft will begin his Presidency in September at the commencement of the 70th General Assembly session.

Banner photo: The General Assembly elected by acclamation Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of the Parliament of Denmark, as President of its seventieth session. Copyright: UN Photo/Evan Schneider