Igor Lukšić - live commentary from General Assembly hearing


From 12 - 14 April 2016, candidates for the position of UN Secretary-General are taking part in informal dialogues at the General Assembly, as provided for by Resolution 69/321.  The 1 for 7 Billion campaign welcomes this historic breakthrough and the additional transparency and scrutiny that comes with it.

Rather than a complete record, the following commentary picks up on statements pertinent to 1 for 7 Billion's campaign proposals.



Tuesday 12 April: live from the General Assembly, New York

09:00: Igor Lukšić (Montenegro)

09:09: Igor Lukšić delivers his vision statement to the UN General Assembly - click here to read it

09:21: Igor Lukšić ends his presentation saying "we need to reinvent multilateralism through inclusiveness and engagement".

09:22: Algeria on behalf of Non Aligned Movement suggests many previous Secretaries-General have not been fully independent, especially with regards to senior appointments, asking how Lukšić will resist such influences.

09:26: Thailand on behalf of G77 reinforces the point, asking how will Lukšić ensure a fair system for appointing senior UN appointments? 1 for 7 Billion's research on this matter shows that standing for a single, non-renewable term will help increase the SG's independence - let's see if Dr Lukšić agrees!

09:33: Lukšić pledges his support for the idea of regional rotation, with Eastern Europe producing the next Secretary-General. 1 for 7 Billion supports best candidate for the job, irrespective of region

09:36: On fairness on senior appointments, Lukšić misses the opportunity to support the single-term, saying "believe me, I'm committed to this", but concedes that the true measure of this will only be possible years down the line when his future record is scrutinised.

09:42: Austria on behalf of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group (ACT) first celebrates the historic moment that we are witnessing today - SG candidate hearings in the General Assembly - and congratulates Lukšić as the first ever candidate to experience this process. Austria goes on to ask how Lukšić will support accountability and transparency in the UN system, both to UN member states and to the public. 

09:51: Japan on behalf of the G4 first remarks that the "full house" in the room is emblematic of the level of interest in the new, open process, before asking how Lukšić would address the UN's "unfinished business" of Security Council reform.

10:22: Lukšić praises format of informal dialogues and responds to a question on more equitable distribution of top UN jobs by calling for more transparent process for appointing Assistant-Secretaries-General and Under-Secretaries-General. Lessons can be learnt from opening up of SG appointment process here. Lukšić goes on to remark that more equitable regional distribution "would give the whole world ownership of the Organization". 

10:24: On gender equality, Lukšić proposes measure where the appointment of a male SG should mean there is a female Deputy-Secretary-General.

10:29: The PGA now gives the floor to civil society with two pre-recorded questions from young people beamed into the General Assembly on large screens. Lukšić says he is pleased to take questions from young people, explaining that he does so every day from his own children!

10:34: The UK notes the historic moment, pointing out the unprecedented openness and transparency and praising the countries (including themselves!) who were involved in bringing this process into being. The UK then asks Lukšić how his style of leadership will help make the UN fit for purpose and what would a "fit for purpose UN" look like?

10:37: Costa Rica, leading member of the ACT Group - a strong advocate for this improved SG selection process we're seeing now - celebrates today's meeting as a "historic democratic exercise".

10:40: Interesting question from Hungary asking for more open and transparent processes and document access within the UN Secretariat. 

10:53: Lukšić: "the UN needs to remain relevant, to do this we need to accept the underlying issues...the UN must be an honest broker". Lukšić goes on to say that states need to contribute more to the UN's budget, but to convince states on this we need to make the UN more effective.

11:07: Lukšić concludes his remarks by thanking member states as well as the President of the General Assembly for his implementation of Resolution 69/321.  After a a marathon two hour hearing with states, Mr Lukšić now has the press conference to look forward to!

11:13: Press conference

11:14 Lukšić takes questions on refugee crisis in Eastern Europe, Human Rights Council reform and regional instability in the Middle East.

11:22: Lukšić elaborates on his plan to appoint a female Deputy Secretary-General if he gets the job, stating that, in addition, they should be from the southern hemisphere to balance regional concerns too.

11:23: Lukšić commits to publishing his campaign budget, remarking that his claim to support transparency would not mean much if he didn't lead by example in this way.  This is a major development in the SG race and let's hope all candidates follow Lukšić' lead in this respect.

11:25: Press conference ends.  Thanks for tuning in.