Vesna Pusić - live commentary from the 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.

Wednesday 13 April - live from the General Assembly in New York

11:17: Vesna Pusić (Croatia)

11:21: Vesna Pusić begins to present her vision statement - "we need to keep what we've got and build on it".

11:25: Pusić pledges to reform the organization from within.  

11:33: Algeria asks: 'How will Pusić work with regional organizations?'

11:34: Member States ask, how will Pusić implement the Sustainable Development agenda?  

11:41: On refugee crisis, Pusić notes the importance of conflict prevention efforts. Notes a lack of cooperation among countries to meet the needs of asylum seekers and refugees.

11:43: Pusić notes the importance of mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Agenda - encouraging smaller countries to contribute assistance.  

11:45: On peacekeeping, Pusić notes the need to cooperate with regional organizations. Emphasizes the importance of 'first class negotiators'. "All conflicts in the end are resolved through political solutions and talking." 

11:47:  Regional and gender balance in appointing staff is, "not only right, it's smart." 

11:51: Germany asks, 'what are your views on reform of the UN Security Council?' 

11:59: Nordic countries ask: how Pusić would safeguard space for civil society engagement? 

12:02: On the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Pusić notes the danger of 'donor fatigue.'  As SG, she would 'broaden the base' by bringing in small donors and promoting horizontal partnerships. 

12:07: Pusić proposes combining peacekeepers' mandate with humanitarian service provision. 

12:10: "Civil Society needs to be involved in defining the agenda of the United Nations." 

12:20: Maldives, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (SIDS) ask, how would you ensure transparent and fair appointment processes among senior officials in the UN to ensure more equitable regional representation? 

12:22: Canada asks, how would you champion LGBTI rights?  Pusić says she would support LGBTI issues as fundamental individual rights. 

12:23: Pusić: "Insisting on development as part of international relations and... broadening the scope of donors," is a critical to addressing inequalities.

12:41: Japan asks, "how would you inspire us as a leader of this organization?" 

12:42: UK asks, "as Secretary-General what would you do to implement the zero-tolerance policy?  How do you view the role of Secretary-General?" 

12:46:  Several member states asking: how would you reform the United Nations (including possible reforms of the Human Rights Council)? 

13:01: "Approaching an organization honestly, knowing its flaws and being prepared to work with them and move forward..." is a valuable perspective, says Pusić, and "qualifies me for this job." 

13:03: The Secretary-General has "193 employers and is the servant of the United Nations, all the while serving as a leader, facilitator and administrator," says Pusić

13:04: On the zero-tolerance policy, Pusić calls for criteria for troops, a strong command structure in peacekeeping, more efficient reporting and additional channels of communication from peacekeeping missions to UNHQ.

13:10: On reforming the UN, Pusić would work with existing structures, "working with what we have and making changes as we go along." 

13:26: Pusić wraps up her remarks and heads to a media stakeout.

Media stakeout

13:36: On UN corruption scandals, Pusić calls for greater transparency and documentation. 

13:39: "One thing the SG has at her disposal is tenacity - you can stick to your principles and convictions."