Over 2,000 tickets are now on sale for the largest ever public debate with UN Secretary-General candidates.
Organised by our co-founder UNA-UK and partners, the event marks a historic departure from the secretive process that has characterised the UN leader's selection for the past seven decades.
Taking place at London's Barbican Centre at 7pm on Friday 3 June, this head-to-head debate comes at a crucial time, with the Security Council due to begin deliberations on the selection process by the end of July 2016.
During the debate, Secretary-General candidates will make the case for why they should succeed Ban Ki-moon. They will be quizzed by a panel of experts and face questions from the audience and from the public at large – coordinated through a worldwide poll by Avaaz and Global Citizen that has received over 35,000 submissions from 161 countries.
This event is the second of two unprecedented candidates’ debates, organised by UNA-UK in partnership with the Guardian, Future UN Development System Project (CUNY Graduate Center) and the Embassy of Denmark. The first debate, held in New York on 13 April, saw four candidates go head-to-head in an intimate setting with an audience of just over 200 guests.
For the past 70 years, the Secretary-General has been chosen in secret, in a process tainted by backroom deals with powerful states. These debates mark a major success for 1 for 7 Billion, which has pushed for a more open process that engages member states, civil society and the wider public.
While the Security Council still holds the reins on the selection process, the additional public scrutiny of candidates in this selection process will make it much harder for powerful countries to ignore public opinion and appoint a candidate for political, as opposed to meritocratic, reasons.
Photo credit: UN Photo