Late entrant Kristalina Georgieva faces questions from the UN General Assembly

On Tuesday 3 October, Bulgaria's candidate for UN Secretary-General, Kristalina Georgieva, took part in an "informal dialogue" with the UN General Assembly. 

Having spearheaded a more open, inclusive process, the 1 for 7 Billion campaign welcomes Ms Georgieva's engagement with the wider UN membership - an unprecedented addition to this year's selection process. 

1 for 7 Billion provided live commentary on the informal dialogue and subsequent "media stakeout", which has been included below. 

Informal dialogue

11:06 - President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson kicks off the informal dialogue by reminding us that this open and transparent selection process is a first in the UN's 70-year history

11:11 - Mr Thomson reminds us that civil society questions have been sourced by the UN NGLS in an effort to increase inclusivity

11:12 - Ms Georgieva opens by stating: "I recognise that I am a late entry in a hugely important process. I would have preferred to come in much sooner". She adds that transparency has been a defining element of her career to date.

11:14 - Ms Georgieva sets the global scene, pointing to terrorism, forced displacement and internal conflict. "This has made people focus more on the risks of an integrated world, and not the benefits. We must make the case for multilateralism". She adds that the UN must "adapt to the challenges we face".

11:20 - "I can get things done", assures Georgieva, pointing to a "commitment to inclusion, focused on results". Unclear as yet how she plans to approach civil society engagement with the United Nations...

11:22 - Georgieva ends her vision statement by pledging "independence" and "integrity" if she takes up office at the end of this year. 1 for 7 Billion argues that a single term of office would give the Secretary-General the political space to act decisively in moments of crisis.

11:26 - Important question from the representative of Algeria on how Georgieva would seek to end the monopoly on senior posts occupied by certain powerful states. 1 for 7 Billion has been calling for senior UN officials to be appointed on the basis of merit, and for the Secretary-General not to exchange promises with states on such appointments.

11:27 - Political independence of the next SG emerges as a hot topic, with the African Group of states asking how Georgieva will ensure her promised "independence".

11:37 - On behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) group of states, Hungary considers that UN Secretary-General should bring humanitarian emergencies to the attention of the Security Council. They ask Georgieva's opinion on the use of Article 99 of the UN Charter, which empowers the Secretary-General to take this more proactive role.

11:46 - In response to a question about geographical spread in senior UN appointments, Georgieva replies: "I would make sure that we at the United Nations look like the world". 1 for 7 Billion holds that UN appointments should be based on merit over regional considerations.

11:54 - Vague response to Hungary's question on Article 99: "I would trust who does what in the Charter".

12:00 - Brazilian representative on behalf of the G4 asks Ms Georgieva about her views "on the reform of the UN so as to adapt the system to the 21st century", with a particular focus on Security Council reform. "How would you be willing to move this important issue forward?"

12:15 - "The best way to deal with conflicts is to not have them in the first place". Georgieva argues that a lot of money is invested in humanitarian response, but not enough in conflict prevention. 

12:22 - Video-recorded messages from civil society now being played, including issues ranging from de-escalating conflict, providing resettlement for refugees and engaging youth at the UN.

12:30 - The representative of Liechtenstein asks whether Georgieva would show "leadership" on multilateral nuclear disarmament - another question pertaining to the Secretary-General's role in international peace and security.

12:32 - Would Georgieva seek to strengthen support for the Responsibility to Protect, in light of the multiple humanitarian crises across the world today? Question from Mexican representative. 

12:33 - UK representative asks: "What would you do to prevent the UN from drifting into irrelevance?"

12:41 - Responding to Canada, Ms Georgieva says that Syria "is on our collective conscience. We must work with the enormous complexity on this crisis", with forces both inside and outside Syria. She adds that we also must learn lessons from this crisis: "it has worsened incrementally in front of our eyes, and we have failed to see the warning signs... we have to identify these signs must earlier. Not be complacent, but act."

12:58 - Recognising that the UN is in need of wide-ranging reform, Djibouti asks Georgieva what she would prioritise in order to strengthen the UN's effectiveness. 

13:00 - A topical question from the US on how Georgieva would work to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers, and enforce a zero-tolerance policy. UN accountability has emerged as a prominent theme in this dialogue. 

13:01 - Interesting final question from Ethiopia on how Georgieva would ensure her neutrality in the Security Council. 1 for 7 Billion maintains that a single, longer term of office would strengthen the SG's political independence, as she or he would not rely on the approval of the Permanent Five members to achieve re-election.

13:08 - On the question of reform priorities, Ms Georgieva said that she would take an inclusive approach, consulting with states before making a decision. 

13:14 - Ms Georgieva wraps up by saying that "goodness is universal. People who have nothing help each other. Our problem in the world today is that goodness is quiet. Hate is very loud, we can hear it everywhere. My job as Secretary-General would be to amplify this voice of goodness."

Media stakeout

13:33 - Pamela Falk from CBS News asks how Georgieva would "salvage the credibility of the United Nations" with regards to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

She responds that "we must not give up on the prospects of a ceasefire" and on delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Aleppo. She adds that we must also draw an important lesson from this crisis: to invest in conflict prevention and to "tackle it early". 

13:42 - Somini Sengupta from The New York Times asks what Ms Georgieva's message would be to countries in Europe, "including your own" who have shut their doors to refugees.

Ms Georgieva says she is "surprised" at Bulgaria's response to the crisis, which has been "less welcoming" than it has been in the past. She explains: "our countries have very little experience of living with diversity" and the refugee crisis has come at a time of violent extremism. She adds that we have to encourage countries like Bulgaria "to be nice to people" who need their help and states must provide further aid to countries which have received an overwhelming number of refugees, such as Jordan and Lebanon.